"I was actually having lunch with my dad one day, and he said, 'What do you want to do with your life?' I said, 'I just feel like everything I can do at Southern or what I can do at a regular college just isn't making me happy.' He said, 'What makes you happy? What do you like to do?' I said, 'I like to do makeup, but I can't do that,' and he said, 'Why not?'"
Thaw soon enrolled at the Mississippi Institute of Aesthetics, Nails & Cosmetology in Clinton, where she graduated in May 2016, and learned that being an esthetician is much more than makeup. However, she fell in love with the other facets of the field, as well.
"I think a lot of times people don't realize what an esthetician is or what we do," she says. "People think, 'Oh, you're an esthetician, you do makeup.' They just think facials and makeup. They don't realize there's several different steps. We have to look at your skin, we have to know what skin type you have, if you have certain allergies—we have to know a lot of stuff and really customize a facial for every different client."
One of the more popular services that Bella Skin Studio offers is brow waxing, which Thaw learned that she is particularly skilled at.
"We had just started doing waxing (at school), and two weeks into it, my teacher came up and was like, 'Do (my brows), Chelsea,'" she says. "I was like 'Nuh-uh, I'm not gonna mess yours up!'
"Later she told me, 'You're the only one in this class I trust to do it.'"
Other popular services depend on the season, she says. Waxing is popular during the summer, and in the winter, chemical peels and facials are more popular.
Despite the challenges, Thaw enjoys the one-on -one relationship the business gives her with her customers.
"I really like when you get somebody that's suffering from a lot of acne and having confidence issues, and we're able to make a difference in their skin," she says.
"Even if we just start them on a new skin-care routine and they text me like, 'Oh, my face looks so much better,' that's such a satisfying feeling," Thaw adds.
For more information or to make an appointment, visit bellaskinms.wixsite.com or find Bella Skin Studio on Facebook.