HELLO BARBIE WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT SOMEONE ELSE’S SUCCESS WON’T TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR OWN

Jasmine Shaw, a.k.a. Hello Barbie, did something we never thought could be done – make a couple million from selling phone accessories.  Yes, you read that right. Not only has she made a huge name for herself, she’s had tons of success and is trying to teach others how to do it, too.

I sat down with Jasmine to talk about what exactly it is that she does, how she got so successful, and where her entrepreneurial journey has landed her as of late. Check out the interview below to learn about my new favorite girl boss!

What’s your background and how would you describe what you do? Tell us your story. 

My initial background is in public relations – that’s what I went to college for. When I first got out of school, my focus was PR. But, after a while, I changed my mind and got into real estate.

I then decided to go into commercial cleaning and owned a super profitable company for 3 years, where I had over 23 contracts. But, then I wanted to move to LA. So I literally sold all the contracts and started networking and I started my next business venture, Phone Fancy, which I still have today.

Within the past year so many women have been reaching out to me asking to help build their brands and how to properly market because I took something as simple as phone cases and created a million dollar business.

A lot of women are selfish with their formula to success once they reach a certain level. Why have you decided to teach women entrepreneurs how to start their own business?

I honestly feel like someone else being successful won’t take away from my success. I’ve always been the type who’s down to help others. I’m not a hater, so helping my friends and people I don’t know came naturally to me.

People are always like wtf do you do and how else do you make money? It literally all started from selling phone accessories that I have this platform to not only make my brand more successful but to teach other young women how to make money as well.

How did your brand blow up and how does social media help your business make money?

I made Phone Fancy “a thing,” because when I started it wasn’t hundreds of people doing it. People loved the phone accessories because when I came around the iPhone 4 was around and no one was providing super cute accessories for the new iPhone trend.

Even now, girls will always want a cute phone case and there isn’t a super known person for selling phone accessories like it is for hair extensions, makeup, or clothes. I had a pretty good following on social media from living in Atlanta and LA so I began reaching out to celebrities and influencers who I could have easy access to. They were happy to promote my products on social media in exchange for various cases, and it grew from there.

You are now friends with Rihanna, how did that happen? 

Really through social media. Even till this day I’m still like how did that happen, because the very first time that I met her was at her house. She invited me and my best friend to her studio which was actually in her home – she had a Halloween party in LA. Her driver picked us up and the friendship really grew from there.

It’s crazy because when you’re around her it’s like you know that she is a celebrity but she makes you feel so regular like she’s your sister. She is real af and as busy as she is, she always makes time for the people she cares about – which makes me love her more.

Where did your nickname “Hello Barbie” come from? Why do you prefer this over your real name?

When I was young af I was super girly and did charm school, cooking classes, etc. and my aunt started calling me “Barbie.”

I didn’t have a business page at first so when people would shout out my products they would tag me. Then, all the celebrities I became cool with and my friends all followed me on there so my followers grew from that. I remember a friend I use to have told me to change my name because it was childish and I was like, bitch! Rihanna follows “Hello Barbie,”  I’m not changing shit!

Tell us about a difficult time in your life that you overcame and explain how you did so.

The most difficult time I can remember was having my own store. I knew phone repair would be a good add on for my business and would attract more customers. But, in that time frame of having my store which was for two years, I hired and fired over 25 technicians in my first 3 months.

It was so difficult that I got to the point where I literally didn’t want to do it anymore. I’m glad I got the experience of having employees and learning the ins and outs of being a store owner, but it just wasn’t for me.

What do you really want your followers to take away from this interview?

Please go for whatever goals you have. So many people say they’re scared and want to start something but can’t and you’re only cheating yourself with that mindset. We’re young, we don’t have to have it all figured out, but start working towards something.

I’m 34 and I’m just figuring out what I want to do, I’ll start something and move on if I no longer feel fulfilled or interested. Network with influencers and market your brand the right way, you don’t have to have a huge social media following to become financially successful.

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BAHI COSMETICS OWNER TALKS CREATING HER OWN BRAND

At 20 years old, Danielle Bahi created her own skincare and beauty line known as Bahi Cosmetics. Originally from the Ivy Coast, the Bahi’s moved to Maryland about 10 years ago and she’s been trying to pave her way ever since. Her company has been open for less than a year and is already considered one of the top black-owned beauty brands from all over the country. If you’re like me, all messed up and don’t know where you see yourself better yet your brand in the next year, check out my interview for girl boss inspiration. 

