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Conversations with DeAnna Monroe

Today we’d like to introduce you to DeAnna Monroe.

Hi DeAnna, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My life started off very rocky. I was born to a young mother that wasn’t ready to be one and to a father that would mostly be out of my life from age four due to a paralyzing car accident. My childhood included much pain because I was neglected emotionally at home, abused, molested and bullied constantly at school which often left me wondering why I was even put on this earth in the first place. It was only the fear of a not-so-quick & painful death that kept me from committing suicide on a numerous of occasions. I went through life trying to come to terms with being an outcast. So much so that when I felt that I embraced that label, I began my own clothing brand, Certified OutKast, which needless to say did not succeed. Mainly because during that time, I was a student but also homeless. So I was trying to maintain my grades & a job all the while sleeping in my storage unit until I obtained a car.

By the time I transferred from SWIC where I graduated with my fine arts degree to UMSL, student loans is what eventually gave me traditional shelter. Here is where I started doing hair as a side hustle as I also did work-study for extra money. I graduated from UMSL with honors in 2015 where I majored in media studies & minored in theatre. I had aspirations of working in the media but after graduation, I landed a job as an Admin. Assistant at UMSL and over time, my passion for media faded. In 2017, I took a huge leap of faith and quit my job at UMSL to work for myself full-time doing hair. Four years later, my business, Queen’s Protective Styling is yet thriving and I also have a hair oil, QPS Royal Oil, that’s bringing health back to the heads of many. I am an influencer for a big hair company and I’m affiliated with a beauty supply based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Above all however, what means the most to me is to inspire by sharing my testimony and wisdom. This is what I feel my ultimate life’s purpose is. There’s much more that I’ve been through but these days, I’m nothing short of blessed because I’ve never given up. I’ve had a very long & hard journey to self-love but it’s been worth the work. So never give up on yourself and keep striving towards your dreams!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road could’ve stood to be smoother but it also could’ve been worse. Determination, consistency and creativeness is what has kept my business afloat. During the side hustle stage, building clientele was the biggest challenge. It took patience but social media along with word of mouth is what helped a lot. I had no help financially from anyone so having the amount of money needed for certain things was a challenge but saving up and using my money wisely helped tremendously. The pandemic was definitely a challenge. Business slowed down expeditiously so I had to get creative and return to wig making. There were weeks when I only had two clients scheduled so at one point, I thought I would have to get a 9 to 5. Another challenge has been my back. I suffer from chronic back pain & doing hair nonstop doesn’t help that but I do what I can to stay strong. However on some days, it not only puts a physical damper on doing hair but an emotional one was well. And lastly, doing it all alone. Operating a business is not easy. I have to wear many hats so sometimes it gets very overwhelming but I do my best to balance myself and do self-care.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I consider myself a hair artist & hair care creator. I specialize in crochet braids and havana twists which are both protective styles. I’ve been doing hair ever since my middle school days but when crochet braids were in its infancy, I fell in love with them. I started doing them on my own head to give me a break from my natural hair and the response to how mine looked was overwhelmingly positive. Next thing you know, I’ve got a business name and seven years later, a successful business. Along with doing hair, it only made sense to create a product that would further the health of my client’s hair so I developed my own multi-use hair oil. Which is now two years old and is not only used by women but men and children too. Everyone who has tried it loves it because they get actual results (hair growth, thickening, strengthening & dry scalp relief. Plus it smells amazing).

I am most proud of the growth and the relationships I have forged with my clients. I look back to where I started to where I am now and can’t help but be proud of myself. My work has evolved and I have clients from 2014 that still come to me to this day. The loyalty is beautiful and that’s what takes me into what sets me apart.

The overall experience is what sets me apart. The vibe, the professionalism, the consistency and the way I cater to my clients is my differentiation. I truly care about them. It’s not all about the money to me so that’s why I have such a large group of long-standing clients or QPS Queens as I like to call them.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
While living in a shelter at one point, I was counseled by Mrs. Nikki. During that time was one of the lowest times in my life and she helped me believe in myself. She helped me to see things differently and she helped me to forgive. I could talk to her about whatever was on my mind and she didn’t judge but instead listened and took me under her wing. She was the 1st woman in my life who I felt genuinely cared about me and for that, I will always acknowledge and love her.

Bobby. who is my ex but also one of my dear friends definitely deserves acknowledgment. We met when I was 19 and he loved me completely, which taught me to love myself. He taught me not to worry so much and how to unlearn so many negative behaviors that was hindering my growth. During the majority of our relationship, he was my everything and he definitely was the 1st man in my life to give me unconditional love. All of this helped to propel me further in life and he was right there for anything I needed. Bobby has seen me at some of my lowest moments, has gone through the trenches with me so I will always love and appreciate him for that.

Two of my clients, Dionne and Mary definitely deserve recognition. At times when I needed assistance the most, they came through for me in major ways. One fronted me the money to purchase my car and the other paid for my root canal procedure. Both of these blessings tremendously helped to keep business going. It’s not everyday that people who aren’t your family will come to your aid this way and with no one in my family to help like that anyway, I am truly thankful for the both of these women.

My friend LaTesha is such an inspiration to me. She’s been in business for 11 years and when I wanted to branch out she welcomed me to her facility with open arms. She supported me 100% and helped me grow as a businesswoman. Therefore, I will always be thankful to her for that.

Pricing:

  • 4oz QPS Royal Oil – $12
  • 6oz QPS Royal Oil – $15
  • Crochet Braid Styles $65 – $150

Contact Info:

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