Many students come to Northeast Alabama Community College to gain the skills necessary to qualify them for new job opportunities. Our numerous programs leading to entrepreneurships can help make their dreams come true.
NACC Salon Institute graduate, Maribel Bravo, realized her dream by opening her own business. She recently had an open house for her newly renovated shop on the square in downtown Scottsboro.
The name of her business is Chaleur Salon & Spa. She is the owner and her staff include hair: Audrea Wilbanks, Marie Lambert, Kayla Kalody, and Lindsey Cisco, and massage therapists: Casi Pope and Bailey Koger. “We offer anything to do with haircuts, colors, waxing, manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, and spray tans,” said Bravo.
Bravo wanted to open up a business that would help the community, “one in which we encourage people to look their best,” she said. “In a way, I feel like we are therapy for them. Everyone is invited to come by and let us help stress go away by taking advantage of our services and talking to any of our employees,” she continued. “My goals include helping to make people feel and look beautiful on the inside and out every day.”
She acknowledged receiving a lot of support and encouragement during her journey. “Dr. David Campbell, NACC President, has always been there and supportive of me,” she added. “I told him of my goals and he said ‘I believe you can do it’, and so I did!”
"We love seeing our students use the skills they have learned and go out and apply them," stated NACC President Dr. David Campbell. "It makes us very happy to see students like Maribel go start their own businesses. We are very proud of them and proud they are Northeast graduates!"
Bravo also shared that Julise Clement, Director of the NACC Salon Institute and Regina Gilliland, cosmetology instructor, gave her a strong mindset and taught her that, although not always easy, if you really want something you have to work hard at it and never give up. “I'm grateful for them as well,” she said.
“Mrs. Gilliland and I are very proud of Maribel. She has an incredible work ethic and we are confident that she will do well,” said Clement.
Bravo began at NACC’s Salon Institute in the summer of 2010. She finished cosmetology in December of 2011 and after graduation, she continued her education. She received her cosmetology instructor’s license and taught cosmetology. She worked at NACC and for Jackson County Schools as a cosmetology instructional assistant until she decided to open her own salon.
Bravo is very pleased with her new location on the square. She explained that her first business was in a very tiny location. “It was only big enough for two people maximum, if that,” she said. “But I had a car accident and broke my leg during the whole process. Everyone was telling me to just give the shop up and focus on me and healing myself. However, I refused to give up. I was not going to let a car accident stop me from my dream. So when I had my opening last year I had a brace on my leg and crutches from my accident, but I still never gave up. Here I am, a year later, going strong in a larger location and able to offer more services than before.”
Bravo acknowledged the support of her family. “I grew up very poor, being born in Mexico. My father came to the United States with a dream to bring us here for a better life. It took us years to just become residents and even longer to become citizens, but we persisted until we accomplished it. Being one of five children, the second oldest, my dad always told my brothers and me to be goal oriented. He always told us he wanted us to be more successful than him. He and my mom always wanted what was best for us. I remember going to competition for nails and my dad asked me ‘do you really think you will win with so many people competing in the State of Alabama?’ I said ‘yes, watch me.’ I could tell he had doubt, but when I won first place in the State he said ‘you proved me wrong; now I know you can do anything you set your mind to.’"
“My advice to anyone who is pursuing a goal or dream is to not give up,” said Bravo. “No matter how hard it is or how hard life hits you, never give up on yourself because you are strong enough to make it happen. Be a role model and make a difference. If your heart is good and you are good to people, people will be good to you.”
Bravo concluded, “I want everyone to know you are good enough. Life is full of choices. Choose your own direction to take. With faith, hope, and love anything is possible.”
The NACC Salon Institute is located in Scottsboro. The 10,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility is fully equipped with modern equipment and the latest technology to provide students with real-life learning to perfect skills and develop professional business and communication skills. Students who complete the program learn the skills needed to:
Work in a salon or spa
Manage or own their own business
Become a distributor sales consultant
Become a platform artist.
For more information, call 256-259-1512 or contact Julise Clement by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.