What made you create Bahi Cosmetics?

I suffered from severe acne all my life. My nickname use to be the “payday bar”. I was on pills and saw many doctors and they told me I had to live with it. I don’t feel like its pleasant and something you should learn to live with. There should be something out there that can work for you. I worked for and tried high end and low end brands and nothing worked for me. I went to beauty school to try to figure out how to get my skin at a healthy level. It took more than that, but from school I was able to create a product that worked for me. Now I barely have any acne and I only have a couple dark spots.

My friends wanted it because they loved how good my skin looked. I tried it on my friends and mom and it worked as well. I didn’t want to sell it but people were telling me if I have something that works and can benefit others I should do whatever I can to help them. I wanted to focus more on skincare but people still want that glam aspect of it. Mostly at the end of the day I consider myself a skincare brand more than a cosmetics brand.

As a new entrepreneur, how did you fund your vision?

It just started last May, so its not even a year yet. I was very bankrupt from going to beauty school but I reached out to friends who believed in me and they donated as much as they could. I really relied on presales in the beginning at that saved me from alot of debt. My true friends really had my back but I would say presales helped me the most.

What tips do you have for young women interested in starting their own beauty line?

Dont rush into it. Work the stuff you have and test it out on multiple people because everyones skin reacts differently. Work on what makes you stand out and seperates your brand from the rest. Make it unique to you so if people want it they can only get it from you. Also, find who your true friends are. In business you will lose alot of people, so find people who support your dreams no matter what. They will be the ones to hep your business grow.

What void do you feel you’re fulfilling in the beauty industry?

I’m creating something that actually works. I’m saying that becaue its alot of skincare that works for a few days and then it stops. Or it tempoary does the job. I’m happy I’ve created something that 100% works. It does the job and doesn’t stop.

What was a difficult time in your life that you overcame and how did you do so?

One of the people who really believed in my dream other than my grandmother was my grandfather and he recently died. It was jsut a few months ago so its still fresh. He really believed in Bahi so losing him really hit me hard. He was one of those family members who really had my back and that took a toll on me emotionally and my company. Everyday I’m still dealing with it but I’ve came to the conclsuion that he wouldnt want me to be depressed and want me to keep pushing toward my dreams.

Do you feel that there is a difference between black owned cosmetic lines and non-POC brands, in terms of support and sales? Why or why not?

Alot of people are so used to non-black owned because its always been thrown in our face. And white beauty being the best has always been a thing too. With black people they want to support you more because they’re happy for you but they’re not really sure if they wanna spin their coin on you. Its like they’re more so looking for your down fall than being truly geniune in support.

Where would you like to see yourself and your brand in the next year?

I really want to see myself in a high end stores because I always walk into big stores and they think I work there instead of being a business owner. When you walk in a white owned store it just has a different feel to it and it’s like damn I made it because rich white people are able to buy my brand. I’m able to reach the masses now.

Sheneka Adams Took Her Popularity & Started A Business

A few years ago, model Sheneka Adams realized that she didn’t want to be in the hip-hop video scene forever and she wanted something that belonged to her. Long before Instagram was popping and the hair industry was over-saturated the S.Adams Collection was born. Through our interview Sheneka talks about being a business owner, personal growth and her company. Check it out below.

Can you describe what you do for a living in your own words?

I own a hair extensions company, that’s mainly what I do.

What were you doing before and how did you get to where you are now?

Before my hair extension company I modeled in music videos and a little acting. When I turned 24 I started my hair extension company because you can’t model forever, you have to have a back up plan because it’s a time limit on that, so that’s what I’m doing now.

Why did you decide to go into the hair industry and how did The S. Adams Collection come about?

I’ve always been into beauty and fashion and during those times I was wearing hair extensions and so many people loved my hair. Companies were providing me with free hair and I wasn’t getting paid for it and I was like I can do this myself, no shade! Having a hair extension company is harder than it looks and it’s still things I learn until this day that I never knew. I’m very fortunate enough to still be in business till this day, I’m at 3 and a half years right now.

How did your brand blow up and how does social media help your business make money?

