What inspired you to pursue a career in the beauty industry?
As a young girl I was no stranger to the salon environment. Although my family does not have a background in hair, my mom was a faithful client to Glam Kouture Salon in Birmingham, Alabama where Alesia Stewart was her stylist. They say I expressed an interest in hair at a young age so Alesia took me under her wing and pretty much taught me the fundamentals of hair; from the age of 13 years old I knew for sure that I would pursue a career in hair and eventually own my own salon.
Can you share a memorable moment from your early days in the industry?
The most memorable moment from my early days in the industry was competing in the student competition at the Bronner Bros Hair Show during cosmetology school. These competitions taught me Resilience. I competed 3 times as a student and I did not place 1st either time. The first show I did not place at all because of my lack of creativity. If you guys know anything about the student competition you need to be creative because you must come with the hair installed and colored; You only have 30 mins to cut and style. Of course, being true to who I am, I did not use color the first time because it wasn’t my classic style and although my cut was beautiful it wasn’t enough without that color combo. I tried again 2 times after that and placed 3rd both times. I came back my first year as a professional and competed for the Champion of Weaves and finally placed first. I knew I had it in me and I did not give up until I won. Moral of the story, NEVER GIVE UP!
How do you define your brand within the beauty space?
I would describe my brand as CLASSIC, because I have my own traditional style and no matter how much I evolve I still try my best to stay within the realm of what I have made to be my own. I strive to have my brand seen as one of higher quality at all times in every aspect of branding.
What does being featured in the Hype Hair Magazine x Bronner Bros collaboration mean
Growing up in the salon setting, Hype Hair was a major component. Back in the day when social media wasn’t a factor, we looked to hype hair for inspiration. As a young woman I’ve always wanted to have my work featured in this magazine so this opportunity is everything to me. Bronner Bros being connected is a bonus. I’ve always loved and highly respected the Bronner Bros family and being connected to the company over the last 3 years has given me a front row seat into why they will always remain number 1 in my eyes. Words can’t express how much it means to me, definitely a life long dream come true.
Where do you see yourself in your career five years from now?
5 years from now I plan to expand my brand Shu & Company LLC to corporate chain salons and cosmetology schools.
Who are some of your biggest influences in the beauty industry?
I am heavily influenced by Kim Kimble and Ming Lee
What areas of expertise set you apart from other professionals in your field?
I am able to apply extensions to hair as short as 2 inches long, thin hair, as well hair that others may find challenging. My clientele is full of women who may have been told by other stylists that it isn’t a good fit for extensions. Whatever a client’s desired extension look is, 9 times out of 10 I can give it to them.
How vital are diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry, and how do you contribute
Diversity and Inclusivity is essential in the beauty industry and I believe being educated in all types of hair is my contribution. Seeing each head of hair as equal and being able to cater to each head is a very special piece of my craft.
Can you share some advice for aspiring beauty professionals looking to make their
Find what you like most and become the best at it. I was attracted to extensions early on in cosmetology school and I knew that I wanted to be an extension specialist. I took a host of classes and studied the top professionals and their companies to find my lane. Whatever that special thing is for you, your gift will make room for you. Never stop being a student no matter how good you are at what you do, there’s always room for improvement.
What role does innovation play in your approach to beauty and haircare?
As a beauty professional there is always something new, literally every year there is a new method, product, tool, etc. I love embracing the new, taking the good from the new and old and combining those things to be the best version of myself I can be.
How do you balance staying true to your style while keeping up with industry trends?
I believe having core morals and values as a professional always helps me stay grounded in
who I am, so as I said before I take the good from the new trends but I remain CLASSIC. I never stray too far away from what and who my brand truly is.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how have they shaped your
Relocating from a small town where I was very popular and moving to a bigger city was very challenging. I didn’t realize how hard it was to rebuild in not only unfamiliar territory, but also a place where the best of the best stylists were. It humbled me and made me work even harder to be mentioned in the conversation again. Having this experience let me know how strong I was and it tested my faith. I feel like I can make it anywhere in the world now and I am never afraid to start over.
What upcoming projects or collaborations can your fans and readers look forward to?
Blew By Shu is coming soon to the Atlanta Area. This is another layer of Shu & Company LLC.
What’s your favorite beauty hack or product you can’t live without?
My Round Brush
How do you stay motivated and inspired in a constantly evolving industry like beauty?
GOD. I am grounded in my faith and I believe I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It gets hard sometimes and during my most challenging times I pray for guidance and it gives me the peace and understanding I need to move forward to the next business venture.
The wait is over! The OFFICIAL 2024 Bronner Bros Freshman Class issue is LIVE!
Meet the stars of the show: Barber @yisraelwright_, MUAs @hana.ali.beauty & @pounddcakee_, Hairstylists @iamhairphysician, @daisydoesmyhair, @shudoesmyhair, & @hairbyalexnicole, Nail Artist @terranceterry, Loctician @lux_n_locs, and Lash Techs @bykarlibeauty & @gibbysmiless of @karlibeautylashbar.
This issue is a masterpiece of beauty and artistry, captured by the talented @dinerovisualz, creatively directed by @iamthekingdavis, and curated by @the95.agency. Get ready to be blown away! #BronnerBros2024 #ATLBBHOMECOMING #HypeHairMagazine
Don’t miss the 2024 Bronner Bros International Beauty Show from February 24-26 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Secure your registration by visiting http://www.bronnerbros.com