Lina Shamoun – Owner & Head Stylist, Artline Salon
Lina Shamoun is an award-winning hairstylist, entrepreneur, mentor and community leader. She is also a very proud alumnus of Skills Canada – Ontario (SCO), earning three consecutive Gold Medals in the Hairstyling contest at the Ontario Technological Skills Competition (OTSC). Lina also represented Ontario at the National Skills Competition, earning a Gold medal in 2003 and a Bronze in 2004. (Click here for a complete list of all her accomplishments.)
Her pathway to success started almost unknowingly. Four years after she had immigrated to Canada she was sitting in her Cosmetology class at St. Mary’s High School in Kitchener when her teacher asked the class who would like to compete at upcoming the OTSC. Lina immediately raised her hand.
At the time she was still learning the English language and wasn’t really sure what the word “compete” meant, or what the OTSC was. However, after it was explained to her she was ready and willing for the challenge.
That moment was the spark for Lina that ignited an extreme passion for the fascinating world of competitive hairstyling and a very successful career.
Lina is now the owner of Artline Salon, a business she started in 2007. She has 6 full-time employees and is currently training her third apprentice. Her business has had considerable growth over the past four years to the point that she will now be moving to a larger facility.
We sat down with Lina to ask her a few questions about her career.
SCO: How did your experience with Skills Canada - Ontario help you in making your career choice?
LS: My first opportunity to compete at the OTSC was what made me really want to pursue a career in hairstyling. The experience gave me the drive and ambition to take my career to the next level and be the best in my field. That is why I continue to compete internationally as well as train the new talent at Artline and help them grow, compete and achieve significant results.
SCO: What continues to motivate you?
LS: Being able to train young individuals and anyone willing to grow. I was given so much support early in my career and I feel it’s important to give back. I want to be able to help others realize their dreams, just as I have been able to.
SCO: What about your career makes you happy?
LS: I love what I do and am excited to come to work every day and work with a great team. I also like that I am still able to challenge myself and learn new skills by competing in contests around the world and attending international conferences, seminars and shows.
SCO: How do you define success?
LS: There is a quote that I once read that says, “Preparation meeting opportunity equals success.” That is how I approach all areas of my life.
SCO: What are your future goals?
LS: I would like to establish a Hairstyling Academy. There is a very high dropout rate in our industry. I believe that if young stylists are better prepared for the challenges we can ensure that they go on to have very successful careers.
SCO: What three pieces of advice would you give to students considering a career in the skilled trades?
LS: First would be to learn as much as you can about the trade. The programs offered by SCO are a great start. Secondly, find a mentor. It is important to have someone who you can train you. Finally, see what opportunities are out there. Job shadow someone first so you know that the career choice is the right fit for you. Network with people in the industry so you educate yourself on what future career opportunities may be available.