When You Do What You Love, It's Not Work

The employment rate for estheticians is expected to increase by 38%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. A rewarding career in skincare sounded like the ideal occupation for Shanaz Khan Tahir, an instructor at Avalon School of Cosmetology in Mesa, Arizona.

A former cosmetologist whose background included owning her own full-service salon, Shanaz is not a stranger to hard work. Her credits include working a restaurant, helping friends with their businesses, and helping her husband run his medical supplies business.

Ten years ago, in her 50’s, skincare became a priority for Shanaz, and she knew deep down inside that she was meant to teach the art to young, driven students. Those who also have a love of skin, and everything about it.

Shanaz stepped into her teaching position six years ago and found the love of her life.

Success to her has always been a top priority, and she does not take lightly the responsibility of giving each student the attention they need to build safe techniques.

“I tell the kids. Open your book. Get to know your ingredients. Never top learning.”

I laughed as I asked her about her hobbies, and she replies, “Teaching. Preparing students for their industry licensing. It is not just a job, it is my passion. I don’t want to do anything else. I don’t see myself doing anything else. For the rest of my life.”

Spending her days teaching 20-25 students, ages from teenagers to mature ages, Shanaz reflects to the days she stood behind a barber chair with fashionable and functional Icon Shears in hand and worked her magic on heads of hair. Skin care was a natural transition for this beauty queen.

When students finish with their schooling, they are well equipped to run their own business, and to thrive in their profession and achieve their dreams.

I try to tactfully veer the topic off skincare for a minute to find out more about the woman behind the teaching. It always gets back to her teaching, and I realize, that skincare and teaching ARE who Shanaz is. To the core.

Ten short years ago, a beautiful middle-age lady snipped away her days. Today she smiles as she watches young and old alike get excited about the health of their skin. And then she knows she’s done her job.

And to Shanaz, that makes it all worth it.



Sandy Griffin
Sandy Griffin


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