Seth Willis, Class of 2009 The Ohio Academy, Columbus a Paul Mitchell Partner School

Columbus, Ohio (PressExposure) December 12, 2009 -- Always an overachiever, Seth Willis graduated from high school at age 15 and started a business with his dad at age 21. Suddenly, he changed direction, living the next three years in what he describes as a selfish, destructive lifestyle. “I overdosed twice on drugs and was on a path that was sure to end my life,” Seth says.

At age 24, looking for a fresh start and a positive environment, Seth moved to Ohio. “My wife was having a hard time staying away from our previous lifestyle and I had to give her the ultimatum of starting a life with me or parting our ways,” he recalls. “The next morning, her things were packed and she had left. I didn’t know where she was for three months until I got a certified letter stating that she was filing for divorce. It was the lowest point in my life. Three days before starting school, I was contemplating taking my own life. But I focused on the positives and, with the support of my family, I decided to go after a lifestyle and career I could be proud of.”

Seth calls it the best decision he ever made. “At school, I have learned to love myself and adopt the heart of a servant,” he says. “I remember so clearly the day I knew I had found my calling. I showed up to school and was handed a client. She was a beautiful lady, eight and a half months pregnant, and had that amazing glow only they can possess. But her posture was all wrong, she wasn’t smiling, and she wouldn’t look me in the eyes. When I asked, ‘What can I do for you today?’ she started crying. She had a severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder and pulled big patches out of her hair. I gave her highlights and a hairstyle she could replicate at home so no one would have to know about her problem. By the end of the visit she was laughing, checking herself out in the mirror, and standing tall and proud of who she was. I felt so good about what I was able to do. Although she was already beautiful on the outside, she had felt unattractive and insecure but she left feeling beautiful and confident.”

Seth’s newfound attitude has earned him many opportunities. He has participated in Design Team, Phase Two, Caper and Beacon, and his video résumé was selected as the Video of the Month for the March 2009 Paul Mitchell Schools Newsletter ( In 2008, he did hair and makeup for the launch of Project Runway contestant Kelli Martin’s clothing line, assisted Artistic Directors for Paul Mitchell Professional Hair Color Scott Cole and Linda Yodice at the Mid-American Beauty Classic, and won a hair show competition hosted by the Tobias Project, Inc. He was also selected to do the hair and makeup for his school’s new Web site photos.

“Through my experience, I have regained the respect and love of those close to me, and with what I put them through, that means the world to me,” Seth says. “I am happy with the things I’ve been able to accomplish, but I am most proud of the effort I have put toward getting these things. There is no reward greater than feeling like you have earned something, and I am proud to say I have earned everything I have gotten. Having the Paul Mitchell family behind me, I am fully confident in my success as a person and in the industry. They have supported me through my lonely times and reminded me that I have self-worth and something to offer. We are an army of beautiful, spirited people dedicated to making people’s days and setting an example by conducting our lives in an honorable way. I am living proof that dreams can come true, and people can change. Being selfless and loving myself has allowed me to have success. When you put people first, success will follow!”

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Press Release Submitted On: December 11, 2009 at 9:12 am
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