Today we’d like to introduce you to Sherita Cherry.
Sherita, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started doing hair in the college dorm at Clark Atlanta University. I was the baddest hairstylist on the yard until I got a call to the Dean’s Office and was demanded to stop doing hair in the dorms or I would be expelled. They said that my business was causing the utilities to go up because of my booming business. I was doing everyone’s hair including the faculty and staff. So I got a job as a shampoo girl at Escape Salon under the tutelage of beauty icon, Carol Morrow. Carol mentored me and taught me how to build my business, how to win competitions and how to do amazing creative styles.
Carol would take me on the road with her to do her celebrity clients and I would assist her as one of Paul Mitchell’s Platform Artists. Little did I know that she was preparing me to be a leader in the beauty industry. After graduating from Clark Atlanta University, I received my cosmetology license and continued working for Carol. As a young stylist, it was all about building my resume, I have worked with world renown hair designers such at, John and Ann Chadwick, Ann and the late Gary Bray, Jean Braa, Robert Cormeans, and so many others. She would always tell me “If you want to be THE BEST-you gotta Be around the BEST” I would travel the world assisting her and working with other beauty legends at beauty trade shows around the country.
I begin taking an interest in hair competitions and started working with Maurice Beaman, a stylist at Escape salon as well. He trained me for international competitions and I began traveling showcasing my talent in Fantasy competitions. Maurice and Carol would train the styling team like we were in Bootcamp. We had a drive to be great hairstylists in the beauty industry and we competed and most times winning First, Second and Third.
At the age of 24, I opened my own salon in midtown Atlanta. I was one of the top hair colorists in the city and I began working for beauty manufacturers such as Clairol Professional, JOICO and later started my career as a Master Color Educator for John Paul Mitchell Systems. I travelled the country as a color educator and begin building my salon team through in-salon training and workshops. I would hire hairstylists out of beauty school, training them and mentoring them to build their career in the beauty industry.
In 2010, I opened a second location in Buckhead and later closed to what is now called the NEW BUCKHEAD. During that time, I begin to start doing celebrities and traveling with clients such as MaryMary, Letoya Luckett, just to name a few. I was consuming my time with traveling and being a mom to my daughter, Evan-Nicole, “The Hair Guruuu” who is a renown influencer and entrepreneur as well. As a busy stylist and business owner, Family was first and I would either travel with my daughter or she would be with me on set. I wanted to expose her to hard work. I wanted to enjoy being a mom, so having a balanced lifestyle was a priority.
I laugh today because 20 yrs later, my daughter is one of the top stylists in Atlanta with an influence of over 200K followers on her social media platforms. As my daughter began to take an interest in hairstyling, I begin to mentor her and other stylists on working behind the chair and managing their money. Which is the reason why I started Stylists Who Brunch, a networking event that serves as a platform for mentorship for beauty professionals.
Currently, I travel the country speaking at beauty shows, business conferences and youth events. I just returned from Hong Kong on a Girlfriends Retreat in which my colleagues and I took hairstylists to CosmoProf Asia, an international beauty show-which for most of our guest, it was their first international beauty show. We are looking to make this an annual event to expose beauty professionals to international beauty shows.
So I have done a lot and have had a lot of fun along the way of creating the career that I want behind the chair. Today I spend the majority of my time coaching beauty professionals and entrepreneurs on branding, marketing and finances through my ACHIEVE Coaching Systems. I have online programs and courses to help stylists understand how to own and operate a profitable salon business. Bella Cosmetology and Beauty Institute, which is an online education program that I have that is online at Tennessee State University and Southern University. These courses are offered and certificates are given upon completion. I wanted to create a platform for a stylist to get hands-on education. The foundation of who I am as a hairstylist is the education that I acquired along the way.
Has it been a smooth road?
My journey has been amazing and I would not change my path. I have had some amazing opportunities, made some discoveries (I do not use the word mistake), I have made a lot of money doing what I love and I have created a lifestyle in which I work from anywhere. (WFA) During some of my darkest moments, I went through a divorce, became a single parent and relocated my business-so my life was discombobulated. My work schedule shifted, I needed to make money so I worked long hours and had to hire a nanny to assist me. I began traveling with clients and got tired of leaving my daughter, that I begin to bring her with me. My life was chaotic, I was making a lot of money, but my money had no purpose and I was just existing.
