Alumni Spotlight- Nicole “Nicki” Bidwell

Nicki Bidwell, IIC graduate, opened up own salon Ella Rose Studio Beauty & Wellness located at 2301 Silas Deane Hwy Rocky Hill CT 06067.

✨How did you get started in Cosmetology & How did you build your clientele?

After receiving my cosmetology license at International Institute of Cosmetology I assisted and worked behind the chair for about 3 years before gaining a steady clientele in Bristol, then Newington Ct. Once in Newington, I was able to build a full clientele through word of mouth & felt comfortable taking the leap to renting a salon suite. Being on my own, I was in full control and was able to focus on services I was passionate about. I didn’t have to think about someone else’s brand and was able to create my own and be myself behind the chair and on social media. I controlled everything from how my space looked to the music playing & was able to focus more on my passion for extensions.

I believe my clientele was able to grow so much from 2020 because I created a space where my clients could see my attention to detail and passion for hair, I was able to control my appointment times so nobody felt rushed and saw the value in their services. This year in February 2024 I was able to open the doors of my own salon because of clients, friends and family who supported my dreams. 

✨What inspires you as a Hairdresser?

It’s very cliche but my daughter gives me inspiration every day. Seeing her smile when she walks into the salon and how happy she is to help me sweep or wash her dolls hair & give them “highlights” makes my heart full. I want her to grow up knowing how empowering it is as a woman to be able to support yourself & that taking chances for your own happiness is ok.  I’m also inspired by being able to give woman extra confidence, whether that’s by teaching them a new styling technique or by enhancing their hair with extensions.

✨ Any advice you would give someone starting Cosmetology School?

My biggest advice for cosmetology students would be to share your journey, post so much that it borderlines on being annoying. Show people who you are and I promise you’ll get your ideal clients and find the salon with your same energy. Personally I love watching Nicky Delaney videos of his journey in school and with his clients even though it’s just blowdries.

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“The International Institute of Cosmetology is an accredited, family owned cosmetology school with campuses in Wethersfield and Plainville, Connecticut. IIC was started in 2002 by Carmelo Gugliotti and his sons with the underlying desire to bring International beauty trends into the Northeast. IIC has grown to be the Leader in Beauty Education, specializing in Hair, Skin, Makeup and Advanced Education. #studyhair #iCANatIIC”

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