We had the good fortune of connecting with Shakiyla Harris-James and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shakiyla, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factors behind the success of my brand are my strong faith in God, a great work ethic, and continuous education.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Cosmetologist, and owner of Goddess Fever Hair Salon, Goddess Fever Extensions and FreshHeir, a haircare line.
A lot of people are shocked when I tell them I’ve only been in the hair industry for 7 years. I have always had a love for hair, since I was practically raised in a hair salon. Every two weeks I was in my Auntie Kim’s chair in Portland, Oregon’s oldest and still standing black-owned hair salon; Deans Beauty Salon. This is where my knowledge of haircare and aesthetics were born.
Later on in Highschool my Aunt Rosa took me out to buy all my own tools, taught me how to press and curl my own hair and others.. she taught me things about the scalp, the actual hair strands, and things that grow hair or that will damage it. This was to prepare me for college. Little did she know she opened me up to a new world, and was giving me a foundation.
However I come from the corporate world. I started my career as a journalist for a newspaper, which then led me to public relations and later to retail. I have always been a hard worker who loves to set and accomplish personal goals. So at 25 I became a young VP at a retail company called Traffic Shoes. I was responsible for 100 stores, over 2oo employees, 10 District Managers and 2 Regional Managers . There I was fortunate to work beside the owners who showed me everything it took to run a business. I learned everything from how to do a store build out, buying, and of course sales and finance.
This all catapulted my entrepreneurial journey. I decided to start selling hair while working my corporate job, which turned into a hair store, me going to hair school to now owning a salon, and haircare line. My love for hair never left me.
Getting here wasn’t easy, but it’s been worth the journey. People often compliment my professional and the experience they get in the salon. That comes from my background of service.
Through my journey I’ve learned that each day will be different. I’ve learned that the hard day’s and better than the good ones because they teach you the best lessons. I’ve had to start over a couple of times and each time was better than the last. It’s ok to have to go back to the drawing board at times.
One thing people should know about me and my brand is that I genuinely care about my clients, and the health of your hair. It all means something to me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of my favorite spots in the city to eat; Bon Ton, Capital Grille, and STK.
My favorite places to shop; Phipps Plaza.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have been fortunate to have two individuals in my life who have inspired and pushed me to become the aggressive entrepreneur I am today. God blessed me with a supportive spouse who encourages me and works just as hard for my brand as I do. I appreciate everything you do. With love to my soulmate; Mr. James.
To the lady who took a chance on a 25 year old, hungry young girl, made her a Vice President, and ultimately beast, you’ll forever have a place in my heart. Thank you Suarmy.