Hey guys and welcome back to the blog! Today I had to stop through and share an interview I had the pleasure to do with female entrepreneur and salon owner, Tianna Valentine. Me and Ms. Valentine had the opportunity to chat about her experiences with owning a business at a young age and here’s what she had to say.
Tianna Valentine: Owner of Salon Stye & Grace
Me: You are a girl boss and young female entrepreneur, you purchased your salon at such a young age, and I know you recently celebrated your 22nd birthday. How old were you when you went through with the purchase? What sparked the idea and gave you the motivation to do so?
Tianna:I started my baby Salon Style and Grace at the tender age of 18. There were so many reasons I decided to take the leap of faith and venture out on my own. I had worked in two salons the previous year, they were both good but I felt that I wasn’t a good fit. One day I was working and said to my friend “I’m just going to get my own salon” she agreed and helped me go look. That very day I came across a store front which is now Salon Style and Grace. It was more of a peace of mind decision for me as well as my clients. I wanted to make them feel as comfortable as possible. I never said I wanted to own a salon in my life. I was in college to be a teacher, I just did hair on the side. It was truly my love for my clients that was motivation. I was 18, almost all of them were older than me and they believed in me, they seen something in me and that gave me the push I needed to take that risk. I feel as though there is no way to be a boss other than being a boss, when you work in environments and places that you attempt to bring the best outcome to them and you’re constantly blocked or your dreams and visions aren’t understood or respected…. You have two choices, complain or do something about it. For me I did both, but it sparked the fire that lit the flame to what my ultimate reality will become “My OWN BOSS!”
Me: Last year Salon Style and Grace hosted a vision board party. Can we expect to see more events like this in the future? Or will you head in a different direction with the types of events you host?
Tianna:Events and discussions that empower and motivate everyone is what I’m all about. Salon Style and Grace is built on inspiring women to be their very best and to do their very best. Doing hair is apart of making women look and feel good physically. I want to make them feel good mentally so they can be their best selves internally and externally. Plus, I love to engage in thought provoking conversations and seeing other people utilize their God given abilities to manifest their dreams. You can be sure to see us hosting and curating events that will impact our community in a positive way. I’m very passionate about health, wealth, and the overall pursuit of happiness and anything I can do to shine light on these subjects for myself and others generates a win-win for me.
Me:I know how much focus and discipline it takes to run a business, and you work on the side as well. What kind of self-care techniques do you use to refrain from becoming overwhelmed with juggling life, work, and running your own hair salon? If you don’t what kind of self-care techniques would you like to incorporate?
Tianna:The number one rule to maintaining a hectic life is there is no rules. I would love to give you a list of things I practice and follow religiously to what keeps me sane and on task, but in all honesty it’s organized chaos. The goals you set for yourself is the driving force that gets you to your destination, the steps and mishaps that happen in between is what builds your character, there is no “one size fits all” success manual. Every dream process is going to be different and run concurrent with your everyday life choices; you have to power through the adversity by any means. Find places, people, and things that keep you grounded and bring you back to your positivity when you feel it falling apart and you’ll be able to navigate any terrain.
My advice on self-care, if you can ladies, give yourself a FULL “you day” weekly. Groom yourself in every way. Your back hurt? Get a massage. Your face looking dull? Get a facial. Read a book, take a walk, take yourself to dinner or movie. My idea of self-care is giving into yourself the way you deserve.
Me:Where did the name Salon Style and Grace come from? What are some of your goals you hope to achieve with the salon?
Tianna:“To all the ladies in the place with Style and Grace….” – that’s a Biggie Smalls lyric, and something I identify with tremendously. It embodies the essence of who and what I am, extremely stylish and effortlessly graceful. That’s also my goal for the overall experience of each and every last soul that I encounter and provide services to. As far as my goals, I will be bringing some innovative, never before seen, done, or heard of services and products to light for my clients all under one umbrella. I don’t want to give away too much until it comes to fruition, but I can say this “stay tuned” because the glow up is nothing short of legendary
Me: What kind of services do you provide at Salon Style and Grace?
Tianna:Currently we offer all hair services. Braids, weaves, updos, etc. Each stylist is fluent in hair care as well as custom color service. This upcoming month we are getting into lash/eyebrow services, and moving into skincare. Me: What have been some of your failures so far on this journey? Do you ever regret purchasing your salon at the time that you did? If you could change anything or go back and do anything differently, would you?
