Many Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC) students lead busy lives, but Rachelle (Shelly) Blackstone stands out. Not only does she attend school full time, but she has recently branded her own makeup line and opened her own salon, all on top of being a mom.
Before deciding to pursue her passion for cosmetology, Shelly earned an associate degree at a community college and worked in the medical field for six years.
“I knew [hair and makeup] was always what I wanted to do,” says Shelly. “I was almost 30 and decided to drop my full-time career with benefits, move back home with my mom and sell my car to go back to school.”
Shelly is such a hard worker and has such a positive attitude that many of her classmates and instructors don’t know she runs her own businesses in addition to going to school. Her makeup line, named Eve after her 5-year-old daughter Evelyn, was officially launched in January 2015, five months after she began classes at MSC. Her salon, La Croix Salon and Spa, opened in Stillwater, Minn., on April 1, and Shelly says she still can’t believe it.
“When I got the keys to the salon it was so surreal and scary at the same time,” she says. “Sometimes I still say to myself, ‘Wow, this is mine.’ It was always my dream, but I never thought it would happen.”
Students look up to her and educators admire her initiative, but Shelly says it’s the support from her fellow classmates and her instructors that keeps her going.
“MSC was the last school l toured, and from the time I first stepped into the building, everyone was so welcoming and helpful,” says Shelly. “I love the way everybody makes you feel. It just felt good.”
Shelly says she appreciates the variety of the instructors and that they are all creative, genuinely care about her success and make her education personal. She is set to graduate in September of 2015, and she doesn’t plan to stop achieving her goals.
“I hope to branch out and eventually be running two salons, but my main goal is that after all this time I’ve put into this and everything I’ve sacrificed, I want to slow down, travel and do things with my daughter, and have my own schedule.”
Shelly says she hopes to help other MSC students reach their goals, too.
“I believe that we as students here at MSC are a family ladder,” she says. “We are connected in so many ways and hold one another up, so we’re all able to see the top and keep pushing to reach it if we want to.”
Visit www.msccollege.edu to learn more.