The founder of Ex-Imports Niche Products talks about educating the educators
What does it mean to you to be an educator?
The feeling you get when you teach somebody a skill that helps them further their career and business to a positive new direction is so rewarding on many levels. The responsibility you have is a great privilege as these learners and students are trusting you that they’re getting the skills they need to deliver the required qualification at the highest level and that their reputations will be held in the highest regard in their chosen profession. To be a great educator you need to be passionate about helping people, you need to be a great communicator to all different types of learners and personalities and you need to have a lot of patience. If I think about some of my teachers over the years, the best ones were the ones that had a caring nature and a real passion to ensure I was retaining the knowledge and that I knew how to use it in various contexts and scenarios to reach my goals. It means so many things being an educator, but essentially it is guiding people in a way that ensures they reach their destination with all the tools they’ll need for success.
Outline the highlights of your education program for the year 2020?
Elleebana we specialise in Lash & Brow education and our network extends now to 60 countries around the globe. My schedule for 2020 is a lot of international touring through various countries in Europe, starting in Amsterdam for the Lash World Cup in February. I’ll conduct masterclasses and then onto Spain, then South Africa training salons but also our trainers with our educator symposium sessions. Our symposiums are tailored for the educator, focusing on refining our delivery and giving our educators all the tools and inspiration they need to ensure they deliver amazing classes and have outstanding graduates. Our tour will come back to Australia for a month and then we’ll head to Greece for a very special (can’t say at this point) event and symposium. All year we have weekly classes around Australia with our amazing distributors and in October we have our annual USA symposium. So the year is well and truly filling up fast! We are so lucky to get the opportunities we do but we have worked very hard to build this over the years.
What is the biggest challenge when it comes to education?
“I don’t think there’s ever one biggest challenge as this varies depending on the situation, for example it might be a student that is not really wanting to be there in your class or it might relate to educators having different opinions on what the correct criteria is for learners, the list could go on here. I guess the biggest challenge for me would be always improving on myself as an educator, what systems can I look at to improve myself and therefore give my students and learners a better outcome.”
How do you as an educator keep ahead of the game and keep up with the latest trends?
The world of beauty is moving so fast these days and to be ahead of the game is always a challenge. You really have to be looking in many different places, keeping an eye on the latest trends and fashion trends on the Internet but also going to exhibitions and seeing the latest products being produced or educational techniques. I’ve been loving my pod casts lately and just flicking through whatever is coming out and listening to it to get inspiration can really help me come up with my own ideas. Networking with other like minded people and key industry players is really beneficial as you need to have a wide reach of contacts so you’ve got a good base to get knowledge from and then you can adapt this into your program.
How important is it for members of the beauty industry to stay updated and further their education?
If I take the eyelash industry as an example, 10 years ago the techniques that we were using then and the products we were using then were nowhere near as advanced as what we have these days, the adhesives have different ingredients now, there are more chemical modifiers that you can use to get better results, advanced application methods that save you time and money and the list goes on. If I had not taken any training since then, I would be well behind in my knowledge and at a huge disadvantage, so really it’s a no brainer and I think most people are aware of how fast paced the world is moving now, there’s literally something new happening somewhere every single day.
Training and experience
I’ve been extremely fortunate in my career
to be able to travel the world and see what is happening with different cultures and markets in other countries. Time and time again you will see other countries doing things that we haven’t seen yet and vice versa, sometimes Australia is quite ahead of the game in the beauty industry when it comes to education and standards, so travelling has been a huge advantage for me in many ways to get inspired.
Training the trainers
This takes a lot of planning and research, I compile the information from our research that is going to be viable and of most value to our trainers because nobody wants to waste their time coming to a session and pretty much just go through the motions, they really want to learn things that are going to be of great benefit to them and that they can go out and utilise straight away. We do a lot of product training so the production of innovative new products is always important however we also work on a lot of professional development, assessment and training strategies and sales and marketing strategies and how you can implement these strategic innovations into your education sessions but importantly their students businesses. We do our symposiums annually around the globe for our trainers but we also do a lot of online conferencing so that we can always be in touch and review how our training methods are being implemented and also the feedback that we’re getting from our students and learners along way.
Over the last few years I have been a judge at many eyelash extensions competitions around the world so I’m very lucky to see a lot of up- and-coming talent in the eyelash industry, this gives me a great advantage to assess all the new up-and-coming therapists that have real talent. You know talented lash artists when you see their work and dedication.
Otto Mitter is the founder of Ex-Imports Niche Pty Ltd. www.eximport.com.au
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