Student stylists enhance the campus beauty experience

By Eny Martins
November 20, 2022

A mix of pictures that illustrate some of the work done by Cabrini students. Image by Katirah Benjamin-Stokes.
A mix of pictures that illustrate some of the work done by Cabrini students. Image by Katirah Benjamin-Stokes.

Cosmetology is a passion for many Cabrini students. Whether it’s doing hair, makeup, nails, or any other beauty technique, there’s much talent to be found around campus. 

Ocasio and her love for nails  

Gianni Ocasio, sophomore psychology major, has been decorating nails for about two to three years. It started out as just an interest in doing makeup four years ago, but now she’s branched out, she sees herself making a profit from her hobby.  

Long nails set done at Cabrini University by Gianni. Photo courtesy of Gianni Ocasio.

“It’s very therapeutic, very calming — now that I know what I’m doing, seeing the other people’s nails is a good feeling,” Ocasio said. “I’ve had some clients, but it’s not super consistent, so I want to do more, like making business cards and giving them out to help me attract more people around campus.”  

Like many stylists trying to grow their brand, Ocasio knows the next step to take her love of cosmetology to a higher level.  

“I’m going to get my license in the summer, because it’s difficult to do so right now during the college semester, and it’s going to be a nine-week program.”   Payment often allows campus cosmetologists to sustain their activity.  

“Not only is it my time, but factor in the products and expenses — monomer liquid for nails is like $20 a bottle, powders can be $14, and nail tips can be $10.”  

Gaining a license will allow her to start a business alongside being a full-time college student, as she enjoys doing short, medium, and long nail sets, and other nail designs.”

Holloway and her passion for hair  

Cabrini student’s hair retwisted by Danny. Photo courtesy of Danielle Holloway.

Danielle Holloway, senior education major, is another student who started off working on her own style, then began doing her friends’ hair during freshman year. She then turned her skill into an even bigger interest with which she enjoys serving the community.  

“My cousin does hair, and after she stopped doing mine years ago, I started doing my own and then I started to think, “‘I might as well make it a business and grow clients,’” Holloway said. 

“The funny thing is that it seems like everyone needs their hair done at the same time. It can get very hectic but that’s what comes with having a business,” Holloway said. “My favorite style is doing natural hair, like curls, twists, and braids, and even though it takes longer, I overall enjoy doing people’s natural hair the most.”  

Stokes: hair, sneakers, and business  

Hair may be the most common route of cosmetology across campus. Katirah Benjamin-Stokes, junior business management major, already aspires to run a business that focuses on hairstyling, along with a few other features.  

“My business is “The Kaytizal Experience,” and I do hair, customize sneakers, and I’m starting to get into nails,” Benjamin-Stokes said.   

Customized shoes by Katirah. Photo courtesy of Katirah Benjamin.

Promotion and branding are key. She is beginning to embrace these principles in order to expand her brand.  

“I recently started to promote and post different things and have put up posters around campus so people can know about the type of hair that I do,” Benjamin-Stokes said. “I began doing my mom’s hair and that’s how I really promote — I use her to try out different styles and she goes around giving out cards and taking pictures.”  

There are many events at Cabrini that students can use as a platform to share their endeavors every year. An example of this is the melanin event. 

“So, at this event, where small businesses get together and fashion shows occur, I promote the customizations I do with hair and lashes, and it does very, very well,”  Benjamin-Stokes said.   

Figuring out pricing while also keeping in mind the financial situation of many college students is also a priority for Benjamin-Stokes.  

“A lot of people are doing very expensive hairstyles and I understand why the prices are so high, but I try to do affordable prices and work with people,” she said. “At the end of the day, I’m just trying to satisfy people.”   

There are many students on campus who want to brighten their peers’ day while improving upon their own passions, and they’re keeping Cabrini cosmetology alive. 

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Eny Martins

My name is Eny Martins, I was born and raised in Brazil. I moved to the USA five years ago at 18 to live with my mother. I am currently 23 years old, and recently returned to college after taking a year off in my junior year. I am studying social media communications and I really like how this course has been improving my communication skills when it comes to speaking and understanding other people.
I spend my time doing things I love, such as hanging out with my favorite people, going out and trying new foods, meeting new people, traveling, and hanging out around nature. I am passionate about music, art and animals.

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