New River CTC cosmetology grad opens salon

[LEWISBURG, W.Va.]  “I’ve always liked doing hair,” Ashley Nichols explained. “Since I was 12, I wanted to own a salon.”

Nichols childhood dream came true in May when she opened Studio A at 765 Jefferson Street South in Lewisburg.

“I started school in a medical program, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” she said. “So, I began looking at beauty schools and found New River Community and Technical College’s program. It was close to home and studying cosmetology was something that I had always been interested in.”

Nichols completed her degree in cosmetology in 2015 and worked at Alison and Company before opening Studio A this year.

“This isn’t a 9 to 5 job, there are long hours and you have to be a people person, but this is where my heart was. I get to meet different people each day and make them feel beautiful.”

Even though Nichols has been out of school for a while, she still keeps in contact with her cosmetology instructors from New River CTC.

“We talk often,” she said. “They are great at what they do – they’re wonderful educators and have wonderful personalities. They helped to prepare me for my dream job.”

New River CTC’s Certificate of Applied Science in Cosmetology is a focused, career-oriented program in the field of salon management and cosmetology. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for careers in the field and exceeds the 1800 clock hours required by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Barbers and Licensing or certification of Cosmetologists Board.

Applications for the cosmetology program along with esthetics, nail care technician and massage therapy programs at New River CTC’s Greenbrier Valley Campus are being accepted until July 30, or the classes are filled.

“These certificate programs are cost-effective and time-effective, to enable students to be ready for work sooner,” explained Instructional Specialist for Cosmetology Lisa Carter. “But spaces are limited for these programs.”

The nail care technician program can be completed in one semester, the esthetics and massage therapy programs can be completed in two semesters and the cosmetology program is a four semester program that can be completed in as little as 16 months.

For more information about these programs, visit or contact Carter at 304-793-3005. For information about admission to the college and other programs, call 1-866-349-3739 or email

New River Community and Technical College serves nine counties in southeastern West Virginia from the Greenbrier Valley Campus (Lewisburg), Mercer County Campus (Princeton), Nicholas County Campus (Summersville) and Raleigh County Campus (Beaver/Beckley).

Photo: Ashley Nichols at Studio A.