The Fosbre Academy of Hair Design, located right off Capitol Way in the heart of downtown Olympia, has the look and feel of a high-end salon, complete with a comfortable waiting area, students dressed all in black, colorful artwork on the walls, and art deco light fixtures hanging from the high ceilings. This look was very intentional on the part of Noah Fosbre when he started the Academy four years ago. His goal was to create a school that prepared students to work at top salons, and he is achieving his mission.
Focus: Teach Outstanding Technique as well as Essential Business Skills
Fosbre started the academy in 2008 and now owns the business with Adam Hert. Fosbre has been teaching at schools for over 10 years and also worked at local salons. “I started this business because I felt that Olympia needed a cosmetology school that would provide an outstanding education to the students in the community. I found that a lot of stylists who had attended local schools were graduating without the tools and business sense that they needed in order to be successful. I opened the school with the goal of changing the educational opportunities available locally,” he said.
Students who enroll at the Academy are there for 10 months, and upon graduation fulfill the 1,600 hours required by the State of Washington to become a licensed cosmetologist. During their time at the Academy students will learn precision color and cutting techniques using the Sassoon method, named after the techniques invented by Vidal Sassoon. “We don’t use razors or clippers. Everything is cut by hand,” Fosbre said.
The students begin by learning the fundamentals in a classroom setting, and then they move on to work with hair mannequins. When Fosbre was a student he had only two mannequins to work with, his students receive 10. While at the Academy students use all ten hair mannequins to learn cutting and color techniques. Once they have mastered the techniques on fake hair, they move on to cut and color real hair.
Business skills are another important component of the program. Students are taught the importance of networking and receive custom business cards upon acceptance to the academy. In addition, students are taught how to create a successful referral program as well as how to write an impressive resume.
Other lessons the student will learn at the Academy include the importance of goal setting, how to identify target demographics, how to meet and exceed customer expectations, how to upsell and retain customers.
Open to the public
The Academy is open to the public and clients can choose between a $15 precision cut, or a $40 cut and color that includes a shampoo, an incredible savings when compared to other salons in the area. Clients enjoy the excellent customer service and attention they receive at the Academy, a benefit that Fosbre has worked deliberately to cultivate.
Graduates: 95% Job Placement and the Option of Advanced Training for Qualified Graduates
Once a student has a license, the Academy works with the student to provide job placement. Fosbre is pleased with the 95% job placement rate. After graduation, students can work toward acceptance to the Advanced Training Program that the Academy opened in July. The Advanced Academy is at a separate location and is essentially a Master’s Program for stylists.
Preparing Students for a Successful Career
“We provide a realistic education. By the time they graduate, students have a good understanding of what it takes to be successful, from providing excellent customer service, outstanding technique, and finally product and business training,” said Fosbre. When asked what it takes to be successful, Fosbre responded, “Someone who is professional and knows how to communicate well. They possess the desire to continuously improve their skills, and of course, they have excellent technique.”
Fosbre and Hert also teach a very simple lesson that many schools overlook: they teach students how to provide extra service that can make all the difference. When a client arrives the student will offer to hang up their coat, then provide a beverage for the client to drink while having their hair is styled. Most important, the students learn how to give a great scalp massage. Fosbre said “If students consistently practice these simple steps they are going to set themselves up for success.”
The Fosbre Academy of Hair Design is now enrolling students for spring courses. Contact the school at 360.481.6816 or reception@ fosbreacademy.com.