Transparency and Authenticity
I'm a multifaceted kinda chick: A child of God, a wife, a mother, a woman, an entrepreneur, a female empowerment enthusiast, an analytic, a creative, an empath, a future mogul, and a dash of sash! I somehow roll all of these characteristics into my crafts.
A South Carolina native, I grew up in a small town hair salon with an ambitious mother (currently a salon owner for over 30 years and the first female AND African American Mayor of Darlington, SC okurr!) Okay, but seriously... I developed a strong appreciation and passion at an early age. I didn't grow up rich or living a fancy lifestyle, but my mom made sure I wanted for nothing. Even at a young age I was passionate about ALL that I did and just knew I would be a millionaire one day, but I often lacked confidence in many areas and tried my best to hide my insecurities. I was a severe empath (look it up), although I didn't truly know it at the time. My quietness would often get me labeled as "stuck up," and I was always highly misunderstood. I battled a lot with balancing my analytical and creative sides, and I was a major overachiever (the pressure!). I never could tell where I fit in, and as a result, would often morph into being someone I wasn't to seem "cool." I struggled behind the scenes with anxiety, lack of confidence, and emotions. On the outside I had it all put together...
Somehow, I was able to flourish through school. Receiving the most scholarship offers in my high school class and a full ride to all of the schools I applied to, I decided that college had to be the right path for me; a fresh start for me to figure myself out. You can't have those grades and not go to college! Although I had no clear plan, I moved to Atlanta to pursue college at Spelman College. While there, I still struggled with major insecurities: from appearances to lack of true purpose. I realized I was only there to simply SAY I was there, and the fact that almost everyone else seemed to have their path figured out made my insecurities even worse. I'm a bit of a rebel, so after 2 years I left to start my hair journey at Paul Mitchell The School, Atlanta. My thoughts: "If you're going to leave college to do hair, you better be the best darn stylist possible and make a true name for yourself!"
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"I never could tell where I fit in, and as a result, would often morph into being someone I wasn't to seem "cool." I struggled behind the scenes with anxiety, lack of confidence, and emotions. On the outside I had it all put together..."
The Wander YEARS
I finally had things moving in the right direction, or so I thought. I was actually studying for a career that would allow me to be creative, to soar! Then... I got pregnant. Yep, smack in the middle of my 3rd month of school. I worked hard to get out of school and still managed to make the honors program while going to school for 12 hours a day (overachiever). I had my son a month after graduating and instantly put my dreams to the side. So much for making a name for myself....
Let's span over the next 5 years: I moved back home to get myself financially together and could feel the whispers....I felt ashamed. The father of my child and I got married, moved back to Atlanta, and soon after had a second child. While continuing to do hair at a popular salon in Atlanta I decided I needed a more stable income, so I completed my degree at The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, fully intending to quit the hair industry and work in Human Resources (made no sense for me... I know).
Balancing being a wife, a mother, and trying to still make something of life deemed itself overwhelming. It's not okay to start a life with someone else, to have other people who need you, but still have so many issues that you haven't resolved on your own. If there was a struggle, we went through it. Growing up together, getting to know ourselves, and figuring out how to provide for our kids on a higher level (we both have always wanted the best for our lives), I barely noticed my confidence and faith slipping more and more year after year...I was living on the outside, but lost on the inside.
"If you're going to leave college to do hair, you better be the best darn stylist possible and make a true name for yourself!"
"Balancing being a wife, a mother, and trying to still make something of life deemed itself overwhelming. It's not okay to start a life with someone else, to have other people who need you, but still have so many issues that you haven't resolved on your own."
BEAUTY FROM ASHES
Just when I thought I was about to start a corporate career and finally get my life going in the right direction, God had other plans. Despite a stellar GPA, I couldn't seem to even get a CALL back from any job applications. My husband and I couldn't understand it.
Clearly, God had other plans so I continued to give my all to the hair industry and my life changed after becoming Co-Owner of Replenish Salon. I decided to give it my full focus and all of my gifts.
My faith increased as I saw God work in CRAZY ways. There wasn't money to start a salon, but he kept it flowing. I didn't even feel I was good enough to say I was a salon owner; I mean, its Atlanta, and there are SO many great stylists. Throughout my entire career people would say how they never met a stylist like me, that knew so much about hair, but somehow I didn't even believe in myself, didn't believe I could compete.
Despite my insecurities, I worked really hard (that was never an issue) and Replenish's demand was through the roof. After 1 year we expanded into a larger location and because of years of playing financial catch up, I couldn't truly afford that either, but GOD made it happen. The business began to grow, and my faith began to increase. It was during this time that I started to discover my purpose in life. I knew that I couldn't move forward in the path and purpose God designed for me until I took a good look in the mirror and truly figured out why I was so insecure, why I could soar on one end of the spectrum but struggle on the inside. I needed a mindset shift...
This story could go on forever, but I'm finally in a place in life of truly understanding my purpose, walking into my purpose, and allowing my past to propel my future but not hinder it; I'm still figuring things out but can see more clearly. I'm Co-Owner of Replenish Salon, and we are one of the top rated natural hair salon in Atlanta. I have an online Training Academy, Texturing Training Academy, and The Replenish Brand has a natural hair care line, Naturally Replenish, in the works. I'm a budding wife, a more put together mom, and I'm managing to use all of my facets to dive into my purpose, create an experience for my clients, and shine on my brands! I've learned so much, and I feel as though my best life is just beginning...no more comparisons, no more doubt; simply shining my light and walking forward.
"It was during this time that I started to discover my purpose in life. I knew that I couldn't move forward in the path and purpose God designed for me until I took a good look in the mirror..."