We had the good fortune of connecting with Alchemy Beauty Academy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alchemy Beauty Academy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
OUR BEGINNINGS Alchemy is defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary.
This concept so deeply resonated with co-founders Kimm DiCato & Hollie Berry, not only as a representation of what they do as hair and makeup artists, but it also served as the inspiration for their approach to education and to the building of the school in general.
We aren’t instagram famous. We are working artists who understand what it takes to make it in this industry and who care about making sure the next generation of artists get the support they need to thrive. With our combined experience of over 25 years, we are thrilled to get to share our expertise and knowledge with our students.
At Alchemy Beauty Academy, we’re committed to providing the highest quality education for freelance beauty professionals and aspiring artists. We have an incredible local beauty community, but we saw a need for a truly in-depth training program. So we decided to bring the kind of education that is typically reserved for hubs like NY or LA right here to San Diego.
What should our readers know about your business?
Overcoming obstacles in 2020: Imagine starting out building a brand new business right at the very top of 2020, and dealing with all the curveballs that year brought on while trying to make it happen. That is exactly the journey Alchemy Beauty Academy faced. It is no secret that the beauty industry was hit hard with closures, and reopening, and then more closures along the way. Some would have given up on their dream or put it on hold, but instead we chose to see this as an opportunity to focus even more on the creation of the curriculum and build even larger and more in-depth programs. Rather than letting the roller-coaster that was last year derail us from our goals, we used the forced pause of our own businesses to drive us to dream bigger and make Alchemy Beauty Academy even better. It is really a story of perseverance through struggles that no one could have predicted or prepared for that is as inspiring as it is telling, this is a business that is determined to make it no matter what!
Beauty education with a distinctive approach:
At this unique vocational school and we do things a little differently by incorporating a three pronged approach emphasizing mind, body, & spirit. Each course covers Theory (mind), Hands-On Applications (body), & Self-Care (spirit). It was created by working artists who both have successful careers so we understand what it takes to make it in the beauty industry, and who care about making sure the next generation of artists get the support they need to thrive. With our combined experience of over 25 years of knowledge and expertise to share, every course and program offered has so much thought and care put into it. Even the name has a personal touch as it was inspired by a book that the co-founders both love called 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘼𝙡𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙢𝙞𝙨𝙩.
Our partnership also sets us apart as we each bring a different perspective to things…
✦ Hollie is the dreamer, a deep thinker always seeing the potential in everything and encouraging others to reach for the stars.
✦ Kimm is the rock, providing support and inspiring those around her to reach new levels of achievement by leading by example and pushing herself even harder than she would ever ask of someone else.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and get in a little pampering. The school is located in the Bay Ho neighborhood of San Diego that is a beautiful area that can be overlooked by those not familiar. It is just inland of Bird Rock & Pacific beach, only a few minutes west of Clairemont, and just south of La Jolla. We love this area so much we have catered our list of recommendations to include spots all within 15 minutes of Alchemy.
Maybe we are biased since we are in the business of beauty but a great way to spend some time in San Diego for us would include a little “me time” at a spa, such as the fabulous one at The Sanctuary. Afterward why not treat yourself to a professional hair & makeup service before hitting the town for the evening. One of our talented graduates can come right to you at your home, hotel, or airbnb so you don’t have to lift a finger while you sit back, relax and get dolled up. Then take in some swanky vibes for a memorable and delicious dinning experience at Starlite.
Here are a few worthwhile sightseeing spots to check out nearby too…
* Cabrillo National Monument
* Torrey Pines State Reserve
* Mission Beach
* Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
* Balboa Park
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We would love to acknowledge our fellow freelance hair & makeup artists in our community. It was with their support and encouragement that we were able to make Alchemy happen. This school is an absolute passion project and love letter to the beauty industry from the co-founders Kimm & Hollie. The idea for the school all started at a coffee date with local Makeup and Hair Artists in San Diego. A monthly event started when Sarah @beautybespoken wanted to bring the community together. After getting organized and connecting over coffee one day Kimm was sharing her big picture dream with Sarah when Hollie spoke up to let her know she was in the process of building something similar. After that first coffee date with the group, we went to yet another coffee shop to discuss the concept further…. and ALCHEMY BEAUTY ACADEMY was born. If it wasn’t for our amazing community of artists surrounding us, this all may have never come to be what it is today.
Ian Temple, Meg Nobriga, Annalisa J.
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