It's been a while since I wrote a Blast From My Past. So here's one that takes me back to the early '80's. Seems like centuries ago...
Something that most of my readers don't know is that I was once a hair stylist with my own salon. After high school, I moved to Vancouver, BC, and took a cosmetology course at Moler's School of Hairdressing. I'm not sure, but I don't think it is there any more. Back then, "cosmetology" consisted of mainly hair and some general aesthetics. My big dream was to become a stylist and makeup artist for the stars. Although I still dreamt of becoming a published author, I knew that I could actually make a living as a cosmetologist.
The course was about a year long, and then we were required to apprentice for one year before we could get our licence. And that's where I hit a brick wall. Back in the '80's, salons weren't looking for apprentices. They wanted fully qualified stylists WITH clientele.
So I moved around a bit, trying to complete my year. I went to Terrace, BC, then moved back home to the Queen Charlotte Islands. In Masset, the town my parents lived in, there were 2 salons at the time and one was on the military base. I was very fortunate to continue my apprenticeship with Linda, the owner of the salon.
I had about 2 months to go when I got some bad news. Linda and her husband were moving. The shop had to be sold and the chances of me continuing my apprenticeship with a new owner were slim. I had hit another brick wall.
But then Linda had an idea. I had completed my cosmetology course with flying colors and although I hadn't completed my 1 year apprenticeship, I had been working from my home for over 2 years. Hair styling is artistic and creative and right up my alley, and I was very good at it. Linda thought so too.
Because the salon was on military property, all potential owners had to go through a "competition". Licensed stylists were allowed to apply for the shop and had to prove they were the best person. Linda backed me 150%, but there was still something standing in my way. The apprenticeship.
Linda contacted the apprenticeship board and explained the situation, plus gave me a glowing recommendation. A few days later, a fellow from the board flew to the island to watch me work. I was a bit nervous at first, but then forgot he was there. I was in my element--creating. My apprenticeship term was written off as completed, and I received my license shortly afterward.
With Linda and my father (who was in the military) batting for me, I was in my glory when it was announced that I had 'won' the competition for the salon. I bought the equipment, supplies, said goodbye to Linda and embarked on my exciting journey. At about 21, I was the youngest salon owner in BC.
I renamed the salon Cheryl's Scissor Trix. The 'x' was a pair of scissors. :)
I have always said that I have written something at every job I have ever had. During my time as a salon owner, I told stories to the kids that came to get their hair cut. Even the most difficult ones would sit quiet as a mouse as I told them about Ty-Lor, the Knot Elfling, and how he was so tiny and would climb up their sheets at night and tie knots in their hair so that they'd learn to brush their hair each morning. I had created this fantasy world of Elflings--fairylike creatures with colorful glowing skin and hair. The girls had glowing wings.
Years later, I painted a series of illustrations and wrote the text for my first Elfling Kingdom book--The Elfling Princess. It remains unpublished at this time, but I did get some prototypes made (completely bound hardcover picture books) and took them to schools, libraries and daycares and read my story to the children. I even fashioned a Barbie doll after one of the characters. Shortly afterward, I wrote and illustrated a children's book called My Imaginary Friend. One day, I'll get these books published.
For now, I am very happy to be Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling Canadian suspense author. ;-)