I’ve had a social media following before Instagram and modeling helped people know who I am. People are always finding you and when you’re on the blogs and hanging with different celebrities it makes people interested in who you are. It’s not a formula to it because a variety of things make a brand so you have to stick to what works for you.

How did Simply Sheneka come about?

I get so many questions from makeup, hair, plastic surgery, etc. and I wanted to put it in all in one place. I’m not one of those women who doesn’t want to help others but it’s only something I do for fun, it’s a way for me to share my personal journey.

What do you love most about the hair business and what are some things you could live without?

I love the freedom of being my own boss and making my own hours. I love all aspects of it, it’s something that’s mine that I work on everyday. All industries are very competitive but as a business owner you have to put your foot down when it comes to different things. I’m in my own lane and I have a following that purchases from me so I don’t feel the need to be malicious about anything. Of course fraudulent activity sucks but it’s nothing you can really do about that; it’s just the risk you take with running an online business.

So what’s your take on scammers or people who claim they never receive their product just to get a refund? 

I wish people would stop scamming like I don’t walk into to someone’s establishment and buy things I can’t afford and try to scam to get my money back. With black businesses and hair extensions companies people already try to talk down on it and don’t have a level respect for it. No business is perfect and it’s definitely ways to handle things you don’t like with the product like reaching out to the owner but just lying and scamming isn’t cool.

Give us a few common mistakes you think new hair business owners make.

  • Not having a plan
  • Not doing the proper research
  • I wholesale and people want us to do the work for them and not do the work themselves

What do you think is a big misconception about you?

Coming from my modeling past and that world and being in the blogs for a lot of negative stuff, the masses easily believe what they read. At this point in my life I really don’t care about that anymore because I realize you can’t make everyone happy. You can cure cancer and someone’s still going to hate. Social media can be very hateful so if you aren’t supporting me I don’t care what you have to say. I don’t look for negativity, it finds me so I just rise above it and try to use my platform in a positive way.

I can tell so much growth with you, how did you get to this point in your life?

You shouldn’t beat yourself up for past mistakes, now that I’m around people that want me to do better and help me become better it makes life easier.

What tips do you have for young women entrepreneurs?

  • Don’t give up, there are plenty of times I didn’t want to do this because it becomes overwhelming especially with fraud. You have to promote the hell out of your brand. No matter where I’m at I’m promoting my brand. Women will walk up to me and ask about my hair and I’m like girl this is a wig! I’ll lift it up for them let them and let them touch it. If you aren’t putting 100% into your brand no one will support or believe in it.

What do you want your supporters to take from this interview?  

I just wanna give a little inspiration. I know a lot of my supporters know about my past but I want to show them that growth is possible and keeping positive people around you really changes things. Always remember who you are and never let people tell you otherwise. 

Rebekah Aladdin Never Experimented with Makeup Before Becoming A MUA

 

What made you join the beauty industry?

I’ve always loved beauty. When I was really young, I was fascinated with beautiful women. I remember nicknaming a few of my older sister’s friends “pretty lady.” Even at 7-years old, I just loved a beautiful face! I was in high school when I first decided that I wanted to pursue makeup, but it wouldn’t be until years later that I’d actually do it. At that point, I was just in the admiring stage, taking notice of beauty ads, music videos, album covers, etc. I finally joined the beauty industry following my college graduation.

In my senior year at UCLA, I had an honest conversation with myself about how it didn’t make sense to continue chasing my then goal to be an architect when I had other creative talents and dreams. Architecture wasn’t going quite like I planned and I started to feel like I was forcing it. Following that realization, I came up with a plan to transition into the entertainment industry. This decision was scary and risky, because I didn’t know what it would take to build a successful makeup career. I just knew that my heart was always in entertainment and that’s where I needed to be.

When you became a MUA and what was the hardest part about learning makeup? What skill took you the longest to master?

For me, the hardest part about learning to do makeup wasn’t actually the makeup, it was more so the service. I’m very shy so I would get very nervous, and when a person is nervous, they don’t do their best. Makeup is intimate and there’s a lot of pressure. Not only are you sitting in someone’s face and actually touching it, but also they have to like what they see when you finally move out of the way. It took me a long time to become comfortable with working so closely on people. It took me even longer to build a confidence in my skill. I am very hard on myself and critical of my work. I had to learn to calm down and trust myself. I still get nervous sometimes. When that happens, I usually just say a prayer (laughs) … so dramatic, but it’s true!

