To gear up for our Summit21 Conference this year in Atlanta, 21Ninety has scored exclusive interviews with some of this year's participants.
Brejia' Monique, Beauty Mogul & Braid Instructor, is striving to create long-lasting relationships with her customers, all while providing a versatile one-stop shop for beauty services.
Read 21Ninety's exclusive interview below:
21Ninety: Can you give us a little of your background? What inspired you to create EZBeautified?
Brejia' Monique: I am a Beauty Mogul and serial entrepreneur, founder of EZBeautified and Braid Like A Boss Academy. I'm from Atlanta, Georgia and received my bachelors in Business Management from Savannah State University in 2013. I have about 15 years of braid experience as I started braiding at 12 years old. The only other job I ever had was at Burger King for a year right before I left for college.
Throughout my life, I have been independent because of my braid skills. After college, the idea came up for me to teach others how to braid. I had hesitation at first because I never explained or broke down how to braid to myself and my thought was how am I going to tell it to others for them to understand. I had my first class and surprisingly, I was natural at explaining braids, and within two hours, my students learned.
I have been independently hosting Braid Like a Boss Academy for about five years now and the aim is to share my braid techniques to help others to live a life of freedom and independence through braid mastery and a boss mentality.
I pride myself in being versatile and a one-stop shop for beauty services. I current style hair, braid, make and customize wig units, apply mink lashes and provide makeup services.
Ezbeautified was inspired by a high school project conducted when I was in a youth entrepreneurship program. We were to come up with a business plan and present it. The week of getting the project together, a few ladies from Empire Beauty visited our class and they mentioned being your own boss. From that day, I knew I didn't want just to be a braider; I wanted to have a beauty/ spa salon to provide beauty services to the mass.
With my business project, the beauty/spa salon was the plan. The original name of the business was EZImproved Beauty. And my slogan was "it is EZ to improve beauty" because my clients are already beautiful. I completed the project and ran with the whole idea and started to project myself as EZ Improved Beauty. Later I changed it to EZbeautified because it was easier to remember for clients and it was catchy. I now define EZbeautified being about uplifting my clients through my beauty services. It's about enhancing, embracing and empowering women from within through the experience that I give.
21N: What was the vision behind it?
The vision was to have a salon space as a one-stop shop for beauty services. You could get hair, makeup, nails and massages in the same building.
21N: How long have you been creating these hair/ beauty/skincare products? Was this always your chosen career path?
BM: I have been braiding for about 15 years. I have been making wig units for about two years. My first passion was to become a dance choreographer. I didn't correctly choose to start the business of doing hair, but once I started practicing and developing my demand, I stuck with it.
21N: What was the process like in building the business and how long did it take to get it up and running? What inspired the name choice?
BM: The process in building the business has had its ups and downs, of course, like everything but more ups. I learned how to market myself, connect with people, and develop my brand. But I have dealt with slow seasons and poor saving habits. I have become more versatile with my services and responsible for finances. It didn't take long to build my clientele since I started so young. Empowerment for women to be beautiful inside and out inspired the name of my business.
21N: What kind of work goes into the process of creating these products? What types of ingredients do you use?
BM: To deliver my services, I have to be patient, professional and positive. I wake up some days at 5 a.m. to start with my first client. I have a few hours break in the day and then I start back working until about 6 p.m. sometimes after. To give my clients quality work, I pray over my day and the service before doing them. I take the time to make sure the styles are neat, feminine and natural looking. My most used ingredient to get my natural hair clients hair to be neat and sleek without heat is Murray's edge wax.
21N: Which styles were the most fun to create? Any favorites for clients?
BM: The style that was the most fun to create is an original style called "Krys Kross Banana Braids." It's was created for my client name, Krystal. She came to me, told me to freestyle and I crisscrossed two sets of cornrows but the way it turned out, it was unique, classy and bold. I posted the pic of her hair and the photo went viral on Instagram in 2014. That style traveled all over from state to state as I would see it on other stylists pages. Some acknowledged me and some didn't know where it came from. Either way, I took it as a compliment of my work and was happy that I could be an influence on the beauty industry.
My client's favorite styles are the classic two banana braids, medium dookie braid individuals and tribal braid styles.
21N: What do you love most about the work that you do?
BM: What I love the most about the work I do is that I get to meet, interact and exchange positive energy with so many Amazing women. I have developed bonds with a lot of these women and poured positive into them and they have opened me up to be more expressive. I love to add to their confidence with my talent and to give them a safe space to be themselves.
21N: What do you hope to gain from attending Summit21?
BM: I hope to exchange positive energy with everyone I come in contact with and build the awareness of my brand so that I can do what I can to enhance, embrace and empower more women. Thank you for the opportunity!
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