We had the good fortune of connecting with Shanae Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shanae, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make was deciding whether or not to leave a secure, seven-year long career (although I was unhappy and felt extremely limited in my administrative position). This would mean that I’d leave behind all that I knew professionally, and all that I’ve worked for over the years in order to chase my dreams. After weeks of battling with myself, I walked into my office, packed up all of my belongings, and formally resigned from my position at the NYCDOE. It was difficult making this decision, but with tons of tears and prayers, three months later, I opened up Cotton Candi Colors LLC also known as Cotton Candi Colors Nail Spa, in Crown Heights Brooklyn.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Cotton Candi Colors LLC is a full service nail salon that offers traditional services like the “mani & pedi”, acrylics, and so much more. We also offer tattoo services , teeth whitening services, and we have a full time female barber on staff. The versatility that my salon provides is what I think sets us apart from other businesses like us. We’re a one stop shop! I’m most proud of how far we’ve come in only a year of operating. We’ve impacted the lives of so many people and we’ll continue to work towards leaving our mark on our community through community events, apprenticeships and workshops. Prior to opening the salon the only business like training I possessed was from an educational stand point, so it’s been very interesting learning how to pour those skills into my brick and mortar. I’ve realized that there’s no rule book to business, it’s all trial and error. My advise to all upcoming business owners would be to take your time and find staff members that truly have a passion for your vision. Don’t rush and hire individuals simply because you need to fill a vacancy. Take your time! Even if that means that you’re the only one working in your establishment for some time. It is pertinent to take your time and hand pick your employees. This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my business thus far. I want the world to know that Cotton Candi Colors LLC. Is here as a hub or a training ground for young individuals (especially those of color) who just need to be given a chance or head start in life. A place where you know that people are truly willing to do the ground work to help one achieve their dreams and aspirations.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my friends were visiting I’d cook a nice Jamaican styled meal at the house so that we could catch up and enjoy the night with no limitations. The next day we’d probably go to the city to do a little shopping. We’d probably grab a bite at a nice restaurant we happen to come across while walking around. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t have made it to where I am today If individuals like my best friend TaQuanna Spruill didn’t push me to get my nail technician license, or Tamika, a lady I met in a hair salon, she helped me get nominated for my very first position as a sub teacher in the Department of Education. I’d also like to give a special thanks to Jeniva Rohne, an old colleague who inspired me to turn to Christ and get back in the church during my times of hardship.