How long did it take you to transition from learning about makeup to making it your career?

I am probably different from most makeup artists in the way that I never really experimented with makeup before I decided to pursue it professionally – not even on myself. I never even had a personal makeup bag – I still don’t! Outside of a bottle of foundation and liquid eyeliner, all of my makeup belongs to my professional kit (laughs.) When I decided to pursue makeup artistry is when I began working on other people and building a kit for them. For the most part, I didn’t practice. I got my practice from actual jobs – which is horrible, because that’s what every makeup artist will tell you NOT to do. Just like a singer rehearses before she performs, you want to build your skill before you present yourself to your clients.

Don’t get me wrong, I did test shoots like everyone else, but when you live in Los Angeles, there is no such thing as a test shoot. Those photos are getting used for something at some point. I can probably count using my hands how many times I’ve practiced makeup for the sake of practice. That said, I would not recommend doing that. I think I would have gotten a lot further faster if I set aside the time to practice and experiment.

When I first began my makeup career, I only worked on it part-time. I had a full-time job at UCLA, where I lived and worked as an “Assistant Resident Director” supervising student staff in the residence halls. I used weekends and summer breaks to assist on films and music videos, as well as collaborate with photographers and models. Back then I actually barbered three times more than I did makeup. I barbered at least 4 days a week cutting hair for boys I knew around campus and on the football team. After two years of that grind, I left, completed my job term and transitioned into a full-time freelance makeup artist.

Why did you decide to start a YouTube Channel and how do you feel it has helped your brand?

I started a Youtube channel in October last year with intension of sharing more of myself with my supporters. I was also interested in tapping into the beauty influencer realm. I launched my channel with two Halloween tutorials. By the time I got through the holidays, I was working so much I didn’t have time to create any more videos. Unfortunately, my schedule has not allowed me to focus on my channel, so YouTube has not helped my brand much at all (laughs.) YouTube is great platform; I would love to create more videos one day.

Why did you become an entrepreneur and what has been the most challenging thing about that?

Some of the most challenging things about being an entrepreneur are staying disciplined and developing a plan of action. You have to practice discipline every single day. There is no one to hold you accountable. It’s just you. You are the boss and you are the employee. You are a one-man company and that means there’s twice as much work to do. As an unrepresented freelance MUA (meaning I am not signed to an agency), I have a lot of administrative work that people often don’t consider. Not only do I handle all of my bookings which includes negotiating my rate and managing my calendar, I also have to process invoices, follow-up on payments, track down copies of my work, update my website and resume, post on my social media to keep up with branding, and the list goes on. These things take hours to do properly. And that’s only if we’re talking about maintaining… what about propelling your business to the next level? That adds a whole new list of things to do. It’s very easy to get distracted when you’re not on the clock and working from home. You have to learn to create a system of productivity and it takes time to master. It takes real initiative to be successful at entrepreneurship which leads me to my second point – developing a plan of action.

When you’re creating your own lane, it’s different from pursuing a career like a doctor or lawyer, because there’s no set structure on how to make it. You have to design your own approach and that process is difficult in its own right. To make it more challenging, most people can’t help you with it. They can offer ideas and opinions, but for the most part, you have to figure it out for yourself. People often say ‘the hardest part is getting started,’ but I believe that’s because the hardest part is knowing where to start.

Additionally, being an entrepreneur requires a lot of sacrifice. It requires a certain lifestyle and it can be challenging to maintain a work-life balance. You have to be willing and ready to accept every opportunity that presents itself. That readiness will ask you to work late nights, early mornings, weekends and holidays. There is misconception that when you’re self-employed, you can make your own schedule  taking work and turning it down at leisure. On the contrary, entrepreneurship is a hustle and you have to work as much as you physically can. One door may open another which may open another and you’ll never know where an opportunity will lead if you don’t take it. Furthermore, work is not guaranteed, so have to work while you can.

What are your fave high end and low end products? 

