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Owner of Cedar’s Academy of Makeup Artistry in Vancouver competes on reality series ‘The Blox’

Competitors aim to become 'best startup'

By , Columbian staff writer
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Cedar Lapp-Ngauamo, owner and creator of Cedar's Academy of Makeup Artistry, appeared recently on "The Blox," a reality show that focuses on entrepreneurship. The show also featured her Vancouver salon.
Cedar Lapp-Ngauamo, owner and creator of Cedar's Academy of Makeup Artistry, appeared recently on "The Blox," a reality show that focuses on entrepreneurship. The show also featured her Vancouver salon. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Cedar Lapp-Ngauamo, owner of Cedar’s Academy of Makeup Artistry in downtown Vancouver, recently used her business prowess to compete with 59 other entrepreneurs around the country in the reality series “The Blox.”

The show focuses on entrepreneurship. Competitors are aiming to become “the best startup on ‘The Blox,’ ” according to the series trailer.

It’s described as a 24-hour-a-day competition, where participants compete in workshops, pitches, consultations and exercises and are then ranked from first to last throughout the experience.

Half the contestants are startups and half are established small businesses. The series, created by MTV’s “The Real World” veteran Weston Bergmann, aims to also teach its viewers successful business skills.

Lapp-Ngauamo applied for “The Blox” without knowing much about it.

“Yes, of course, I wanted to be on reality TV,” she said. But she found out later that the show’s creator was a veteran of reality television himself.

“So when I was accepted, I was just excited to get over there,” Lapp-Ngauamo said.

She traveled to Kansas City, Mo., for a week of filming the show’s fourth season.

“I went in knowing I really didn’t care about the competition. I just wanted to learn,” said Lapp-Ngauamo. Of the 60,000 people who applied to be on the show, only 60 were cast, she told The Columbian.

Lapp-Ngauamo’s business, Cedar’s Academy of Makeup Artistry, is a private career college offering certification classes.

While the academy offers classes on editorial and special effects, it focuses on beauty makeup, where graduates can find work immediately doing makeup for brides, photo shoots, birthdays and quinceaneras. Classes are offered in both Spanish and English, with about 50 percent of Lapp-Ngauamo’s students being Spanish-speaking. The academy has been open for nearly six years.

Lapp-Ngauamo’s operation is different than cosmetology, she said. A cosmetology license requires only minimal makeup education and doesn’t go into depth on things like face shapes, skin tones and color theory. Cedar’s Academy teaches all those subjects.

Lapp-Ngauamo and the other “Blox” participants stayed in a hotel. They’d start classes every morning before breaking off into pods.

“And that’s where we competed to make sure that we understood what we learned for the day,” she said. If you won the pod, you’d go up to “The Blox” to see who won that day.

There were no prizes for the participants, but Lapp-Ngauamo still considers herself a winner.

“It was really, really amazing to network with people that I would have never networked with,” she said.

Kansas City is also home to Bergmann’s BetaBlox school for startups.

“The Blox” season 4 can be viewed at www.facebook.com/BetaBlox or on “The Blox” app.

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