Many parents teach their teenagers how to drive, but Jennifer Painter was taught how to do nails. Her father, Robert Painter, was the owner of Central Texas Beauty College for more than 35 years.

“The beauty business tends to run in families,” said Jennifer, who used the money from working as a nail technician to pay her way through law school.

When Robert died in 2021, Jennifer took over the college, determined to uphold CTBC's legacy of providing students with an affordable beauty education.

The overview

CTBC is a vocational school that has offered cosmetology and manicuring license coursework to Round Rock and Temple for 40 years.

In Round Rock, the 11,000-square-foot campus can accommodate up to 120 students with professional hair and nail salon equipment.

Students nearing the end of their coursework can serve customers in the local community at discounted rates under the supervision of their instructors.

Diving deeper

Jennifer said the school ensures no students graduate with debt.

“It can be hard to build a clientele in the six-month grace period before student loan payments start hitting,” Jennifer said. “The last thing I want is for them to give up on their career.”

Cosmetology student Chelsea Oliveres said besides affordability, she chose the school for its family-owned ethos.

“You genuinely get the feeling that they care for you and your success,” Oliveres said. “I knew I wasn't going into a big name-brand school where I was just another passing test grade to raise their statistics.”

Most students get through the courses in seven months, Jennifer said, and the school has a passing rate on the state licensing exams of nearly 100%.

Jennifer also said students are trained to cut and style a variety of hair textures to serve a more diverse range of clientele.

The impact

CTBC has worked with the Baptist Children's Home across the street from its Round Rock campus to provide free haircuts and manicures to children and their mothers.

“I didn't realize until I was 40 working in corporate law that there has never been a more rewarding job in my life than doing nails,” Jennifer said. “Every day, you're making people feel beautiful, and you take that feeling home with you.”

Quote of note

“Mr. Painter and Jennifer are my family. ... I've worked a lot of places, but this is my home,” said Linda Alcocer, a cosmetology instructor who has been with the college for over 15 years.

What’s next?

In the future, Jennifer said she hopes to broaden the curriculum to include barber and aesthetician certification programs.

Central Texas Beauty College