For high end-products, I love NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. It’s a great formula and very easy to use. Unlike most concealers, you can get away with using it on its own. You can conceal the areas that need coverage, blend it in, and finish with a light powder all over the face –boom, flawless. I also love MAC’s eyeshadow in the shade “Saddle.” It’s my go-to eyeshadow for almost every person. It’s a great shade to use in the crease of the eye or all over the lid for a simple look. You can even use it to contour depending on your skin tone. My favorite low-end products are NYX Butter Gloss in the shade “Tiramisu” and L’Oréal Telescope mascara. I really like the consistency of the Telescope mascara and the brush is great for separating the lashes and easily coating bottom lashes.

If you could create the ultimate makeup kit for beginners, what would be in it?

Palettes, palettes, palettes! Palettes are great for beginners because it’s cheaper than buying each product individually and they offer a range of colors. It helps take the guess work out of choosing product shades and exposes you to shades and colors you might not have chosen on your own.

How did you become Justine Skye’s go to MUA and how has she helped your career?

Justine always tells me, “you’ve mastered my skin.” That’s what drew her to continue working with me initially. Since then, we’ve built a bond and working together never really feels like work. Justine gives me an opportunity to showcase a skill that a lot of people find challenging. She’s a great canvas. Not only does she have one of the most beautiful faces ever, but she also has gorgeous brown skin. I love my brown girls and I consciously show them love by focusing  on perfecting my techniques for deeper skin tones. It’s important to me, because I know brown skin girls are underrepresented in the beauty industry. As a result, many make up artists are inexperienced with brown skin, which puts brown girls in uncomfortable/compromising situations. #brownskinmatters

What do you love most about being a celebrity MUA and what are some stressful aspects of it?

My favorite part about my job, whether my client is a celebrity or not, is having the opportunity to make someone feel beautiful. People’s mood and attitude change when they feel beautiful. Watching a person light up after seeing their makeup is the most rewarding feeling. A lot my clients are on the rise. The most special part about my job is that I get to take the journey with them. Their big moments are in turn my big moments. The most stressful part is the time crunch. When you’re working on set, you’re working on tight schedules. You have to be able to perform well under pressure and limited time.

What do you pride yourself on as an artist?

I pride myself on my professionalism, positive attitude, humility, and willingness to keep learning. It’s important that my clients have an enjoyable experience working with me. Humility allows me to really listen to what my clients ask for, as opposed to thinking I always know what’s best. I think that makes a big difference when it comes to their satisfaction with the finished product.

Who are some other celebrities you’ve worked with and who’s your dream client?

I have worked with Meghan Trainor, Mary Mary, Fifth Harmony, Winnie Harlow, Keyshia Cole, and Aisha Hinds to name a few. I don’t have a “dream client” per say, but I’ve had a strong desire to work with Viola Davis for about a year now. I hope to one day get that opportunity.

 What do you think sets you apart from other MUAs?

I think what sets me apart is that I am very dependable. Dependability goes a long way. My clients know exactly what they’re going to get with me every time. There are a lot of talented artists out there, but unfortunately their lack of consistency and dependability holds them back.

Who/what motivates you to reach your highest potential?

My father. He is in heaven now, but he deserves all of the credit. He raised me to always do my best. The funny thing about trying to do your best is you will always feel like you can do better. In turn, you never stop learning and growing. My twin sister, Rachel is also a big motivator in my life. She’s always reminding me of my worth and pushing me to recognize my talent.

Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on that you’d like to share? 

The nature of the entertainment industry is that it’s fast-paced. My projects are often presented in short notice, and the ones aren’t are top secret! “G14 classified” (in my Chris Tucker voice.)  I can share that I’m very happy about the year I’ve had. I was a part of 4 campaigns with Nike, Forever21, Claire’s, and Truth.  A few weeks ago, the look I did on Justine was recognized on Elle Magazine’s 15 Best Beauty Looks for the 2017 BET Awards. It was pretty exciting to have my work stand out and be acknowledged by a leading, reputable beauty brand. I am looking forward to what the rest of year has to offer.

Karen Civil is the definition of a Media Maven

 

Have you ever wondered who’s behind some of the biggest talents in music? Or wondered how you can take your love for social media or girl power and turn it into a career and lifestyle? Karen Civil did just that, on her own and is working hard to inspire girls all over the world to work for what they want and not wait for anyone to hand it to them. In my exclusive Q+A Karen dishes on how she got her start, tips on joining the media industry and much more.