Tianna:God doesn’t make mistakes, so every experience is a lesson never a failure. I’ve learned more from my “failures” than any success I’ve experienced. It teaches me what not to repeat, and how to better prepare for pitfalls and adversity. So the word failure doesn’t exist for me. As far as regretting my baby, their have been times when self doubt and overthinking has gotten the best of me, but when I look over my achievements and how far I’ve come it just lets me know there is no limit to what I will become. I will forever evolve, expand and grow so no matter how wrong, difficult, or unwanted a choice is I’ve decided to make…. there is absolutely no room for regret for them I wouldn’t be who I’ve become. I like to think of failures as my personal amusement park with a bunch of different rides, some take you as high as 40ft and drop you to 1ft in 4 seconds. My credit was crazy at one point, I had 10 open credit lines at 19. Sad I know, my mother warned me about it but I just did my own thing as usual and by the time I turned 20 I had over 18,000 in debt. I even changed my number because the collection people would not stop calling (lol). I said to myself “stop worrying, give yourself a year” which is where my second job came in at. I managed to pay $14,000 within the year. My taxes are the worst due to not hiring the proper accountant and it put me 3 years behind but no, I don’t regret it. I wish I had thought it out a little better before I jumped but that’s not what God intended for me to do. If I could go back and change something it would definitely be not giving my all to my business, my business has not gotten what it deserves from me.
Me: What advice would you give someone who is interested in starting their own brand or business?
Tianna:The best advice I could give anyone willing to take this leap of faith is to research, plan, execute, repeat. They all take equal amounts of energy you don’t want to spend too much time researching that it discourages you from going forward, you don’t want to spend too much or too little time planning that it derails your execution, and you have to execute with the same passion and fury that burned inside of you when you came up with the idea to pursue your dreams. When you reach your desired margins do it all again, the process is never ending. Most importantly, make sure it’s what you really want to do and know the type of business you’re in. Just because it makes Person A money doesn’t mean it will make Person B money. You have to eat, sleep, and breathe your business, and if you can’t do that you have no business. Think outside the box, be different, take risk. We live in a very unrealistic picture of the world, we see something we believe it. I say that to say it’s okay to be a team player and not the team leader. Figure out which one you are and if you’re the team leader put your foot on the gas and never let up!!
Me: Excluding yours, are there any brands or businesses that you admire? Any people that inspire or motivate you?
Tianna:YES, my mom. She’s just starting her catering business but her as a person inspires me. I know I say it all the time but being a mom at 15 and having 3 of us by 23 by herself, she never gave up or gave in. She hustled all her life, man it’s crazy to hear but to see with my own two eyes was nothing short of amazing. No she’s not a millionaire or anything (yet) but her hustle is unmatched. In my field my first boss Leon Hutchinson, he’s been in this industry for over 25 years and misses no beat, ask anybody he’s one of the greats. I know I got on his nerves but everything I know is because of him, he never held back any knowledge or techniques which is rare in this industry. Kisha from E’TAE is also motivation, I always heard of the brand but never knew the person behind it. Now seeing her and seeing how she grinds daily and motivates people daily, she’s all for women and helping everybody around her get ahead and that’s a beautiful thing. Both people have well established salons and that’s motivation.Me: If you could change just one thing about our society through Salon Style and Grace, what would it be?
Tianna:I don’t/can’t narrow it down to one thing I will be impacting society with. I’d like to think of business as an opportunity to serve the community through conventional and unconventional methods. I’m very passionate about our youth and establishing a strong foundation for them, I’ll be hosting and sponsoring mentorship programs for young ladies, and I also would like to generate a positive outreach program for young men as well through successful male role models. Sort of like each one teach one philosophy. This is outside of the impact I’m making by establishing myself as a living example of no limits and never letting someone project their fears on stopping you. If you believe you can, you can and this will help facilitate a great foundation for our future leaders. Raising the next generation up right is key. Through education and knowledge of them true selves and self worth, not what the text book says and not what society thinks is the truth, but the truth. They’re getting lost somewhere between lack of support and emotional damage peer pressure. I would love if I could get volunteers to do a program for our youth.
Me: What makes Salon Style and Grace unique?
Tianna:Salon Style and Grace is a representation of hope. When you look or think about Salon Style and Grace just know it stemmed from a kid/at risk teen. Through all the dirt and rain the sun shined and a flower generated.
Me: Fun fact about yourself?
Tianna:I sing and dance all day everyday (no I can’t do either). I’m just really passionate about music and I love the way it makes me feel.
Me: Anything you’d like to share about Salon Style and Grace? Any deals or specials we should be on the lookout for?
Tianna:Yes, every Friday we have a deal called “FREAKY FRIDAY”
- Wash and Press $30
- Wash and Curl $35
- Sew-In $95
- Caps $50
Thanks for your time T! Be sure to follow Tianna on Instagram:
Be sure to check back next Thursday for another interview and 13 beautiful hardworking souls. It’s important that we continue to uplift, empower, and inspire one another. Support your black owned businesses and brands. Be sure to stay tuned for more post!
Did you miss last weeks post? Be sure to catch up: Creators & Entrepreneurs – a closer look into creativity and business
Thanks for reading. Be Blessed & Stay Humble.
Interested in checking out my first two self-published books? Head over to my site: $elf – choose you always.