At Advance Beauty College we love our instructors and all of the great work they do inspiring our students. That’s why we’ve taken the time to feature one of our most unique and accomplished educators, Victoria Dorfman.
Victoria Dorfman has been a well-loved instructor at both Advance Beauty College’s Laguna Hills and Garden Grove campuses for many years, as the awards she has won show. Most recently she was nominated by a former student to win the prestigious Supercuts Ultimate Teacher Award.
However, Mrs. Victoria was not always a beauty instructor. In fact, she didn’t start working in the beauty industry until she was 52 years old. The story of how she came to Advance is inspiring and shows her hard work and determination throughout her life.
Journey to the Beauty Industry
Mrs. Victoria is from Ukraine, but it was part of the Soviet Union at the time when she lived there. She and her family came to the United States as political refugees more than 40 years ago because they had a very hard life in the Soviet Union.
Back in her home country, Mrs. Victoria was not a stylist; she was an engineer. She spent 10 years achieving two degrees, and she designed and built both commercial and residential buildings.
However, when she moved to America she had a tough time. She had no money and did not speak English, so she started cleaning houses to make ends meet. She was working 15-17 hours a day just to make a living. Soon she got into the restaurant industry.
“I was a dishwasher in a restaurant, and then a pizza maker in a pizzeria. I think there’s no shame in it whatsoever, because we have opportunities to improve ourselves here. I always say ‘God bless this country!’” she remarked.
Mrs. Victoria successfully worked in the restaurant business for many years and eventually owned an Italian restaurant, a pizza restaurant, and a Russian bakery. Even after that success, 22 years ago she decided she needed to do something more for herself and go back to her creative passions.
“I used to do a lot of interior and exterior design in my home country, and I used to teach design too. I thought, ‘How could I change my life a little bit and do something different?’”
She decided cosmetology would be a good fit for her, and she went to cosmetology school as a 52-year-old business owner with multiple degrees. She definitely proves you are never too old to become a cosmetologist! Not long after finishing school, she got her instructor license and started to teach cosmetology, which she has been doing ever since.
“I like it because it’s everything in my heart. If you have passion in your heart then you are in the right business.”
Her passion for cosmetology and teaching shows, and she has inspired many future cosmetologists over the years.
Winning the Ultimate Teacher Award
Even though she was the recipient at the Honor an Educator Awards event at Cal State University, Fullerton just last year, Mrs. Victoria was still shocked to hear she had won this award.
“I was so surprised!” she exclaimed.
She also enjoyed attending the awards event.
“People gave speeches and the environment was really nice. The people are just wonderful,” she said.
Mrs. Victoria is also proud of the student who nominated her. They still keep in touch, and the student tells Mrs. Victoria about what she has learned and how she is doing in her career as a stylist. One thing she loves about being an instructor is the relationships she has with her students.
Mrs. Victoria believes cosmetology is a very important business, and she loves waking up every morning and going to her job. She definitely lives the advice that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
“Every time I open this door it’s like a holiday for me,” she said. “We can make people feel good about themselves. Our profession is second after psychiatrists. People talk to us about things they might not talk to in the family, and when they leave us they leave with a lot of confidence.”
She is also thankful for her team at Advance, where she has worked since 2002.
“I always say I do my job with such support,” she explained. “One person cannot be successful without support. We have very strong teamwork here at Advance Beauty College.”
Mrs. Victoria passionately believes that in America, anyone who works hard can become successful. She has proven the advice she tells her students:
“It doesn’t matter who you are, if you work you can always make it.”
If you are interested in learning more about how you could change your life with cosmetology, please get in touch! Here at Advance Beauty College we are eager to give you a school tour or answer any questions you may have about cosmetology.