The Inspiring Stylist
"I am Connie, The Inspiring Stylist®
My journey started at 16, when I was blessed with an opportunity to attend a trade school while still in high school. I took up cosmetology, graduated my senior year fully licensed, top of my class, full scholarship into college, and 4 months pregnant. Not too long after graduating, I gave birth to my son, became a single parent and I lost my college scholarship because I did not have the support I needed. Despite my situation, I was still determined to make something of myself even while others said I needed to give up on my dreams and do the responsible thing now that I was a parent. Which was to get a “real job”.
From 18 to 20, I worked in Richmond, VA as a licensed Cosmetologist and Natural Haircare Specialist. One of the things I enjoyed most about doing hair was helping my clients build their confidence around their natural beauty and helping them achieve their own goals! Around August 2009 there was a voice inside of me telling me it was time for change and something big was about to happen. A change and time for what I did not know. Two months later in October, at the age of 20, two weeks before my lease was up the timer went off and I relocated to Charlotte, Nc. At that time, I was a single parent with my then almost 2-year-old son. For most, my move was totally sporadic, but I always knew Virginia wasn’t for me to grow. To be honest, if I had not gotten pregnant with my son my senior year in high school I would have left upon graduation. I knew if I stayed, I would not have reached the full potential of the person I was to become. Everyone thought I was crazy and people I thought supported me said I would not make it.
Four months after I relocated, the struggle became real. After being screwed over by the salon owner I had to apply for food stamps. Growing up I was told if I ended up here, I would forever be stuck in the system. That day I sat in the parking lot and cried my heart out. Finally, I put my pride to the side, applied and told myself I just need a little help so my son could eat, and this is only temporary. Shortly after, I almost got evicted out of my apartment. The repo man was looking to repossess my car because I had fallen behind on my payments. My savings was depleted, and I was drowning in debt. My parents offered me to come back to Virginia and start over. My stubbornness and determination wouldn’t allow me to accept the offer. See, what they couldn’t see was my vision. I knew this wouldn’t last and I had to push through it. I had to go through this to learn and to appreciate the greatness to come.
After working in that salon for a year and being upset for the final time, I had a choice to either find another salon to work in or start my own business. I was afraid to start my own business because I was in a city where nobody knew me. I thought it was going to be hard and complicated. On the other hand, I was also afraid to work for someone else and deal with another set of crazy. So, I decided to quit and step out on faith in November 2010 with a small clientele. At 21 years old, I became a full-blown entrepreneur!
That was my introduction of being my own boss. There were a lot of hours spent in the salon working. The biggest sacrifice I made to be successful was the time spent with my son. He spent the majority of his day at daycare during the week and with a babysitter every weekend while I worked. I told myself I would work hard and hustle to build a great clientele and once he got older, I wouldn’t have to work as hard. I learned quickly, the harder I worked, the more money I made but being a one-man team, I would have to continue that path to survive.
It was time for a different path. The beginning of 2013 is when it began to come together. That inner voice said this is the year so be ready. Again, ready for what? In my mind I knew I was determined to open a salon. July 2013, Latika Mercer and I went to brunch. Seven days later we merged our businesses, became official business partners, and opened Lucky You Salon (2000 square feet house). From 2013-2016 we put in blood sweat and tears to build and establish something great.
November 2016 the birth of Lucky You Salon and Suites happened! We invested and relocated into a 6,000 square feet building! Our salon went from 5 stylists to 10 additionally, we opened 22 salon suites to house other like minded entrepreneurs.
As of 2020 our salon is fully staffed, suites are filled, and I am retired at 32! Through the continued years of mentoring stylists and being a guidance to my clients, I was awakened to my purpose. I am now a Certified Life Purpose Empowerment Coach, Impact Leader, Public Speaker, Master Mentor, Brand Ambassador, and Business Consultant.
My message to you is, it is OKAY to pursue your dreams and grow into your destiny. Forget the negativity and self-doubts. Be confident in yourself and know that you can do it and the only thing holding you back from doing so is you! Believe pursuing your dreams will make the life you desire to have."
Some of the things I learned early on in business:
- All the money made is not yours to keep- you must pay business bills first, pay yourself a percentage of the earnings left and invest money back into your business so it can grow.
- Get a mentor and learn from someone that is where you would like to be!
- Listen to your inner voice (discernment)
- Remove or distance yourself from negativity.
- Don’t waste time waiting on others to make a move.
- Build a great team of people to help you along the way!
- Surround yourself with like-minded individuals or more successful people!
- Maintain a good reputation- your reputation is your lifeline.
- Ultimately stay true to your journey and stay humble.
To learn more about the inspiring stylist, follow:
Podcast: The Inspiring Stylist