COSTA MESA — Commemorating 10 years of training beauty professionals, Paul Mitchell The School has traded up for bigger digs and moved to a newly renovated shopping center near Harbor Boulevard and the San Diego (405) Freeway.
The new 14,700-square-foot facility, located on Hyland Avenue, will allow the school to add more classrooms than it previously had at its former location on Adams Avenue near Harbor Boulevard. For a decade, students dressed in the school's "uniform" black clothing have been a familiar site on and around Adams.
"It was just time to for us to grow and time to refresh," Director Cynthia Butler said of the cosmetology school that opened in 2000, becoming Paul Mitchell's first in the nation. "It was a wonderful opportunity with the new center. The new school is just beautiful, and the whole center is growing."
The school hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday.
Already, Paul Mitchell has almost 300 students, known as "future beauty professionals," enrolled in day or night programs.
While Butler could not say if enrollment has been impacted either positively or negatively by the recession, she said that the versatility of a career as a beauty professional — Paul Mitchell has a network of 107 locations nationwide — can be appealing in tough economic times.
"For schools and education, [a recession] is not always a bad thing," Butler said. "It can be a time for people to do that one thing that they've always wanted to do all their lives … challenges in the economy opens up chances for people to follow their dreams."
The school's discount haircuts and facials — performed with a supervisor nearby — are a welcome relief for many cash-starved customers in tough times.
Prices begin as low as $10 for haircuts, $30 for color and $35 for facials, according to a school pricing guide.
The Costa Mesa location is also the first of the schools to re-use water from its wash sinks and washing machines. The recycled and treated water is considered free of harmful levels of bacteria.
A goal in the near future is for the recycled water to irrigate the landscaping around the South Coast Collection shopping center, Butler said.