Taking a chance: Local woman turns passion, hobby into career

HARLINGEN — Difficult times can sometimes call for difficult decisions.

However, when you’re following something you whole-heartedly believe in, the decisions that were once difficult become a bit more manageable.

For 34-year-old Cynthia Cantu De Lara, tough decisions are nothing new.

Around seven years ago, Cantu, a former attorney in Mexico, made the choice of a lifetime when she decided to leave the lucrative field of law to follow a passion that began as a hobby — cosmetology.

Why, one might wonder?

For Cantu the decision was as clear as day and night.

“Family,” uttered Cantu. “When I was an attorney in Mexico, it was good for me financially, but it would leave me with little time for my family,” she said.

“You can say that it’s in fact a drastic change going from a lawyer to a cosmetologist, but all the things that I do are a part of me and who I am.”

In fact, Cantu has always had a thirst for knowledge — so much so that most times you can find her hunched over a textbook looking for a new adventure.

When she had her sights set on law, she studied and studied until she was at the top of her class. When she was in cosmetology she settled for nothing less than perfection.

Now that she has had her own hair and mini spa for almost a year, she gives her clients every bit of attention they deserve.

“I’ve always studied subjects that dealt with the public,” said Cantu. “When I was an attorney I would work for public clients, when I was a medical assistant I would care for the sick and their families and now that I’m in cosmetology I still work directly with people. I’m always striving to educate myself in the latest product.”

For now, the Reynosa native is still happy to be where she is because it’s given her more time to travel with her family.

However, Cantu hasn’t taken a break from learning. In fact she is already thinking of her newest endeavor — massage therapy.