Stylist Laurie Smith has an air of professionalism and knowledge that clearly sets her above many stylists in the Metro-Detroit area. Confident and driven, she graduated with honors from the Aveda Institute of Royal Oak where she not only succeeded in the science and theory of cosmetology but also trained in Aveda specialty spa and wet services.
Although cutting, customized color options and extensions are at the center of Laurie Smith’s professional focus, she has a clientele as diverse as they come. Laurie has done everything from dreadlock maintenance to a wavy blow-out. “I love hair and I love people. I have the fortune of not having to limit my clientele because of a particular texture, type, or length. For that, I am very grateful.”
Laurie Smith’s professional and academic career is diverse as well. She Graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. with a 3.3 honor point average in her majors of Sociology and Asian Studies with a concentration in Chinese Language. While at the university she participated in many research an honor programs such as The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. While in college Laurie Smith supported herself by working dangerous security jobs at a high-risk bank vault and high-crime retail store. After college she worked as a personal educational advisor until she began at the Aveda Institute.
When asked why she chose to be a hair stylist she simply answers “it’s my passion.” In fact Laurie says it’s the craziest thing she has ever done “Many think that I am totally insane for choosing a career in the beauty industry because I have a college degree. However, I know that my degree defines only one aspect of my skills and talents. As a stylist, people get to experience me in the height of my passion, allowing me to be my best and brightest self.”
Like so many of us, Laurie’s hero is her mother. “I watched her as she conquered her fears, turned her life around, and faithfully followed her passion until her death. I want people to feel that zeal in me as well.” The people in the beauty industry who inspire Laurie are Horst M. Rechelbacher- the founder of the Aveda Corporation. “A lot of who I am as a stylist is because I agreed with his personal story and the mission he set forth for his company.” Vidal Sassoon because of his disciple while learning his craft in the midst of WWII; As well as Paul Mitchell because of the diversity of his branding and products. She names other celebrity stylist but also credits the women and men who taught her at the institute and many of her classmates as inspiring as well.
Laurie Smith plans to make her mark in the beauty industry. She aspires to build a fully diverse and satisfied salon clientele, to become the official stylist of pageants and contest across the county, work on projects for film and television productions, become a platform artist for some of her favorite brands; as well as, to become a cosmetology educator, own a cosmetology school, and have a full system of hair products that benefit all hair types and textures. Laurie hopes to be appreciated for the work she does in the beauty industry world-wide.