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Life and Work with Imani Barnes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Imani Barnes.

Imani, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have loved all things skin and makeup since I was young, but it was my visit to an esthetician in my first year of undergrad that really changed things for me. Everything about her studio, technique and equipment excited me. From that appointment on, I knew that I was going to adjust my higher education track and bring what was once a small dream to life. My original plan was to graduate on time from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, attend esthetics school and then attend graduate school soon after. Life, however, had other plans for me as it often does. I was fortunate enough to enroll in an accelerated esthetics program at Leon’s Beauty School in Greensboro, North Carolina, the summer before my senior year at UNCG. I was cutting it very close with time, but I managed to complete my beauty school hours the same week I began my final fall semester of university.

After passing state board and receiving my esthetics license, I worked as a wax specialist at a very popular wax center and continued to freelance as a makeup artist and esthetician as I finished my bachelor’s program. In May of 2019, I obtained my degree and in July, I moved to Atlanta for the Master of Marketing program at Georgia State University. With the help of promotions, word of mouth and shameless business card offerings, I have been providing full body wax services, custom facials and makeup artistry to anyone seeking since.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My journey to this moment has not been easy in any sense of the word. I’ve had to make sacrifices that were unheard of to my peers and stand on faith instead of fear. Although I could write a short story on my struggles, I would rather focus on the positive and how I can best encourage those coming behind me. My advice for anyone, not just women beginning their journey, is to first get to know yourself. What do you like? What do you love? What do you hate? How do you care for yourself? What sets your heart on fire? What type of care do you require? and so on. Once you’ve uncovered the real you, I would encourage loving every part of yourself that you can and making adjustments to the parts you feel need it.

Finally, you have to believe and do your part. You must bet on this authentic version of yourself and know that no one, nothing and certainly no situation will hold you back from your path. I would also strongly encourage writing down every vision, goal and dream that comes to you. With hard work, strategy, patience and a sprinkle of charm, you will see all of your wildest dreams come true.

Please tell us about Glitter & Glory.
I own and love Glitter & Glory, an enhancement bar where I specialize in full body waxing, custom facials and makeup artistry. I have a range of clients that “won’t cheat on their wax specialist” and many more that refuse to let anyone else touch their face. The response really just depends on who you ask. I’ve also been told by guests that their appointments feel like experiences that are tailored to them and their needs instead of just a standard practice. There is also an emphasis on education, comfort and overall aura with every appointment. Not only do I love what I do, I genuinely believe in every product, recommendation and technique that I use because I want everyone to experience the glory of their best skin and best self.

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
The media often focuses on the plights of womanhood because it has been done for ages and is easy to do. The practice is understood, but still dated and unwise in my opinion. We are living and breathing in the digital age where you can metaphorically reach across tables you never knew existed. The time to reinvent yourself, think outside of the box, grow and create is now. Becoming a girl boss is exactly what women of this time are well positioned for. Women’s empowerment groups are multiplying and the resources to become successful are more accessible than ever. This is the only way to explain how I, a 23-year-old graduate student, owns two small businesses and a non-profit already. Not only was I built for it, but the attitude of our current world has supported me in it. I love the idea of women releasing social norms and embracing what truly makes them happy instead. Our world has a lot of work to do, but the improvements thus far have proven to be favorable.

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Image Credit:
Stephanie Briana Photography

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