How did you become a social media and brand relations strategist?

There wasn’t a job title for this, but being a girl on the internet when it got popular. I became emerged with the online trend because I could meet with people all over the world quickly. I loved everything about being online and created my career from it.

Why did you decide to focus on hip-hop artists as opposed to any other industry?

I didn’t, I just focused on entertainment in the beginning. It started with Angie Martinez and being a fan with their station I just emerged myself in it.

What do you love most about your career?

I love the freedom of it all. I’m able to chose my own career and the path I wanna take. I wake up everyday happy because people have jobs and commitments and I live everyday knowing these are the choices I make everyday for myself.

When you decided to pursue your dreams, what was the hardest part about it?

Time commitment. Its scary because if you don’t like working 40 hours entrepreneurship isn’t for you because it doesn’t end. I missed out on a lot of things with my family, my fiancé and that hurts but they understand I’m chasing a career and a passion.

Where do you see yourself in the upcoming years?

Definitely writing more books, more speaking engagements, and who knows what else. I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I’m still open to anything.

What tips do you have for young women interested in the media field?

Have thick skin. Don’t be a clock watcher because we have this time restraint from watching others’ success and it discourages us, you can’t let failure get to your heart or your head.

Between New York and LA, which do you feel was best for your career and why?

LA has been great to me because I’ve met so many great people and worked with so many brands. People are so open and willing to work with you. I love the opportunities that present themselves in so many different ways. I can be at the supermarket or pumping gas and meet someone who I can work with in some way.

Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on that you’d like to share?

I’m working on a new book! I’m really excited about it because it’s a full-on book and [I’m also] doing an HBCU Tour in the fall.

What’s something about you that many people don’t know?

I love to surf and I’m a book worm. I have a second bedroom thats all books, I’m actually moving soon because I need more room. People will look at my closet like, “I love your shoes and purses,” and I’m like, “wait to see my books!” I’m also a Netflix junkie because of my fiancé. I love medieval times shows like “Vampire Diaries.”

How can young women entrepreneurs grow their social media following?

People want followers, but what time do you want? Look into the audience you have now. Who do you want to speak to? With Crowd Booster you can schedule your tweets, you can see your activity, and now Instagram and Twitter gives you insights. Make sure you stay in the know, your hashtags, provide information and be informative.

What was your motivation for writing your latest book “Be You & Live Civil: Tools for Unlocking Your Potential & Living Your Purpose?”

I just wanted to tell my story because people didn’t really know what I did. They see my growth, but never knew my back story. I’m a very relatable person and I wanted to share how I moved on from my past and persevered.

What do you want your supporters to take from this interview?

I want them to know that I’m just someone who’s out there living her life and you can do the same. Think of me as the blue print, I aspire to inspire.

CLIFF VMIR IS YOUR FAVE BOY BOSS

Cliff is known as the 20-year-old celebrity hair stylist who has taken the game by storm. Currently residing in Atlanta, Cliff sits down with me to talk business, finding his niche and of course hair. Check out our Q+A below.

How did you end up joining the hair industry? Tell us your story.

Hair has always caught my eye. At the age of 3 growing up my father and my grandfather tried breaking me away from playing with dolls for the sake of hair but they just couldn’t. They went from throwing my dolls out, to putting me into sports, anything to pull me away from practicing hair. When I was about 12 years old, any allowance I got I would order mannequins and hide them under my bed from my father.

With these mannequins, I practiced so many techniques like braids, curls, anything you could think of. My mother and father split when I was 14, and my mother was out on knee surgery so I had to make a way to help her pay bills. Using public transportation back and forth on school nights to different clients houses I was making it happen, giving any money made to my mother to help towards pay bills. At first it was a hustle, then it turned into a hobby, then my career.

How long did it take you to perfect your craft?

I feel like it honestly took me about 4 years to perfect my craft looking back. At the time, I thought I was slaying, but now looking back I laugh because I see so much growth from then to now.

Why did you decide to go into business for yourself and what do you love most about it?

