There are two definitions of the word “cameo.”
A cameo is a piece of jewelry, typically oval in shape, consisting of a portrait in profile carved in relief on a background of a different color
A short descriptive literary sketch which neatly encapsulates someone or something.
While the Murray-based Cameo College of Essential Beauty includes a cameo pendant as part of its logo, the organization imbued much more the spirit of the second definition in celebrating its 50th anniversary with its 14th-annual student hair, makeup, nails and fashion show.
The Colorful Background
Cameo is celebrating its 50th year in operation.
The beauty school, offering cosmetology (think hair, barbering, nails, and makeup) and esthetics (think skincare, eyelash extensions, and waxing/hair removal) is now a third-generation family business.
The company was started by Bud Reddick, who is now 80 years old and resides in Taylorsville. The original shop was in Sugar House at 2100 South and 1019 East—the current Home Again antique shop.
Jerome, Idaho-raised Reddick, while on home from service in the Navy in the 1960s, observed how successful one of his male friends, a hairdresser, had become. His friend had a nice car, looked like he made good money, and—like Warren Beatty’s character in the 1975 comedy “Shampoo”—was a hit with the ladies.
That sealed the deal.
Once Reddick got out of the Navy, he signed up for beauty school, and then opened his own beauty school. Cameo was born.
His daughter, Brenda Scharman, 58, who grew up in Rose Park and West Valley, and now—a credited horsewoman—resides in Oakley. “The Sandwich” in three generations of Cameo family leadership, Brenda upped the glamour game of the business, commissioning the build of the school’s location in Murray and serving on state and national boards for the cosmetology and esthetics education industry.
Reddick’s granddaughter, Rickie Mehl, 35, is the current Director of Cameo. Mehl laughingly pokes fun at her finally having been “reigned in” to the family business after pursuing some wild times. (Her mother deems it “many” wild times.) A “settled” Mehl has now assumed the mantle of leadership for the family business, but always, with her personal sense of style.
Mehl’s wild side showed in a good way with this year’s student show, held Wednesday, Oct. 16—with local drag queen Molly Mormon hosting the gig–and a much more glamorous, upgraded venue for the event: This year, the college graduated from its usual hang for the show—the Murray High School auditorium—to downtown’s swanky Grand Hall at the Gateway Mall.
The change in venue made the catwalk experience all the more glamorous—for the models themselves and for the estimated 450-plus guests in attendance at the evening show. Proceeds for the event went to the Salt Lake City YWCA.
Glamour and More, More, More
Almost nothing spells glamour more than enchanted characters wearing beautiful clothing and adorned with inspired make-up, hair and nail stylings.
A Xena-like warrior princess, Greek and Roman mythological gods and goddesses, 1940s ballgown-wearing divas and victory-rolled housewives alike, and even Buddhism’s founder Buddha himself graced the Grand Hall stage for the Cameo show, showcasing each student’s vision for a glamour story they wanted to share—through the application of fashion, hair, makeup, and nail design.
One model who didn’t grace the stage—a seeming diva who walked out on the student designer who had been counting on her to demonstrate her skills to the judges and the audience—ended up, unwittingly, being memorialized: the student she walked out on won an honorable mention shout outs by multiple judges, praising her grace under pressure and her not becoming discouraged.
It seemed to be a night of serendipity falling on those influenced by folks walking out: The college offered a full-ride scholarship, won by a random drawing. The first name drawn had exited the show, so the inherited win fell to Luis De Dios of West Jordan.
Interestingly, DeDios, who has long aspired to become a barber or cosmetologist, is the uncle of a current Cameo student and attended the show to support her. He now plans to attend Cameo this January on a full-ride, $18,000-value scholarship.
Cameo awarded a $1,000 prizes for first-place in the Cosmetology and Hair Design Division. Second- and third-place winners won $500 and $250, respectively.
Cameo also awarded a $600 product prize to the first-place winner in the Nails Competition. Second- and third-place winners won $200 and $100 in product gifts, respectively.
Cameo family sandwiched-between-two generations-entrepreneur Scharman says the night “brought tears” to her eyes.
“When I started the business, there were just four students.”