First earning a degree in cosmetology from Black Hills Beauty College in 1986, Wendy L. Lesselyoung-Beaumont excelled as a professional hair stylist and cosmetic artist and as the owner of multiple salons for 35 years before returning to her alma mater to teach for four years. During her tenure as an educator, she was responsible for designing the school’s aesthetics and nail technology programs, which she also taught. Disappointed by the quality of education and equipment offered by the school, Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont set out to reinvent Black Hills Beauty College and bring it back in line with the dream of founder Pat Miller to provide students with a top-tier cosmetic education that he’d had when he established the school more than 50 years ago.
Purchasing Black Hills Beauty College, Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont transformed the college by re-establishing it as a franchise of The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA) in Rapid City, South Dakota. Today, she leverages her expertise in cosmetology education as the president and director of operations for the academy. Her duties include overseeing and managing education, financial aid and admissions as well as supervising the instructors and developing curriculum for the academy’s various programs. She is also involved in the greater TSPA national franchise and conducts weekly meetings. Her ultimate goal is to give back to her community through providing an education to those interested in a career in cosmetology as well as creating a good workplace atmosphere for her staff.
In 2021, Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont was proud to be able to bring The Salon Professional Academy in Rapid City to a brand new, state of the art, 12,500 square-foot facility, which was constructed specifically for the school. With most salons opting to build much smaller complexes, the hope is that this new building will allow them to increase their admission rate from 40 students to 150. With the academy already affiliated with Redken, Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont’s next plan is to open a second school that will provide L’Oréal professional cosmetology education. Above everything, she notes that her favorite part of her career is being able to watch her students grow and succeed and find their niche in the field.
Additionally, Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont recalls a particular moment that reminded her of the importance of how physical touch plays a role in her work as a stylist. She was working on a woman’s hair when suddenly the woman became teary-eyed and explained that this was the first time she had been touched in any way since her husband had passed over a year prior. That interaction brought a new light and understanding to the impact that cosmetologists can have on peoples lives, since they are in one of the few industries outside of the medical field that are licensed to touch people. Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont always feels an immense amount of pride and fulfillment to be part of a profession that has such a unique capacity to make a mark on someone’s life, be that to bolster self-confidence or make a special event memorable.
Attributing much of her success to her determination to provide a good education to her students, Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont is also incredibly grateful to her mentor, Pat Miller, the aforementioned founder of Black Hills Beauty College. Furthermore, she has made a name for herself through her passion for giving back to the community where she found herself as a professional. Alongside her primary responsibilities, she has served as a field representative and is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools and Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. Locally, Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont has been active with Elevate Rapid City, the Front Porch Coalition, and has contributed to local food banks and nursing homes as well as providing a range of free salon services through The Salon Professional Academy.
For her excellence, Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont has received several awards from the national TSPA franchise, including the Diamond Academy Award, which is their highest award. Outside of her career, she notes that her greatest achievement is having raised five wonderful children, three daughters and two sons. She feels grateful to be in a field that allowed to be actively involved in her children’s lives as they were growing up. Additionally, she is incredibly proud that all three of her daughters chose to become licensed aestheticians. To young and aspiring professionals, Ms. Lesselyoung-Beaumont would advise that cosmetology is a field that requires hard work and dedication.