Having one’s parent and grandparent engaged in a particular profession may lead to them and others believing that one child will follow in their footsteps. You may even feel somewhat pressured into heading towards that direction without anyone actually saying that is what is expected of you. Some people will run for the hills or just about anywhere leading away from the family tradition. But when something is in your blood, you end up back where you belong.
Not that anyone ever forced Felicia Dos Santos to become a hairstylist like her mother and grandmother were, but when she was finishing secondary school she thought that was the expectation. Dos Santos, however, wanted to fly and set out to become a flight attendant. Then she realised that was not what she wanted and so Dos Santos found herself doing a couple “eight to four” jobs none of which fulfilled her or gave her much joy.
So Dos Santos decided to do a hairstyling and cosmetology course being facilitated by the Government and actually being taught by her mother, Patricia Dos Santos. The young lady excelled and discovered that hair styling and beauty brought her a joy that none of the other jobs she had done before did. There was just something about bringing out the best in a client that was fulfilling.
“What I realised was that I was born for this and that I enjoyed doing it. I opened my hair saloon about eight years ago at Gilder Street in Couva and have since built a good clientele. There are challenges, but I work hard and overcome them. At first I thought setting up shop in Couva would be easy, but I soon found out that people believe that you get better service in Port of Spain and the North so they won’t readily support us here,” Dos Santos said.
The 28-year-old mother of two has done well for herself though as her reputation for providing great service soon got around and today she is a hairstylist for TRESemme hair care products, does the hair of models doing promotional photo shoots for Wonderful World and other companies. Dos Santos provides a full range of services including styling and cutting at her salon.
Dos Santos is also an accomplished model having entered that arena in 2007. She was always interested in modelling, but believed that she was too short to make the cut. Then one morning Dos Santos was heading to a cosmetics store in San Fernando and saw a friend who she knew was into modelling. The friend was on her way to Port of Spain for the auditions of the Synergy TV Super Model Competition. Dos Santos’ friend and the young man who was with her convinced her to go with them to the auditions, telling her that her height did not matter.
“So I went and bought a white T-shirt, which was the requirement and went to the auditions. There were some 800 people there and I was among the 20 selected to move on into the competition. I made it to the finals and by then I was getting offers to do various modelling jobs,” Dos Santos said.
In 2012 the entrepreneur in Dos Santos moved her to start her own agency and she established FDS Model Management. Through FDS Dos Santos provides models for couture ramp modelling, to serve as product ambassadors, for parties and corporate events. Dos Santos is not done yet and she is just keeping her eyes open for the next move forward and upward.
Who knows just where Dos Santos will head to next, because as far as she is concerned not even the sky’s the limit.