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Cosmetology school has beautiful plans

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Winnipeg's newest cosmetology school is turning out graduates and looking forward to adding the final two components in its curriculum.

The Salon Professional Academy -- TSPA for short -- quietly opened its doors last fall after the franchise's owners spent about $1.2 million to design and equip the 8,600-square-foot facility, which is located in a retail strip mall at 1395 Ellice Ave.

Although the school has been offering hairstyling and makeup-artist courses since it opened, it is still awaiting provincial approval for its esthetics and nail-technology training programs.

TSPA co-owner and director Lindsey Kellett said Friday the school hopes to begin offering the nine-month esthetics course within the next month or two, and the three-month nail-technology course before the end of next summer.

Kellett said there are nine students currently enrolled in its 10-month hairstyling program. And 11 students have graduated so far from its six-week makeup-artist's course.

Although it took about 21/2 years to nail down the financing and get the school up and running, Kellett said she and her business partners are thrilled with the way things have gone since opening for business.

"It's been wonderful."

Co-owner Jeremy Sabourin said the school, which has 40 workstations and three classrooms, has the capacity to train up to 15 students a month, or 180 over the course of a full year. But it's going to take a while to reach full capacity, he added, so for now they're budgeting for seven to 10 new students per month.

Sabourin said although TSPA has about 40 cosmetology franchises in the United States, this is the first in Canada. It's also the first Canadian school to be endorsed by Redken, one of the world's largest cosmetics manufacturers, he added.

He said one of the things he likes about the TSPA curriculum is that hairstyling students are not only taught the technical skills, such as how to cut, colour and style hair, but also how to start up and successfully run a hairstyling business in case they want to open their own salon or rent a chair in an existing salon rather than work for someone else.

He said students receive classroom instruction as well as hands-on training with members of the public, who are offered deep discounts in exchange for allowing a student to cut their hair or provide other cosmetology services.

He and Kellett said TSPA is the city's fourth cosmetology school. The others are the Scientific Marvel School of Hairstyling & Esthetics, MC College, and the Aveda Institute, which opened last May in the Exchange District.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 23, 2013 B11

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