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Conversations with Tatiana Small

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tatiana Small.

Hi Tatiana, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started doing hair when I was in high school living in Philadelphia, PA. and at that time my mother was a single mother with four girls, and with me being the oldest, I always was finding ways to make money. And that’s when I started doing hair; My hustle eventually turned into my passion. I enjoyed braiding especially when I realized that I can start doing girls in my school and make money off of it. But, I didn’t get there by myself of course. My best friend would always be outside with me, and traveling with me to my client’s house, especially late nights she would be right there. Once my family knew how talented I was and that I really was taking it serious that’s when I got the big support system, they supported me and pushed me to where I am today.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Starting a business was never a smooth road. My business started out as a hustle, I always found ways to make money and to make sure the people close to me was always good. Living in Philly wasn’t an easy task especially when you’re young and you’re trying to make your own money, but what I can say is that living in Philly taught me a lot of survival tactics! When I say survival tactics, I’m talking about having no money to stretching your last for the whole week and that’s what really started my hustle because once I realized how much money it made me, I realized I can turn it into something bigger. For example, I remember one time my mom was in the hospital for two weeks because the doctors wanted to get into more details on what was causing her seizures, and in the two weeks I was over at my best friend’s house but the thing was we didn’t have any money lol we had the debit card and what I was making doing hair! So, like I did have to overcome a lot of obstacles in life, to grow you just have to keep going even if it gets rough.

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?
As a Braider, you become an artist because the hair industry expands every day. So, in order to always stay afloat or to keep up with different styles, you have to continue to always teach yourself new styles, new designs, etc because that’s what your audience wants. Once, you’re able to and open to learning new things that’s when your clientele starts expanding, and that’s what I’m most proud of. I like the fact that I braid with passion, I can look at a design, study it and I can either master it or practice a couple of times to master it. As long as you’re open to learn and grow you will get far and that’s what sets me apart from most people.

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