Cosmetology journey leads from the Valley to Paris
Trinidad Campus / July 28, 2016 / Written by Margaret Sanderson
(Alamosa, Colo.) When her daughter wanted to study cosmetology, Rose Vanderpool thought maybe she was setting her sites too low. She wanted more for Candice. But CandIce Cano (McGoveran) knew what she wanted. Who would ever guess her dream would lead to Paris?
By the time she was a junior in high school she had decided she wanted to be a cosmetologist. Inspired by her hair dresser, Lisa Stoeber Ellithorpe, she said, “I was fascinated with the whole thing. I have short hair so I never had to worry about my hair but I used to do everybody’s updo for prom.”
Both Cano and her friend, Harmony Heller (Kilgore) graduated from Del Norte High and both trained under Gayle Trujillo Pepper, the Trinidad State Valley Campus Cosmetology Director. During her training in Alamosa, Heller read a magazine article about Toni and Guy and told Trujillo, “I’m going to work for them.” Toni and Guy are world famous as cosmetologists having established 475 salons across 48 countries. They are Italian brothers who learned the trade from their barber father. Heller would work for them for the next twelve years in Arizona until she returned to Colorado, settled in Boulder and immediately hired on with Paul Morrison Colours as their hair cutting educator. “Miss Gayle (Trujillo) was my driving force,” said Heller. “She was awesome. She encouraged us to follow our dreams. I never had an educator in my life impact me as much as Miss Gayle. I now travel the world with my craft and make a six-figure income. I credit Miss Gayle and Trinidad State Junior College for giving me my start. Candice and I want everyone to know small town girls can make it big.” Later Kilgore would be Cano’s link to Paul Morrison Colours where both women now work. The company recently sent them to a training in Paris.
“To me French hair cutting is simpler, not as technical as the way we cut here,” said McGoveran. “It’s more free hand, more how the hair naturally lays. It’s working with the client’s body type - how their shoulders lay, how long or short their neck is, the shape of their face - and finishing the cut dry and tailoring to the client as a whole including height and clothing while keeping in mind what the client wants.” McGoveran’s education goes beyond cosmetology when she travels. “In Paris we wanted to experience as much as we could. We took advantage of being there,” she said. “We took a mini-tour, walked along the Seine River, saw the Eiffel Tower, and dined in a restaurant overlooking Paris at night. I can’t imagine an educational opportunity that would be more exciting than this!”
She began her career in the Valley, but wanted to experience life in the city. She worked many venues but the fast pace of 25 to 30 cuts a day at one company in Denver nearly ended her career. She felt she couldn’t spend quality time with her customers.
A brief move back to the Valley helped her realize the Valley was not for her. “I felt like I couldn’t grow as a person or a stylist like I could in the city,” she said. She moved back to Denver and worked in a high-end commission salon or a while. A commission salon pays a stylist a percentage of the profits. The salon generally supplies the products and the stylist uses her own tools.
She then moved to Golden where she married Nick McGoveran and had two children, now ages five and seven. After having her children, she taught at a cosmetology school where she said, “Teaching definitely made me realize I’m better behind the chair.”
Four and a half years ago her connection to Kilgore helped land her a job at Paul Morrison Colours. McGoveran was impressed with the products, their training opportunities and their reputation and was able to interview with Paul Morrison at that time and was hired on the spot.
“That’s where I found my true passion for doing hair where I could actually further my education and skills without having to do 30 people a day,” she said. In addition to being certified as a hair colorist, McGoveran is also certified in Hair Extension, Keratin Smoothing treatments, and Balayage, a freehand technique (developed by Dessange in France) to create highlights which is now becoming popular here in the U.S.
The company had been trying a new hair care product line called Phytodess (pronounced ‘feetodess). The natural plant-based (phyto) products are based out of France and were created by Jacque Dessange, who had established salons in 36 countries. The business is now run by his son, Benjamin. “I was asked if I would be interested in becoming the advocate for these products. Harmony had recommended me. I agreed and that was one reason I was sent to Paris,” McGoveran said. She explained that although the Phytodess products were discussed early on at the training, the bigger part of the class was about French hair cutting. “Most of my education has been focused on color. The hair cutting class was good for me. Clients are always looking for better ideas. If I’m not educating myself, I can’t offer a better idea. I need to be able to bring something new to the table while keeping in mind what the client wants.”
“We were best friends in high school,” said Kilgore. “We both studied cosmetology with the same instructor and now, we have reconnected and we’re working together. We both have Trinidad State and Miss Gayle to thank for giving us a solid foundation to build on!”