Carrying on the Family Torch

by Kelly Taggart

Out of loss comes inspiration for this future salon professional. How the support of family and the industry is sparking a promising career.

Known in the Southern California area for their precision shear sharpening skills, Nick Cutter and his daughter Nicki were the first father /daughter sharpening team in America. They enjoyed working together in the mobile aspect of their family-owned business where Nicki, the first female Master Sharpener in the nation, was quickly growing her own territory. When not in the field Nick, a seasoned industry veteran and a Grand Master Sharpener, worked the home office along with his wife Ramona, a licensed Cosmetologist, where he serviced mail-in orders.

For five years Nick was also president of the National Shear Sharpeners Guild (NSSG), a respected and longest running association for educating and board certifying sharpeners of professional haircutting scissors. During much of that time Nicki proudly assisted along side her father for meetings and events, and was heavily involved in the education process. The father / daughter duo seemed to find the perfect balance between family and business, and flourished in a field they loved so dearly.

On a fateful day in August of 2012 37-year-old Nicki found herself in the hospital facing a deadly diagnosis of advanced cancer. She didn’t even have time to get her affairs in order before she lost her battle in a matter of a month. Sadly Nicki left behind her parents, a new husband, two teenage daughters, and a very loyal, stunned and heartbroken clientele.

Fast-forward to 2015 and a bustling salon environment is the backdrop for a class of future salon professionals ready to make their mark on the industry. In the mix at Paul Mitchell The School San Diego is Kyla Rose, an eager young blonde with a recognizable spark. 

Proud to be Nicki’s daughter and Nick and Ramona’s granddaughter, Kyla enrolled in the school and devoted her time and energy to her education. She even won a partial Paul Mitchell scholarship with an essay she wrote about her mom. Having just graduated, Kyla is looking forward to carrying on the family tradition in her own signature way.

Described as a joyful ray of light much like her mom, this extroverted social butterfly considers herself to be a new age alchemist, as she sees it as her calling to help make others feel confident.

“Building an artistic, healthy presence and unique impression is important to me. By focusing on a person’s inner essence, I am able to bring out into the open who they truly are,” said the rising star.

Kyla specifically loves the cutting aspect of her craft and is excited to see men paying more attention to appearance and grooming.  She is also drawn to makeup and sees it as a way of creating an artistic expression on a human canvas.

In addition to the required hours at the academy, Kyla participated in many outside activities during her time in beauty school. She modeled for NAHA, did makeup for a designer fashion show in Los Angeles, and did hair and makeup on her own models for a BEACON photo shoot.

When asked about how her family influenced her decision to enter the beauty industry, Kyla said, “Mom influenced me by pushing, guiding, and loving me and I learned by seeing her be successful in this business. She had a big personality and I loved seeing how happy and uplifted people were after she came around.”

She continued, “I grew up around the beauty industry so I watched Grandpa and Gramona (Grandma Ramona), who is also a wonderful mentor, work hard at the family business. They are both independent and successful, and support our whole family through their hard work.” 

Kyla is ready to roll up her sleeves and dive into her future headfirst. She clearly wants to make a difference in the world and the industry she grew up in, and above it all, to make her family proud. “The universe is on my side,” Kyla said, continuing, “and so is my family!”