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Life & Work with Shawnicee Gentry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawnicee Gentry.

Hi Shawnicee, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I always had a love for hair but it wasn’t something I took seriously in the beginning. I attended Lincoln University at the age of 18 pursuing a journalism degree. I stayed 2 years after deciding Lincoln wasn’t for me I came back home to St. Louis where I attended a year at forest park.

Honestly, I knew from the start I wasn’t a school person but I was young and really wanted to make my family proud. I remember one day coming home from the school library and telling my friend school just wasn’t for me and I wanted to go to school for hair. That next day, I looked into Paul Mitchell’s set up and interview and began my enrollment process. I attended cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell St. Louis in 2018.

I just remember being so excited I couldn’t wait. I would go to school 9-5 and then go to work till 2 am I didn’t care I loved hair so no matter how tired of was I pushed through. Time passed and unfortunately, I was unable to complete school there and had to continue at Elaine Stevens. I finished school in July 2019.

From there, I went to work at Ray of Beauty salon in south city, I stayed there for a year. In March of 2021, I moved to Fresher Den U Cutz & Stylez where I am now.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It’s never 100 percent smooth being a business owner definitely has its ups and downs. It’s never easy. On days you are completely busy another day you’re not. The biggest struggle of my career started right from the jump. I was kicked out of my first cosmetology school 2 months before my graduation date.

I was devastated. Many schools do not accept hours and I knew that I might have to start all the way over. Thankfully, I was able to finish up at Elaine Stevens Beauty School. I’m so happy I did not give up. I took that experience and learned from it.

It’s not always an easy road but I’m always learning and improving and in the end, it’ was all worth it. I love doing hair it’s like a breath of fresh air every time I get behind that chair nothing else matters to me.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a cosmetologist. I do braids, wigs, natural styles, and twists, and teach braiding classes. I specialize in knotless braids and that is what most of my clients know me for as well as my braiding speed I braid faster than most braiders.

What would take a normal braider 10-12 hours would take me 5-6. I’m most proud of my improvements I’ve come a long way from where I started with my talent and I always looking to improve.

What sets me apart from others would have to be I truly love the clients I look forward to seeing them catching up and having those deep conversations. I love trying new styles and colors with them.

I’m always encouraging them to try new things and step out of their comfort zone. I really appreciate them.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Having your own business isn’t easy, but when you truly love what you do all those hard days are worth it! Don’t give up. Anybody can talk about doing it put your faith in God and yourself and DO IT!

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