Coming from a Caribbean family and growing up in a Haitian household in Brooklyn, NY where I was born and raised, I was always surrounded by culture and entrepreneurship! My first paying job was when I was 14 years old working in a hair salon in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, NY. I began braiding hair at age 10, practicing on my twin sisters hair! Throughout Middle school and High School, I braided and styled people’s hair right in my mothers living room (thanks mom ☺️), in which I made a very good income from, for a teenager!! This was my first step to Entrepreneurship and first taste of business! After moving out to Long Island, NY with my family at age 17, I brought my Braiding skills to the town of Uniondale, NY, working out of my moms basement (thanks again mom, lol). In my early 20’s I began working at a barber shop in Freeport, NY, where I became one of the popular and most requested braiders in Nassau County! While working there, I was also a student at a Community College majoring in Business! I initially majored in Pre-med because of my long time love for health and the mechanics of the human body. I had decided not go that route because I wanted to experience my entrepreneurial drive! After graduating, I began applying what I learned in school to transform my ideas to small businesses! I also began experimenting with other ideas I had like Jewelry making and was successful! In my mid 20’s I became pregnant with my first child (Mother of 2), and lost interest, passion, and time, to continue pursuing my love for Hair Braiding! During that time I did some self studying on health & nutrition, started a vegan lifestyle, and gave birth to my 2nd child! After some time, My entrepreneurial drive came back and I decided to pursue my passions again. In 2014, Ancestral Strands was born! I transitioned from being A young female entrepreneur, to becoming a mother, and now Mompreneur!!! The transition was far from easy, and as a single mother, it was the most challenging times in my life! There were times when I had no baby sitter and would take my children with me to festivals where I was a vendor promoting my business and even to house visits for hair appointments with my daughter strapped to my back in the sling! It wasn’t a walk in the park and although things worked out ok, I still struggled with combining my entrepreneurial drive with motherhood! But that’s when I realized, being a business woman/Entrepreneur Was in my blood (My Haitian/African Roots) and what I deeply have a passion for!! I was not hindering myself from going after what I wanted because of life challenges! Today, I am a single mother of 2 beautiful children, still pursuing my childhood dream of sharing my creative hair art, despite the challenges I’ve faced! As my kids are growing older, motherhood/life is becoming a little easier which helps me to pursue my dream of owning the first Natural Hair & Braiding mobile Kiosks!
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Ancestral Strands is a unique Pop Up braiding station which gives you access to the cities best braiding stylist for quick on the go cultural braids or natural hair styling using all natural vegan hair products! Plus we serve complimentary Hair tea tonics to give your roots a healthy boost! Our lineage are in the roots of our hair, the ancestry DNA, the strands of existence! Ancestral Strands is a rebirth of this same existence. A rebirth of hair culture, tribal influences, deep rooted tradition…Love Your ROOTS…Love your STRANDS!! My company pays homage to the ancestors that were here before us and where I get most of my inspiration from, The traditional African Coiffure! The future of Ancestral Strands consists of small kiosks in major cities as well as Hotels in the Caribbean, offering quick on the go braiding styles. This will also give local hair braiders an opportunity to Manage and work out of their own intimate shop! I will also be coming out with my very own Herbal Hair Teas, a Hair jewelry line, and Hair Products, all made with earth’s preservation in mind!
What is the purpose of this loan?
This loan will assist me in opening my very own braiding & natural hair shop in Brooklyn, NY. The total cost to move into an incubator located in the busy area of Brooklyn, is $1850 ($850 + $850 + $150) which is first months rent, security, and Utility Security Deposit, respectively. I will also be able to use this loan for equipment/furniture which is approximately $ $1000 and attend a beauty school to receive my Natural Hair License, $2000 tuition. By receiving this loan and opening my shop, I will be able to hire hair stylist so that I can still make an income while spending more time with my children! I will also be able to provide other entrepreneurs with a space to sell their items, in my mini boutique located in my shop! This will not only increase revenue for my business but it will help my fellow entrepreneur grow theirs!!
Years in operation: 1 year – 3 years