Not every hobby can translate into a career, but Kendal Brookins discovered that her passion for doing hair and makeup for her friends and family could provide the foundation for her future goals.
Brookins does not only aspire to be a cosmetologist, but she also aspires to one day own and run a salon. She said, “I want to open my own hair salon, but I want to do it all.” Brookins added, “I want to become a celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist.”
As she began to consider her higher education options, she visited UT Martin and the pieces began to come together. She realized that she could study business to help prepare her for one day running her own salon. While she began by studying finance, she decided that management would be a better fit.
At a young age, Brookins began styling her friends’ hair, but growing up she never considered the idea of turning her hobby into a career. “Hair and makeup has been my thing since I was a kid. I never looked at it as something I could do. I saw it more as a little side gig,” Brookins said.
Brookins has found styling hair and makeup to be a rewarding experience. “Having the chance to see a person’s face after they get their makeup done or their hair done and how excited they are and how pretty they feel, it just brightens my day,” Brookins said.
Brookins finds inspiration all around her, and her biggest motivator is her mother, of whom Brookins said, “She has to be one of the strongest women I know. She lets nothing stop her. She has gone four years now breast cancer-free. And believe it or not when she was going through chemo and stuff, you wouldn’t have known it if it wasn’t for her loosing her hair.”
Brookins proudly hopes to stay strong in pursuit of her dreams. While her mother battled cancer, Brookins took to heart her mother's courage. She said, “She still had that energy as any other person. She didn’t let it slow her down, and I admire her like no other for that. It really taught me how to become a stronger young lady and how to push forth for what I want.”
Thanks to the inspiration she has drawn from rewarding experiences in styling hair and makeup and from her mother’s strong will and character, Brookins is driven to achieve her dreams.
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