Year I obtained my license:

1975

I chose beauty because: “I started riding/working with horses when I was 10 years old. By the time I was 15, I was working as a professional groomer on Arabian horses and traveling all over the western U.S. Horse grooming fads for upper-level shows came and went, but it quickly became obvious to me that I loved following them. It wasn’t long before that love took me down the hair color aisle at my local drugstore. By the time I was finished I could bleach and tone a horse’s mane—no problem. Other trainers started asking me for color advice.

“My own personal grooming become another driving force that moved me toward beauty school. When I was 12, I started sneaking into a barber stylist that charged 10 times what the local barber shop charged. I loved it! My mother did not figure out where I got my hair cut until I was 16 years old and someone called our house to reschedule an appointment. She thought I was crazy for spending so much money ‘just for a hair cut.’ For me it was the start of something much bigger.

“At the time I was stressing about college it came to me that I could be as compulsive about other peoples’ hair as I was about my own. I knew my first day of beauty school that I was home—that was in 1975! I was so lucky to find the love of my life so early. I’ve really never looked back. I still love my days with guests as much now as I did 30 years ago.”

Choose Beauty: Gary Howse
Gary Howse, Co-founder/owner of Gary Manuel salon and Phase 3 training salon in Seattle (garymanuel.com) and Gary Manuel Aveda Institute.