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Meet Trailblazer Dorthi Koscielniak

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dorthi Koscielniak.

Dorthi, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
At the age of 12, I won a career essay contest in my 6th-grade class. Winning this contest landed me a “JOB FOR A DAY” at a hair salon. After spending the whole day there and admiring the stylists work I was determined to make my dream a reality. In 2007, I graduated from Cameo Beauty Academy and was on a mission to land my dream job at an upscale salon downtown. My dreams were crushed, after three interviews, I was told I wasn’t a good fit. On my way home, devastated, I stopped at a salon to get rid of an extra resume I had in my car. I have never heard of this salon. I walked in, had an on the spot interview and was hired! It was so surreal and I was just so excited to finally work at a salon. I was an associate for ten months and landed my own chair, unfortunately, after seven years, the salon closed unexpectedly. A few months later, I started an Instagram page @hairbydorthi. Today, 80% of my Bridal clientele today are from Instagram and I couldn’t be more grateful!

Has it been a smooth road?
I started in the beauty industry before Pinterest or Instagram. It was very hard to set yourself apart from other stylists and to build a clientele. I was walking the streets of Downtown Chicago passing out my business cards hoping someone would come to sit in my chair. Eventually, my clients were my walking advertisements and referrals were what got me my clientele. Today, Instagram plays a big role in my success story. I get to share my hair pics with the whole Instagram world. My clientele grew so quickly it allowed me to become an independent stylist at D’Amici Salon.

We’d love to hear more about Hair by Dorthi.
I am a cosmetologist. I specialize in cuts and color and am best known for my bridal styling! I’ve been in the industry for 12 years and to this day, I love taking continuing education classes, I strive to take at least four classes a year. It doesn’t matter if you have been in the industry for two years or 20, there is always so much more you can learn.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I believe women highly represent the beauty industry.

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Image Credit:
Dorthi Koscielniak

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