L’esprit Academy, a cosmetology school, is opening a second education center in downtown Royal Oak, a move that helped the company double its workforce over the last year.
The 9-year-old business now employs 20 people after hiring 10 over the last year. It also has about half a dozen open positions now, mostly for administrative areas. It currently has six people working in downtown Royal Oak and expects to double that staff there by the end of the year.
The Livonia-based business choose downtown Royal Oak because of its location in Oakland County and because its urban setting is a nice contrast to its suburban-style headquarters. Plus, downtown Royal Oak is attractive because it has lots of energy, is a trendsetter and is home to a large concentration of creatives.
“It seemed like a natural fit on an aesthetic level,” says Stacy Wells, CEO of L’esprit Academy.
L’espirit Academy has enjoyed high growth in recent years because of the staying power of the industry (hair stylist jobs can’t be outsourced to India) and the flexibility it provides to its workforce (working moms can do this part-time on their schedule). Wells also points out cosmetology can be a more cost-effective career compared to getting a professional degree at a traditional university.
“People are getting four-year degrees and $150,000 in debt and still don’t have a job,” Wells says. “We find a lot of people who have either done a year or two of college or have graduated and can’t find a job.”
Source: Stacy Wells, CEO of L’esprit Academy
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.