|▲ Principal Choi Ok-soon|
There are many hair and beauty salons in Korea. The demand for being beautiful is getting higher and higher thanks to the widespread e-commerce and SNS shopping platforms where people get hold of the latest trend in hair, beauty and fashion. Therefore, a high level of technique and differentiated customer services are needed in order to survive in the field.
Dexterity leads to dig one well
Beauty Hair College is located in Gumi City, North Gyeongsang Province. Principal Choi Ok-soon has had good dexterity since she was a child. As conservative as the region is, her parents wanted her to have a stable job instead of something adventurous. However, when her father went to bankrupt, she decided to learn a skill that could make her earn bread and butter for lifetime. She then made the most of her hand skill in hair treatment with a support of her father.
Choi said “Like everything in the world, it wasn’t an easy path to learn the necessary skills at first although I had good hands. I just worked hard day and night and month by moth and I saw my skills grow. After a few years, I could freely move my hands with tools and my seniors and clients started to recognize it. As I felt confident, yet not complacent, I took a step deeper for certificates to make officially sure of my skills.”
She passed a qualification exam and obtained a beautician certificate from the Human Resources Development Service of Korea. She kept the challenge a little further and obtained a barber’s hairdresser certificate in 2005 and a master barber certificate in 2009.
Passing down knowledge and skils to young dreamers
Choi finds a great excitement whenever finish a hair treatment the way her client wants. She compares this feeling with a conductor of an orchestra who might be feeling when he/she is reaching to the climax. Many of her clients showed thumps-up at the end of her service enriched by her passion and enthusiasm.
Recognizing her talent and contribution to the industry, Gumi City awarded a mayor’s citation to her in 2001. She also received a president’s citation of the Korea Confederation of Beauticians Associations the same year followed by a North Gyeongsang governor’s citation in 2014 and a Health and Welfare minister’s citation in 2015. Academically, she obtained a degree in skin care and cosmetology at Sookmyung Women’s University and a master’s degree in cosmetology at Hannam University.
Determined to pass down her years of knowledge and skills to young dreamers in the field, Choi has been running Beauty Hair College in Gumi City. Everybody can join a course designed for beginners to advanced.
“I travel to Seoul frequently to keep up the latest trend in the field. It is very important for all students to read market trend and to learn up-to-date skills.”
Winning prizes and social contribution
Choi has participated in numerous competitions and drew substantial results. She won the third prize at the 2009 North Gyeongsang Province Skills Competition, the best prize at the 2011 Korea Traditional Hairstyle Skills Competition, the grand prize at the 2016 World Beauty Art & Design International Contest, the gold prize in the up-style at the same contest, and the best prize at the Vietnam Art Festival.
Alongside participating in various competitions, she donated her talent in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and currently is giving lectures at Gyeongbuk College of Health and Jeonghwa Arts College.
Choi has engaged in various volunteer activities at various organizations including Gumi City Geriatric Hospital, Sunsan Silver Town, Seomkim Jaega Senior Welfare Center, Janmi Nursing Home, and is serving as the director of Nanuri Corp.
When asked about future plan, Choi said that she wished to establish a field-based total beauty school in Gumi City one day so that students and people in the region can have as quality a course as in beauty academies in Seoul.
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