Napier in front of her own store.

What started out as a little girl getting her hair braided by her aunt turned into the inspiration to pursue the career of her dreams.

Nicole Napier, 33, of Flat Gap, opened Glitz and Glam Hair Salon in May. Specializing in hair color, haircuts (mens, womens and children) and styling, Napier loves to help her clients look their best.

Its my passion, said Napier. Her salon is located in downtown Paintsville. I love having the opportunity to make people feel beautiful about themselves.

Napier is a spring 2012 graduate of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) where she earned an Associate of Applied Science in General Occupational/Technical Studies along with a certificate of Cosmetology.

Having a family to care for at home, the colleges flexible schedule allowed Napier to adequately juggle her studies and family obligations. She said the colleges personal approach made all the difference.

The one-on-one time made it possible for me to be where I am today. said Napier.

Vanessa McKenzie, professor of Cosmetology, not only taught her the tricks of the trade, but she also took time to individually help Napier better understand studying techniques and testing skills.

Its not about me, its about Nicoles dream and how she chased it, said McKenzie. I am very proud of her, and I have no doubt she will be successful.

After graduating from BSCTC, Napier worked at a salon in Louisa for more than a year.

That experience encouraged her to open her own business.

Owning my own salon is a dream come true, said Napier. It doesnt seem real. Im still in shock.

Napier said cosmetology school was challenging.

Cosmetology is more than just hair and nails, she said. Its a study of the anatomy of the human body. It was hard work, but it has all paid off.