I'm unapologetically my motherfuckin' self. Forever and always. I don't ever doctor my personality to fit anyone's liking. You either love me, or you leave me alone.
AT WHAT AGE DID YOU START DOING HAIR?
Not even to sound cheesy or corny, but I've been doing hair for as long as I can even remember. When I was younger, I used to go to my neighbor’s house. She had really super long black hair, and she would let me play with it and put it in all these funny styles. And as I got older, she taught me different things—how to blow hair out, how to color her roots. A lot of what she showed me molded me into what I am today.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU COULD MAKE IT A BUSINESS?
When I started building a clientele, I knew that I could survive off of this. I was always scared to quit my job and make it my number one source of income. I used to only specialize in one thing, but after my mom got sick, I just took that leap. I decided to teach myself more so I could start taking a whole different demographic. Life's too short to limit yourself, and I'm glad I did that shit. I'm extremely blessed to be booked months at a time and have a steady income off of this little business I built literally from nothing.
ON A SCALE FROM 1-10 HOW HARD WAS IT TO MAINTAIN YOUR BUSINESS AND BE ABLE TO AFFORD LIVING IN MANHATTAN?
At first, it was hard as fuck. I remember working three jobs—yes three jobs yo—and still squeezing in time to be able to do some hair. So I'd say a nice solid ten, but after I got myself a steady clientele, it's been a breeze. And I also have lived in Manhattan my entire life. I'm not new to the area so survival out here has never really been all that hard.
WHAT KEPT YOU MOTIVATED?
Life is short! Losing my mother was a tragedy. She was my best friend in the whole wide world, man. [She was] my biggest supporter. I swear, if I wanted to start a fucking post card business, I knew she would have been down for me, cheering me on. She left this earth very well accomplished, the most fearless and adventurous person I have ever met. She said she wouldn't have lived her life any other way and that's what I want. To say that I did whatever the fuck I wanted to do and I was fearless and I was fucking adventurous.
WHAT AND WHO INSPIRES YOU?
My family, I've seen them go through so much tragedy, heartbreak and struggle. Being able to provide for them financially in dark times is a beautiful thing.
I'm also greatly inspired by film. I love movies. I spend about 98% of my time watching movies. Doesn't matter the era. To see all these different hairstyles and hair colors women wore over the years is so greatly inspiring. I hope to one day be able to leave my mark in history like that.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HAIRSTYLE TO DO ON SOMEONE?
I don't really have a favorite, but I love when a client comes to me with the most craziest outlandish idea of color. I'm just like “yes let's create that shit! Let's bring it to life.” Oh you want me to mold a dick on your head?! Let's go! Anything is possible in my chair. (laughs)
IF YOU COULD WORK WITH ANY CELEBS HAIR, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I don’t know. I don't really care much for celebs. (laughs)
WHAT HAIR TREND DO YOU HATE THE MOST?
(laughs) If I said how I really felt, people would really not like me. So for the sake of my name and professionalism, I'll skip this one. :)
BEING A HAIRSTYLIST, DOES IT EVER BOTHER YOU WHEN YOU GET CLIENTS WHO WANT TO APPROPRIATE A CERTAIN CULTURE? OR DO YOU NOT CARE ABOUT SHIT LIKE THAT.
(laughs harder) I just tried to avoid this topic and looky looky! Imma keep it real—yes it does. It annoys me when people don't research and call certain styles “some Kim Kardashian shit.” That shit really bugs me, but I can't sit here, and lie to you by saying I don't do it. I just always try to make sure that I do my best to educate them, correct any mistakes and give a little history lesson. Let em know, these are a part of my culture if you wanna be able to enjoy them like I enjoy them, just be aware of em and what it means. Simple. There are tasteful ways to do things.
DOES IT BUG YOU WHEN YOUR FRIENDS ASK FOR FREE SHIT?
My friends ask for free shit? I don’t what kind of friends you think I have but they've been my biggest supporters since day one. Shit, I always wanna give them free shit. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today. This doesn't mean start asking me for free shit though.
BEING A HAIRSTYLIST IS A PRETTY POPULAR AND COMPETITIVE CAREER PATH, WHY DO YOU THINK YOU FLOURISH IN THIS FIELD? WHAT SEPARATES YOU FROM THE REST OF OTHER HAIRSTYLIST IN NYC?
I'm unapologetically my motherfuckin' self. Forever and always. I don't ever doctor my personality to fit anyone's liking. You either love me, or you leave me alone. Simple. I think that's why a lot of people fuck with me. I mean besides the fact that I ooze talent. (she laughs). Just kidding, but really. I'm always myself, and I love what I do. I don't work for money, I literally work for the love of it and to be able to create. For a long time this didn't even pay the bills, I just did it as a hobby. I genuinely love what I do, I'm an artist first always. Also, I'm never worried about competition. I don't check for other hairstylist I'm always only checking for myself. I think that's what keeps me where I am, there's no hate in my heart.
BEING THAT YOU WORK FROM HOME, DO YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF GETTING STRESSED OUT FROM BEING IN THE SAME AREA ALL DAY? IF SO, WHERE DO YOU GO TO ESCAPE?
DO I?! Cabin fever be on a hundred thousand trillion. That's why I vacation more than your average person lol I need to be on the move, sometimes it drives me so crazy because I work and live out of the same space, it's like I never leave work. But also, to complain about it would be selfish because I am truly blessed, I’m thankful and wouldn't have it any other way. On days where I can't get out, I sit on my fire escape. The view is beautiful, and it helps a lot just to feel the sun on my skin and the wind on my face.
COULD YOU EVER SEE YOURSELF WORKING OUTSIDE OF HOME? IF YOU WEREN’T A HAIRSTYLIST, WHAT OCCUPATION WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Hmmm...this is a really good question. I've always wanted to be parole officer for juveniles. Try to make a change in the community and educate young men and women. I could also have seen myself being an actress, I did take theater for three years, but the universe knew where and what I needed to be doing. I'm definitely not mad, I don't make the change in the world that I would have liked to, but I do make a change in someone's world.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER GIRL BOSSES READING THIS INTERVIEW? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A FUTURE ENTREPRENEUR THAT WANTED TO START A BUSINESS IN NYC?
My number one is always be yourself. Fuck what anyone has to say. Don't be afraid to fail. Learn from your mistakes. Stay away from fuck boys who delay ya glow up. Always support those around you. No idea is too small. Just take that leap, the worst that could happen is that u fuck up, u fail. But you don’t whine, complain or cry about it. You get up, dust yourself off and try again. People fuck with fire, know that. If people aren't fucking with your shit, it's because it's trash and you need to get back to the drawing board. Once you find what makes you you, everything else will just fall into place. Don't be afraid to be selfish, once I learned to live my life for me. Shit, I started to really fuck the game up. Have faith in God, have faith in the universe. No one is undeserving. That's all I got. (laughs)
DO YOU PLAN TO LIVE IN NYC FOREVER?
I think I do, I can't see me being anywhere else with dreams this big. No other city is ready for me.