I decided to go into business for myself when I was 16 years old. I was doing hair in my basement, not really taking it very serious. I was so good at doing hair but never seen the bigger picture. Everyone in Delaware wanted me to work in their salon but one day a woman name Patience Foster, owner of “Vixated” salon in Wilmington, Delaware reached out to me via Instagram about me working in her salon. At first I instantly thought no. Because I didn’t even think I was ready. I didn’t think I was ready to be with the big dogs. Then on top on that $150 booth rent a week was a lot for me back then to only be 16! At the time, I had absolutely no responsibilities at all, so any money I made, it was spent, as an average teenager would do. But one day I ended up going there just to check it out, and it ended up being my home. The girls in there were so motivating, and not only that but they were even asking me for tips and tricks!

At first I was only charging $60 for sew ins which was very cheap. The owner told me I should raise my prices and that’s what I did. From touring from city to city, to coming out with my own product line to selling hair, a lot of things changed when I became an entrepreneur. As my business grew, I matured, as I matured I lost friends.

You’re known as the 20-year-old celebrity stylist, who are some of your celebrity clientele and what style do you love doing the most?

On Joseline from Love and Hip Hop my favorite look to do on her is a middle part, long jet black bone straight. On rapper Cardi B I’ve done multiple styles, but my most recent favorite style I did on her was a side part frontal with platinum blonde extensions, pressed bone straight. On most of my other celebrity clients I like to do big body curls, or even soft waves. It keeps it fun and glamorous.

As you grown in popularity, what has been the most difficult aspect of it?

The most difficult part of growing in popularity is that I feel like I’m always in the lime light. I feel like I can’t be an average 20-year-old and go party and have fun. I have a business, so therefore no partying for me. Another thing that’s difficult is ignoring the rude Instagram comments. Sometimes people don’t realize that I’m human too, and that I do have feelings. Now I know sometimes my temper can get the best of me, but for the most part, I keep it cool.

Tell us about a hard time in your life you thought you wouldn’t ever overcome & how you did it.

A hard time that I had in my life that I never thought I would overcome just actually happened to me last week. I just freshly moved to Atlanta. I had a U-Haul with a lock on it. I came to ATL on the 4th, but my move in date wasn’t until the 6th. On the 6th when I went to go get my U-Haul, everything was missing out of it. When I tell you everything, I mean every single thing I owned. From hair tools, to hair extensions, to wigs, to color, to clothes, shoes, bags, furniture. I feel as though that was God giving me a wakeup call. I know that he wouldn’t put me in any situation that I can’t handle!

Being so young and successful can be overwhelming, how did you learn to be an entrepreneur and what are ways young adults can do the same?

I basically became an entrepreneur over my high school years. I would definitely say when being an entrepreneur you have to learn to separate business and friendships. Meaning, never go into business with a friend, or another example can be, if it’s really your true friend they will buy whatever you sell to support you, if they don’t, don’t consider them your friend! Also minimize partying, as an entrepreneur you should work first and party later.

Were you always so comfortable with who you are and how did you get to being so comfortable with yourself if not?

I feel like I didn’t get 100% comfortable with myself until I got into the 11th grade. I started wearing makeup and being a little more feminine. In my city, I was one of the first boys to ever do that, so when other boys started doing the same thing it made me feel good because I feel like I was able to inspire them to be themselves. You always have to remember that the things you do shouldn’t be for anyone else, they should be for you! If you like it do it!

As well as doing hair you also sell products and teach classes, why did you decide to go this route?

I felt like teaching classes and selling products because I know a lot of people wanted to know my craft, and know the products that I use. So, I sat and thought about how I can use my talent to educate people and make money from doing so! The richest man has 7 sources of income!

Being a gay male in the industry, I’m sure you deal with haters, how do you handle them?

The funny thing is… I don’t deal with them… if I see any disrespect I instantly block them. Well I’m lying, sometimes I may get you together real quick and clap back, then block you!

What’s next for you? What goals or upcoming projects do you have?

I’m aiming towards television, I want people to see my fabulous life!

What do you want my readers and your supporters to take from this interview?

I want them to understand that nothing happens overnight, so always be patient and talk to God!

Who is someone you’ve always admired or looked to for motivation/inspiration and why?

Someone who I’ve always admired has to be Ming Lee. I just absolutely love the way she carries herself. You never see her in any drama, and she stacks her money and is all about her business!

What advice do you have to aspiring stylists?

Practice makes perfect, and if you are humble and be yourself you will go far in this industry!!  Take as many classes as you can to be advanced. Trust me!