Today we’d like to introduce you to Shatavia Givan.
Hi Shatavia, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I first learned how to braid at six years old. Me and my sister were playing with our dolls. I look over and she was plaiting her doll’s hair. I asked if she could show me how to do what she was doing and she showed me how to take three strands and plait. It was on and popping then. Six years old me went around the house braiding anything that could make three strands whether it be yarn, the strings hanging off the throw pillows, curtains, etc. Literally, anything I could get a hold of. All my doll’s hair were braided. Every time I braided, I would be so happy to show my parents and siblings what I did. At eight years old, I became really sick. I couldn’t attend school anymore, I was mostly isolated from my siblings when I was able to go home, and if I weren’t home I would be in the hospital for months at a time. During those times I kept myself occupied by braiding. By the time I reached nine years old, I took my braiding skills to a new level once I taught myself how to scalp braid on my doll’s head. After that, I was ready to braid real human hair.
So one day when my parents left the house I braided my little sister’s hair. I called myself being sneaky because one my mom didn’t play about us playing in our hair, two I thought they would think I was “too little” and only could do it on my dolls. I got in a little trouble because I did so good! I just wanted to prove myself to me really, proving myself to them was a bonus because they supported it as well. I continued to braid my sisters’ & my little cousin hair every now and then. Once I reached 11, I learned how braid with braiding hair. My auntie let me her some box braids right before I was about to start the 6th grade. Her friends & my family seen her hair and they wanted me to do theirs. This is when I started to see profit for my passion. I was so happy my dreams were unfolding in my face at such a young age. Something I’ve always thought about happening was happening. I took it all in because I remember the doctors telling my parents I had a 50/50 chance of making it out of my sickness alive. I was eight years old knowing there was a possibility I could go to sleep and won’t see tomorrow. My parents introduced me to christ early. So I knew who would have the last say so. I had so much faith inside my little body so when god kept me I knew that he kept me here for purpose & reason. My 5th-grade year was my first year back in a school house since the 2nd grade. I didn’t have clients every day but I didn’t let that phase me because I knew one day everyone in the world want me to do their hair. And I still believe this.
Fast forward to 2015, my 9th grade year. My clientele grew tremendously. I’ve always been own hair stylist since 6th grade but 9th grade is when I started to get noticed by the way I did my hair. I would be in the bathroom or walking down the halls & girls would walk up to me and say “you’re the girl who does crochets really good”. Crochet braids were really popular then and 14 years old me had those braids on lock! I feel that my high school years were the highlights of my career. It showed me what I was made of. I went through obstacles that built me for things I didn’t even know I needed to be built for. My business flourished before my eyes. Almost every day after school I was doing hair. A thriving student and business woman at the same time have me so proud of myself still this day. After graduating I put all my focus into me building/branding the slayed by tayee experience. Everything I do is for a reason. I’m always planning and making moves on my timing to make sure no cracks will be in the foundation of my business. Doing hair for me brings me a sense of purpose & peace. Im truly blessed to be living a life making a living doing what I love. Work should revolve around life, life shouldn’t revolve around work. I wish I could tell you way more but I’m only getting started. No one has seen nothing yet.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The process/road will never be without obstacles, in fact there will be plenty of them, but you need them to help build & shape you up for where you are heading. Like the old saying goes, “anything that’s worth having is worth working for”. With hard work, dedication, consistency, patience, focus, and faith combined. You have a hell of a recipe for success.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m a hairstylist. I do more than braids but I’m most popular for my braid styles. My work is always neat and beautiful because I take my time with it. I connect with the hair while I’m doing it. I’ve always had this higher connection with the art of hair. I feel this is my calling I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing. I’m proud to have always been my own boss. I’ve never worked for anyone besides me and it’s a great feeling I perceive it as confirmation and use that to never give up on me and what I have going because it gets tough but I get tougher.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Growing up I was always ambitiously driven. I’ve always had hustle about myself. So strong-willed and open. I absolutely loved arts and crafts. Discovering & learning new skills gave me thrills. Very high energy & always had to be doing something. Anything I thought I wanted to be, I already was. I love to think of myself as a born leader because I’ve always moved to best of my own drum. I lived by treating people how I wanted to be treated.
- Instagram: Sbt.scbeauty_
- Facebook: Shataviaa Camerriaa