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Community Highlights: Meet Crystal Stocking of Crystal’s Esthetics Alumni & Boot Camp Prep

Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Stocking.

Hi Crystal, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Cumberland, a small town in Maryland. I have two brothers and a sister. My childhood was very challenging, and I was forced to grow up fast. In my family, college was not an option.

The expectation was to graduate high school and get a job, but I always wanted more. Despite my hardships, I know my late parents did the best they could. I thank them for instilling in me self-discipline and an unwavering work ethic. Without these life lessons, I would not be the person I am today.

In 1991, I graduated from Fort Hill high school and moved to Charleston, SC. Here I had my daughter, Whitney; I was a teenage mom and not sure of my path in life? As a single parent, I had to work multiple jobs to support my daughter. I started my own cleaning business and worked as a nanny for three young children.

I achieved this for 12 years; one day, I woke up and said, “I want to go to EMT school.” I have always had a propensity for helping people and becoming an EMT was a life-long dream, or so I thought.

I met my husband Joe around the same time, and a few years later, we got married. Then tragedy struck twice! The EMT partner I worked with died and became one of the “Charleston 9”. Then, my husband’s ex-wife died from cancer, leaving behind two young children.

Our family of three became a “blended” family of five overnight. With my husband in the military and preparing for a nine-month deployment, my long EMT shifts were becoming increasingly difficult and not conducive to raising a family.

So, after much deliberation, I decided to put my career on hold and returned to working multiple jobs. My schedule was chaotic; however, I was always home before the children returned from school. I spent years raising the children and supporting my husband’s career.

Then one day, my daughter’s friend Mariah stopped by the house. She was in Esthetics school and asked if I would come by for a facial. I have loved makeup and anything to do with skin for as long as I can remember.

In fact, as a little girl, I went to the mall and spent hours in the various makeup and skincare departments. Despite this passion, I never knew “Esthetics” school existed. I went for that facial, and at that moment, I discovered my destiny in life, “esthetics”.

Days after the facial, I applied for admission to a local Esthetics program. I was accepted and started training a few months later. I spent a year in school before graduating and beginning my new career.

I started in a spa and worked my way into medical esthetics; I even had my own business for six years. During my time in the spa, one of my mainstays was for selling “products”.

To be successful, you must know every product ingredient and how it works with the client’s skin. The clients would repeatedly comment on how impressed they were with my level of knowledge and ask if I ever thought about becoming an instructor.

I thought about it and had an epiphany! I realized becoming an instructor was another way to get back to helping people. It would allow me to take my passion for esthetics and teach the next generation of estheticians.

In 2016, I became an instructor, and I immediately loved it! I worked for a family-owned Esthetics school in South Carolina. Here, I quickly excelled in my profession and became a Milady Master Educator, Advanced Master Educator, Trailblazer Master Educator, and was the teacher of the year twice.

In 2021, I was given an incredible opportunity to work for world-renowned Paul Mitchell. I was recruited to be their “Esthetics Learning Leader” and help start a new Esthetician program. In one year, with the help of Director Bart Horton and his amazing staff, Paul Mitchell went from a fledgling Esthetics school to the most sought-after Esthetics program in Charleston.

My other passion is for teaching state board boot camp and continuing education classes. I teach these for anyone who needs a refresher before the test or is transferring their license from another state.

What makes me proud is seeing all the success of my students. I have taught over 500 individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. They were mothers, wives, and recent high school graduates, some had their GED, and one student had a Ph.D.

My graduates have opened businesses, purchased franchises, and worked in plastic surgeon and dermatologist offices. I have two former students who do makeup for reality shows, and one works at Disney World. Some have podcasts, work for skincare companies, and four became instructors; the list is endless!

My goal as an instructor is always to “connect” with my students. I assure them they can succeed in life, regardless of their situation or age. My life’s story lends credence to this message and ultimately helps inspire the students. I see myself in every student, and I am genuinely honored to mentor them and be a part of their journey.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My road has been filled with many hardships, but as I teach my students, you must learn to overcome obstacles to be successful.

Success does not come easy, there is always a price to pay, and it is different for everyone!

As young as I can remember, I was always trying to prove myself capable. I never gave up! Whether raising my siblings or figuring out how to put food on the table as a teenage mom, I had to prioritize things in my life. As you can see from this story, my success came later in life.

Remember, there is no timeframe for success; you must take things one day at a time. I tell my students you must have four things to be successful:

1: Commitment
2: Patience
3: Structure
4: Perseverance

There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. Some are good, some are bad; regardless, we learn and grow from these lessons and move on.

As you know, we’re big fans of Crystal’s Esthetics Alumni & Boot Camp Prep. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I am the Esthetics Learning Leader at Paul Mitchell the School. We are a new “Esthetics” program, we just opened in September, and we already have a waiting list for students trying to enroll.

On the weekend, I offer a “State Board” boot camp. This course teaches students and anyone who transfers their license from another state how to pass the practical exam. I have instructed over 500 students, and everyone who has taken my course has passed their exam. In addition, I provide tutoring for the written exam.

I also make state board kits for anyone who needs one. These “kits” provide everything required to complete the state board practical exam. Please see my Facebook page for pricing information.

What are your plans for the future?
I look forward to educating future Estheticians and being the best mentor, I can be.

My dream is to take my career to the next level; I would like to be a motivational speaker and attend conferences to talk about my story and share my passion for esthetics.

I also intend to make Paul Mitchell the number one Esthetics school in South Carolina.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Michael Mulligan (, 843-343-5265) Makeup Artist: Krysta Phoumiphat (Honaye Beauty Instagram: @HonayeBeauty), KrystaPhoumiphat (Email:, Hair Stylist: Delisa Joos Ella Rose Salon,843-830-6054), Model: Therese Brown

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