February 9, 2016


La’ James International College is proud to recognize former student Jill Larson for her outstanding entrepreneurial and hairstyling skills.

Jill Larson makes her own schedule, writes her own paychecks, and she’s built a dependable business as a hairstylist. From afar, it might look effortless, but Jill worked hard to build up her clientele and it wasn’t always easy.


Jill graduated from the Johnston campus of La’ James International College just four years ago. If you’re like us, you’d like to learn from Jill’s experience and you’re wondering: How did she do it?

We sat down with her to find out.

Here’s Jill’s Secret…

After graduating from LJIC in 2011, Jill did not waste any time working her way up.

“It’s important to never stop learning.” Jill said, “Ask yourself: ‘What can I do to be different, to standout?’”

Armed with her Diploma from La’ James International College, Jill first took an entry level job as a hairstylist. Her “can do” attitude must have impressed someone because before long she was managing the whole shop. As manager, she gained valuable experience honing her craft, mastering her marketing skills, and also learning the intricacies of how to run a business.

After attaining the proper know-how and real world business seasoning, and pairing that with her business fundamentals training and diploma from LJIC, Jill knew that she was prepared to make the big jump, so she decided to start her own business. Jill never looked back and now has her own suite at ZaZa Salon in Clive, Iowa.

“I love going to work,” she said, “It’s not work to me, it’s fun.”


Tricks of the Trade

One trick Jill has learned for attracting customers is to always wear a creative hairstyle herself.

“You’d be surprised how many times I meet people by them commenting on my hair,” she said. “My hair is my personality. It’s always different. My passion shines because it’s what I love.”

Jill said that she keeps business cards on her at all times. When someone approachers her about her creative hair, she hands them a card and answers all their questions. Often times this leads to a new client or even a new friend.

In fact, that’s how Jill met her friend Trish. They were complete strangers when they entered an elevator headed down, but chit led to chat and they are now fast friends. Trish is also one of Jill’s most devoted clients. She recently moved to New Mexico, but she makes the journey back to Iowa so that Jill can cut her hair.

“We’ve gone light. We’ve gone dark. We’ve gone light. We’ve gone dark. Shorter. Longer,” Jill said of all the fun things her and Trish have tried. “I try all my new techniques on her. She’s like a sister.”

Jill’s Best Business Move

Shortly after starting her own business, Jill needed clients and she needed them fast. She said the best business move she’s ever made is joining a networking group called Center Sphere. With their help she went from two regular clients to 89 in less than a year.

Jill’s Advice to New Cosmetologists

  • Never stop learning.
  • Don’t forget the basics. Don’t forget that you are a newbie. Learn to adapt and don’t be afraid to ask when you have a question.
  • Keep business cards on you at all times.
  • Don’t run too many specials at once.

Jill’s Tips for Building a Client List

  • “Beat the street.”
  • Join a networking group.
  • Word of mouth, tell your friends.
  • Have a creative hairstyle. People will comment and this gives you an opening to tell them about yourself.
  • Keep business cards on you at all times.

Want to learn more about La’ James International College & all the programs offered? Visit www.LJIC.edu or call 888-880-2108 Today!

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