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Growing up, Michelle Cleveland was always drawn to beauty and fashion.
“I loved all aspects of the industry,” said the 47-year-old Toms River resident, who started as a manicurist.
“But growing up in a big Italian family where all of my sisters had thick, gorgeous hair, I became fascinated with what I couldn’t have and focused my efforts on ‘faking it’ by back-combing and teasing mine and getting resourceful with accessories,” she said, recalling her creative use of a black tube sock to perfect an up-do in her teens. "Necessity is the mother of invention and people thought my bun was so beautiful!”
Pursuing her niche in hair, Cleveland attended beauty school in Hawthorne and worked at several salons in northern New Jersey and the Jersey Shore area in the 1990s before honing in on her true passion.