The founder of the Flavia Leal Beauty School, Flavia Leal, arrived in the United States at the age of 19, overshadowed by a troubling childhood and young adult life in Brazil, and like many immigrants came to find a better life for herself and her family.
After relocating to the U.S. the floodgates opened many more challenges for Leal and her family. The single mother, whose daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, was working over 80 hours a week, living in below-standard housing conditions, attending college and seeing the health of both of her parents deteriorating.
Leal lost her father in 2008, followed by her mother, to an almost year-long fight with pancreatic cancer, in 2009. Needless to say, Leal was shaken.
“Since I was a little girl, I loved school so much and studied. My mother had a dream that I would one day wear a graduation cap and walk across the stage with my mother in attendance,” recalled Leal. “My mother, my best friend, died in my arms 11 months to the day that we found out about her diagnosis of cancer. I was so depressed that I didn’t go to my graduation. It was a difficult week, but I dusted myself off and began to reinvent myself.”
However, Leal was ever-so determined to reinvent herself and rise above all the challenges and turmoil she had endured throughout her young life. In 2010, she opened her first beauty school, followed by purchasing her second school from a previous owner who had run it for more than 52 years, in 2013. Over that span, she also idealized her name-brand makeup line, secured skills in both digital marketing and social media initiatives, and became a prominent figure in the industry, per demonstrations, both domestically and internationally.
“Everything is possible. It depends on what you want and believe in, despite where you come from or who you are,” Leal said. “I like to help people. No one can tell anyone that they are not good enough. I opened my school to help all students, regardless of where they come from.”
The rising success that is Flavia Leal Beauty School has made it a mission to open its doors to people of all ethnicities, backgrounds and walks of life, just so long as they are determined to make better lives for themselves and chase success. Its curriculum expands far beyond traditional beauty teachings, offering students the ability to shift their mindsets, both professionally and personally, too.
“When I took my leave to work as a beautician, I found that many Brazilians had the same desire, but that they were not well-received or even rejected in American beauty schools because these educational institutions required documents that the state didn’t request or because of language barriers,” said Leal. “With the intention of helping these people and giving the opportunity for so many Brazilians to have a real profession in the United States, I decided to open my first school.”
The Journey So Far
Leal takes great pride in her Brazilian heritage and has been recognized countless times, across many different countries, for her contributions to both immigrants bound for the U.S. and her skills in the beauty world.
She is not only a motivational speaker, influencer and lecturer, but also a licensed manicurist with certifications in esthetics, artificial nails, airbrush, eyebrow design, personal hygiene and cosmetics products demonstrator, while also serving as a teacher in esthetics and makeup. She has garnered so much notoriety in the industry that she has earned numerous awards in countries like Austria, France and Brazil, among others.
In fact, Leal will soon add a second Portuguese Brazilian Award to her trophy case, courtesy of her contributions and successes in her industry, but also for serving as a guiding light for the Brazilian people in other regions of the world. She is making a difference and, with four schools, a makeup line, and a laundry list of skills at her disposal, she’s just getting started.
Considering all she has done and continues to do, while being widely recognized across a global scale, it’s safe to say that Leal is making a difference and bound for more victories in the future.
About Flavia Leal
Flavia Leal, Founder of the Flavia Leal Beauty School, is an award-winning instructor, serial entrepreneur and motivational speaker. For more information, please visit: https://www.flavialeal.com/