CCC Cosmetology & Barbering Students Place at the 77th Bronner Bros. Beauty Competition

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BY JASALYN K. LUCAS | MAR 4, 2024

Students from Coahoma Community College’s Cosmetology and Barbering programs achieved first, second, and third place at the prestigious Beauty Cast Network Student Fantasy Compeition at the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show held in Atlanta, Georgia, from February 24 to February 26.

Bronner Bros. is renowned for its diverse range of beauty products and for organizing the world’s largest multi-cultural beauty show. They empower individuals from diverse backgrounds to become trailblazers and pioneers in the beauty industry by offering cutting-edge beauty show experiences.

This year, students enrolled in barber and cosmetology programs participated in a Fantasy competition themed around “Wakanda.”

Abriyah Dawkins, a Cosmetology Major from Gunnison, MS, competed in the Student Fantasy Competition and claimed first place with her hair theme inspired by “Wakanda Fantasy.” She reflects on her emotions upon winning.

“After winning, I felt really happy and relieved since it was my first time competing. Winning first place on my first try made me proud,” Dawkins shared. “I knew I could do it because I was determined. When I set my mind to something, I make sure to get it done.”

During the competition, Dawkins focused on hair while Kiara Harris concentrated on makeup, both working simultaneously on the main stage to complete their total look according to the competition theme. 

Dawkins mentioned that their cosmetology instructor, Nancy Howard, played a valuable role in preparing the class and fostering teamwork. Howard’s inspiration pictures sparked ideas, and Dawkins took it from there, bringing those ideas to life.

She also offers encouragement to future cosmetology students who will be attending CCC.

“I encourage anyone interested in pursuing a career in Cosmetology to consider Coahoma Community College. You’ll gain valuable experiences, and even while in school, you’ll encounter numerous opportunities,” Dawkins recommended.

Vickordesicea Gomilla, a Freshman Cosmetology Major from Shelby, MS, also participated in the competition, securing third place with her “Wakanda Fantasy” nail-themed inspiration. She shares her feelings about winning. 

“After winning, I felt a sense of relief knowing that I achieved my goal of competing in this competition, especially since it was my first one,” Gomilla expressed. “Coming in third place was a joyous moment, especially when competing against such talented rivals.”

 Gomilla explains that despite being prepared for the competition, she had difficulty organizing her thoughts on the designs she wanted to use until the last minute. After much consideration, she gave it her all to achieve the final result.

She also discusses the significance this achievement will have for the future of the nail technician industry.

“This will pave the way for future nail technicians to access more opportunities and gain recognition in an expanding industry,” Gomilla commented.

CCC’s Cosmetology instructor, Nancy Howard, also expressed how tideuous the preparation process was for them.

“Our work isn’t just about dressing up models; it’s an intricate process. We dedicate hundreds of hours to planning for competitions, ensuring each look is uniquely crafted. Rather than simply replicating Wakandan characters, we aimed to embody the essence of Wakanda,” said Howard. “We extensively researched hairstyles from the Mbe ethnic group and symbols from the Nsibidi script and Ekoi/Ejagham culture of Nigeria.”

Around 95% of the model’s look was handmade, including a skirt crafted from leather remnants and a Black Panther shield. The students handcrafted jewelry, shoes, and headpieces in classes and tree limbs near campus were used and polished by the Carpentry Department. Janae Eckles, a Cosmetology student, used a wood burner to engrave studied symbols on all three wood pieces, while blades made from hair were assembled onto each piece to create a sphere.

Students competed against leading Cosmetology & Barbering schools in the industry. They didn’t just participate in shows; they also attended continuing education classes to learn new techniques, enhance product knowledge, acquire technique certifications, and network with top stylists worldwide.

Roderick Baldridge, a Sophomore Barbering Major from Benoit, MS, joined the competition and clinched second place with his “Wakanda Themed” haircut inspiration. He shares his excitement about winning.

“Securing second place was quite a surprise for me. It didn’t sink in until I went live and received congratulations from my friends, family, and clients. It was truly a memorable moment,” Baldridge expressed.

During the preparation for his competition idea, Baldridge revealed that the creative process was intense. His initial concept had to be discarded because it didn’t align with the “Wakanda Forever” theme. However, together with his fellow classmates and instructor, they managed to put together an impressive 20-minute costume design just before the show. The freestyle cut he executed was a familiar technique, but this time they perfected it.

Baldridge also expresses how this process helps him appreciate CCC’s Barbering Program.

CCC’s Cosmetology & Barbering Instructors expressed their gratitude for their students’ accomplishments. They find it overwhelming to witness the hard work and dedication of their students come to life in a way that people from all over the world can witness and admire.

Winning participants were awarded trophies, branded gift packages, and a variety of prizes as the competition wrapped up.

Bronner Brothers encourages students to attend, providing opportunities to learn, explore the show floor, unleash creativity, connect with industry icons, and shop.

In 1947, Dr. Nathaniel H. Bronner, Sr. and his brother, Arthur E. Bronner, Sr. (the original Bronner Brothers), along with their sister, Emma Bronner, began teaching cosmetologists at the Butler Street YMCA in Atlanta, Georgia.

This initiative led to the inception of the first Bronner Bros. Trade Show, which initially attracted around 300 attendees. Mr. Bronner tirelessly sought out positive and motivating individuals nationwide to participate in the show. Over the years, attendance has soared from the original 300 to over 30,000.

The goal of the Bronner Bros. beauty show is to inspire, educate, and elevate cosmetology professionals, students, and the multicultural beauty industry.

Abriyah Dawkins, a Cosmetology Major from Gunnison, MS, competed in the
Student Fantasy Competition and claimed first place with her hair theme
inspired by “Wakanda Fantasy.
Vickordesicea Gomilla, a Freshman Cosmetology Major from Shelby, MS,
also participated in the competition, securing third place with her “Wakanda
Fantasy” nail-themed inspiration.
Roderick Baldridge, a Sophomore Barbering Major from Benoit, MS, joined
the competition and clinched second place with his “Wakanda Themed”
haircut inspiration.

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Coahoma Community College

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