Regency: What’s your favorite memory from your time at Regency?
Tia: I still smile when I hear the song "Proud Mary" because that was the song we used to play when we were doing end of day sanitation. I can still see all of us dancing while sweeping and wiping off tables. I also loved when one of us would create something really special on one of our mannequins and we would go show it off to all the educators and other students who would be genuinely supportive of us.
Some of Tia Johnson's work
Regency: What was your first job after school?
Tia: I worked for a little under a year as a stylist at Fantastic Sam's. While I was there I earned my Pivot Point Certification and became CHI Color Certified. We had a lot of education opportunities and I took advantage of every one.
Regency: Did you feel ready for that first job?
Tia: During my interview, my boss said he couldn't believe I was fresh out of school and that it seemed like I had been behind the chair for at least a year. When I was in school, I really felt we were 'working stylists' and expected to use and build those skills from day one on the floor. It's not just about learning how to cut and color hair; it's about knowing how to manage your time, sell retail, and making sure you retain that client.
Tia Johnson's work
Regency: What happened after Fantastic Sam’s?
Tia: My husband, who is in the Army, got transferred to Germany.
Regency: Wow – that must have been quite a shock! Was it hard to find work in a foreign country?
Tia: For six months, I worked at a salon on-base before deciding to open my own home based salon. My clients are other military spouses. They could go to salons in town but the language barrier can make it difficult, especially with hair.
Tia Johnson's work
Regency: How is your business going?
Tia: I stay booked about a month out. Since we live in Europe and my husband doesn’t get much time off, we like to travel when we get the chance. Having my own salon allows me time off when I want, which is important to an army wife.
Regency: What’s next for you?
Tia: I am starting a course online that will teach me advanced makeup skills for photo shoots, bridal, and special occasions. I hope that once I complete this course I will be able to team up with local photographers to provide full styling for photo shoots and military balls.