Story provided by Meridian Technology Center
Lakin Cole was able to polish her career plans at Meridian Technology Center.
Cole, a senior at Stillwater High School, was interested in Meridian’s Business Technology program because she had a passion for entrepreneurship, and she wanted a career she could grow into.
“I wanted to take the entrepreneurship courses so I could own my own business,” Cole said. “I love being able to set my own hours and create my own schedule. It’s a lifestyle choice for me.”
When creating her brand Opacity Cosmetics, Cole took inspiration from others and came up with a way to provide her customers with a unique experience.
Opacity Cosmetics sells press-on nails. Each set of nails comes with a kit that has adhesive, nail tools, cuticle oil and instructions. Cole looks for unique styles and stays on top of trends.
“I look for designs that I can’t find in a store,” Cole said, “and I noticed other brands didn’t include an application kit with their products. I wanted Opacity Cosmetics to be a little different.”
In her classes at Meridian, Cole has learned skills she uses while running her business, such as accounting and the importance of keeping track of business expenses. She has also had an opportunity to learn soft skills like the importance of a good first impression, how to shake a hand and the benefits of networking.
“Students have to learn the business side of running a company first,” said Melody Johnston, Business Technology Instructor. “Then they can focus on any technical skills they may need. The financial side of the business is the most important to achieve success.”
Business Technology students learn the practical skills to empower them to run their own business and be successful in any industry.
“Having her own business has motivated Lakin to learn new marketing skills,” Johnston said. “She has also had to step out of her comfort zone for her business to grow.”
Cole plans to continue running her business when she graduates this year. After graduation, she plans to attend Oklahoma State University and may pursue marketing to further her business education.
“Nails are the perfect accessory and they help you look your best and feel your best,” Cole said, “but I want to expand into other sorts of cosmetics like makeup and even fashion eventually.”
Cole encourages others who may be considering whether to start a business to make sure they have a vision and then just start.
“It’s like going to the gym, you just kind of have to dive in,” Cole said. “Make the mistakes now and learn from them. It’s not going to be a steady path forward, you just have to start.”
Meridian Technology Center has been a driver of economic development since 1975. With a mission to educate, enrich lives and secure economic futures, Meridian offers full-time career training programs, short courses, Workforce and Economic Development services and entrepreneurial support to residents from the Agra, Carney, Glencoe, Guthrie, Morrison, Mulhall-Orlando, Pawnee, Perkins-Tryon, Perry and Stillwater school districts. Meridian is one of 29 schools within Oklahoma’s CareerTech system.
For more information or to enroll visit www.meridiantech.edu or contact a career counselor by phone at (405) 377-3333 or toll-free at (888) 607-2509.