I had to make some changes, I begin to live by a schedule to ensure that my child had some stability. I hired a coach and started taking money management classes so that I can better manage my money. At that time I was making $20k a month, I credit a lot of that to my tithe because I was working three days a week and traveling with celebrity clients-so I literally was having fun doing what I love, but I was miserable because I didn’t have a plan for my daughter and I knew she could not live the way that I was going. Something had to change. Life happens and you look at life differently.
Once I got focused, created a schedule for my day to day life, I begin to see my life clearer and amazing opportunities begin to happen. My struggle is over, now it is about creating goals and achieving them, one by one. I have always believed in myself. I credit much of my success to my faith and my education that I received from “My HBCU”-Clark Atlanta University. An HBCU educational experience teaches you a foundation of who you are and that you have a purpose. I was taught that I could be Great and be a leader in whatever career path I chose. My alma mater motto is: “Find a way or Make one”- that had been instilled in me and I have created my own journey. I went to a high school in a small town and there were few minorities, so there were a lot of insecurities that I had. Since my mom did not allow me to attend beauty school I was not going to her Alma Mater (University of MO-Columbia) I had to get far away and I wanted to be around people that looked like me. I found my home in Atlanta.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Stylists Who Brunch – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I opened Genesis Hair Art in 1994 with a simple concept, Listen, Understand, Educate and Deliver. This simple concept has set us apart from many salons in Metro Atlanta. My salon has received numerous awards and recognition locally and nationally. We were named Top Hair Color Salon in the South, Top growing salon in the South and we also received recognition in the community for our community involvement from former Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed and City of South Fulton Mayor, Bill Edwards. I have poured my heart, tears and passion in my dream of building a neighborhood salon that will service the beauty needs of women. As a color educator for over 15 years for John Paul Mitchell Systems, I travelled the country educating hairstylists on hair color.
As I begin to grow my salon brand, I was correcting so many hair color services that were being done at home and salons, that I begin to teach my hairstylists and we became known for offering excellent hair color services with our unique color blocking and dimensional technique at that time. Our salon has grown over the years, and we now offer beauty services. The beauty needs of women have changed and I began to allow my salon to evolve as the beauty needs of women were changing. I laugh because I love teaching and educating on technical skills in hair cutting, hair coloring and weave techniques. When I was trained, I was taught to do it all, learn to do every service so that you can service your clients in excellent and meet all of their beauty needs. We now have braiders, weave specialist, and brow techs on staff, we sell hair as we have grown to a full-service salon.
As a salon owner and stylist, I have learned to duplicate myself and educate new talent and allow stylists to grow as a beauty professional. I currently work behind the chair two days a week and I continue to mentor my team to offer great service. We are known as a hair color salon and we specialize in textured hair, corrective coloring, gray coverage, short hair cuts, ponytails, really everything-because we are a full-service salon. I am most proud of my company because it represents the true heartbeat of a profitable business.
My team believes in our vision and they believe in being their best. When you can bring a team of creative people together and everyone is on one accord which is to MAKE MONEY and GO HOME- Growing and being Profitable is Inevitable. We have weekly meetings to make sure that we are growing and working together as a TEAM. I have created a system and I see working and I am proud of the salon system and culture that I have created and it works. What sets us apart as a salon is simple. We recognize that it is because of our clients that we get a paycheck. People come to us because of a great hair color, but they come back because of their salon experience.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love ATLANTA and ATLANTA loves me! I was imported in by way of Nashville and St. Louis, I came here to attend Clark Atlanta University and after I graduated I claimed Atlanta as “HOME”. Atlanta offers so many opportunities for everyone. If you move here and work hard you will grow. Atlanta is a big city with southern charm. We definitely offer southern hospitality and we are about service and helping black businesses grow. We are a city of networking, it is important to get out and get involved with your community and what is going on in the city. We have great local restaurants and trendy boutiques and of course great hairstylists. I love that our city is a great city for business and opportunities for people to grow and be successful.
I love everything about Atlanta, there is really nothing that I don’t like, well, let me say this. I do not like our streets. They are horrible and we need a lot of taxpayers’ money going towards making these streets better. They mess up your tires, there are potholes everywhere. For Atlanta to be a major city, the city really needs to put some attention on our streets.
- Coaching for Entrepreneurs – $400
- Coaching for Salon Owners-$300
- BagTALK Planner-A business tool for stylists- $69
- Salon Takeover- $4999
- The Missing Link Business Summit -$249-$599
- Address: 6175 Old National Hwy. Ste. 210
College Park, GA 30349
- Website: www.sheritacherry.com www.genesishairart.com
- Phone: 770-997-1234
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sheritacherry/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sheritalcherry
- Other: https://payhip.com/sheritacherry