#HallofFame: Abby Thiede

#HallofFame: Abby Thiede

Abby Thiede graduated from the full-time cosmetology program in 2017. Abby believed her cosmetology education at The Institute of Beauty and Wellness helped build a solid foundation for launching her career. Graduating IBW with Aveda fashion show experience; having worked with industry experts like Vivienne Mackinder; receiving education in hair, skin, makeup and nails; and the professional skills needed in the industry, Abby felt confident to move to Los Angeles and continue chasing her dream of becoming a hair stylist and makeup artist. We caught up with Abby to hear about her journey.

10 cosmetology students post with guest educator Vivienne Mackinder

Abby and classmates working with award-winning hair stylist Vivienne Mackinder in 2017

Tell us a little about yourself. What was your background or work experience before attending IBW?

Before attending IBW, I was actually a recent high school graduate. I had had all of my credits to graduate early in January instead of June, so shortly after I began classes in April in the full-time cosmetology program. I had always been the artsy one in the family, but wasn’t sure how that could directly correlate into a career. I had also known that I absolutely loved changing up my hair/look and one time while having a huge hair transformation done when I was about 16 my stylist began talking about her education at IBW and had prompted me to learn more about it, and a possible career in that industry.

Why did you choose to enroll in a cosmetology program?

I had known I wanted to be in the be in the beauty industry at a young age, and wanted to get a solid foundation of education under my belt before venturing into other endeavors. A cosmetology license can apply to a wide range of jobs/positions, so for me not knowing exactly where I could fit in at the time it was the right choice over say something like esthetics.

 How did attending IBW help prepare you for your  career?

I was always more interested in makeup, and had planned to go out to California to Cinema Makeup School to learn more about Special Effects and Movie Makeup. My education has always given me a leg up when it came to my skills in hair as well. Most of the time when they hire an artist on set they will choose one that can also do hair, just out of convenience. The professionalism and soft skills have also prepared me for a world of quick thinking, building relationships and clientele, and have given me the tools to set myself up for success in the beauty industry.

Left: zombie special effects makep on a manneguin, right: alien-like creature special effects makeup on a mannequin

Pictures of Abby’s special effects makeup work.

Where have you worked? Where do you currently work?

Before moving out to California to start my makeup career, I was able to spend a good 6 months as a hairstylist at a salon in my home town of Door County, Wisconsin. It was an Aveda concept salon called InVidia, and there I was basically put on the floor right away without any kind of training program. I felt very confident for the most part right off the bat, thanks to the education I had received at IBW.

What career achievement(s) are you most proud of?

Being that I am only 21, I know that my best achievements are yet to come. But a highlight was definitely being able to work on set of a big Becky G music video called “Booty”. I think the fact that I’ve always stayed driven and very focused on the end goal [of becoming] a freelance/agency signed makeup artist is also something I’m proud of. [I’m also proud of] my career path: IBW cosmetology school full-time – 11 months; hairstylist at an Aveda salon – 6 months; Cinema Makeup School complete track – 9 months; to now doing freelance makeup work for on set photoshoots, music videos and commercials.

 Who are your mentors, or inspiration?

When I was in school I would absolutely consider my mentors as my instructors. They helped guide me and give me specific ideas and plans for my career based on what I personally wanted to do with my education. Now a days I would even consider my fellow peers, makeup artists, as my mentors, for we are constantly learning from each other. Bill Corso is a fantastic special effects makeup artist known for movies like Deadpool, Starwars and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Beauty-wise, Pat McGrath has been a name at the top of the food chain since I was a little kid – her work is always a little out there but absolutely stunning.

Left: a model with long, wavy, styled hair and avant garde makeup, right: a model with short 1920's styled bob with dark eye makeup Pictures of Abby’s editorial makeup and hair work.

What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

There is no one way to reach your goals. I think everyone could say they have a similar “end goal” or place they would like to be at the peak of their career, but the way we get there is all relative. You can think of it less like a path way, and more like a rock wall. Many different decisions and choices lead you to the very top at the end. For myself, the field that I am currently in is very competitive. I’m a makeup artist living in LA trying to get the best jobs that I can. I’d say my career goals are to have a steady clientele, with a range of fields from film to photoshoot/editorial. I think that’s all you can really ask for! Oh and to have my name in some big movie credits some day.

Any advice you would give to someone thinking of a career in cosmetology?

Do it! I think the ability to have a creative outlet, but still have a really stable background/education in the field is something incomparable. Even though hair isn’t the only place that I ended up career-wise, it has given me so much more of a leg up in the area that I did choose to pursue. As far as the professionalism, the hands on education, and the instructors I couldn’t think of any other place I would have rather received my education than IBW.