I recently caught up with Will Johnson over a cup of coffee and a walk in Cabbagetown. Will is a graduate of Atlanta School of Massage, (ASM) and Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics (a program of ASM). I wanted to hear his story about how he persisted in following his dream even though it took 5 years.
Will was enjoying life, bar-tending in clubs during his late 20’s and early 30’s until everything changed with an unexpected event. His father had a fall which resulted in a spinal cord injury which took away feeling in his lower extremities. It was that moment when Will realized that life is precious and things can change instantly, so make it count. Will wanted to comfort his father and asked what he could do. His father’s doctor suggested massage therapy and referred Will to ASM. Thats where and when his dream began, to help his father and people in general. It was time to pursue something more meaningful.
While in massage school he was encouraged to enroll in the skincare program because of his gifted Gentle Giant touch. His vision grew with the idea of having dual certification and the additional opportunities that come with those credentials. The plan was to graduate from the massage program and then begin the skincare program.
After a few months into school and caring for his dad, Will was challenged with keeping up and balancing all of the responsibilities he had at that time. With strong support and encouragement from his instructors he persevered. Will was also able to provide loving touch and comfort to his father through shoulder and cranial massage. Two days before graduation Will lost his father. He expressed that the next year was basically “a blur” and an extremely challenging time to ignite a new career.
In 2012 after an abundance of encouragement to attend the esthetics program at ASM Will enrolled and began his next journey into gaining additional certifications in skincare. Becoming an esthetician, typically a female role within the industry, Will was the only male student. Hey, some men just love women and enjoy helping them feel and look their best. Will has this passion. However facials are not only for women. More men are taking care of their health and skincare is part of that. Facials, masks and other skincare treatments for men are becoming one of the fastest growing trends of the industry. Will is passionate about organic skincare products with Dead Sea ingredients. He is astounded by their results of long-lasting soft skin. Will adds, “Even though beards are trending, men can benefit from a softer beard in addition to softer skin.” We think Will is a brave and bold pioneer for what is becoming a growing field: male estheticians. And why not, being a successful esthetician is not about gender but knowledge, integrity and sensitivity.
Will has passed all of the board tests and reviews and is awaiting his massage therapy license. He is pursuing Natural Body and Massage Envy day spas as soon as he has all final credentials. Go Will, we are so proud of you!