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Educators at the Regency Beauty Institute campus in Merrillville, IN, have found a fun technique to channel students’ creativity on the performance floor between appointments. Contests!

When students at this Indiana campus aren’t cutting and styling a guest, many compete in themed manikin contests. Nikki M., an educator at the Merrillville campus, has guided the students to design manikins inspired by the seasons, the runway and more.

“It’s a way to make everybody be more creative and be together,” said student participant Aaron B. and winner of the “Wild and Crazy” themed contest.

Nikki announces the competitions after roll call. Sometimes the students compete individually, and other times they compete in groups.

“It’s taught me to have an open mind in working with different people,” Aaron said.

To create the winning design for the “Wild and Crazy” contest, Aaron was inspired by his love of nature and, in particular, gardening.

“I think outside the box. That was my vision,” Aaron said.

Aaron says the staff and students have embraced his creativity and changed his life. Since starting, his ambition for succeeding in the industry has only grown.

“The educating staff is truly amazing. I could not have picked a better staff. Regency is truly a blessing in my life,” Aaron said.

The educators helped give him the confidence to participate in the contest. Since then, they’ve taught him to be humble, besides developing his love of color and cuts.

Aaron is excited to continue competing and absorbing knowledge from his peers and educators.

“It’s making me shine,” he said.

Aaron’s advice for future cosmetologists: “Never feel that your best is good enough. Your best can always be better.”

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