Consquilla Carey is the owner of Affordable Styles Hair Salon in Baltimore, MD, and CC’s Beauty Institute, LLC in Richmond, VA with over thirty years of experience in the beauty industry. Consquilla knew that she wanted to be a hairstylist at five years old. As a young child, she styled her doll’s hair. By the age of ten, she charged family and friends to do their hair. At age 16 Consquilla worked as an apprentice at a hair salon in her hometown Farmville, Va.
Consquilla graduated from Prince Edward County High School in Farmville, Va. She became pregnant with her son during her senior year of high school. Her son was born prematurely at 27 weeks. He was 2.5 pounds and hospitalized in the NICU for three months. He was diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Her son was later diagnosed with autism and bipolar disorder. The young mother relocated to Baltimore, MD for better health care for her sick son and better career opportunities.
Consquilla is a graduate of Dudley Beauty School in Baltimore, MD. During her matriculation at Dudley Beauty School. She competed in hair competitions. Consquilla received numerous trophies and certificates for being an outstanding stylist. Consquilla is also a graduate of Morgan State University with a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences in Baltimore, MD. Consquilla received a master’s degree in Education from Cambridge College in Boston, MA.
Consquilla is a Certified Family and Consumer Sciences teacher with over 16 years of public school teaching experience. Consquilla incorporated her college education into her cosmetology career. She is a beauty educator and platform artist. She can be seen on stage at hair shows such as the Bronner Brothers in Atlanta and professional development classes for hairstylists and entrepreneurs. Consquilla is a licensed stylist in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Consquilla is the owner of CC’s Beauty Institute, LLC in Richmond. CC’s Beauty Institute, LLC is a Hair Salon and Beauty School located at 1923 West Cary Street Richmond, Virginia. This location offers hair care and education. Individuals will have the opportunity to train and receive a cosmetologist license. Online learning and in-person are available. Students will learn how to sew in weaves, financial literacy, business management color, relaxers, retail, braids, marketing, natural hair styling, barbering, nails, and skincare. CCBI will prepare students to be successful in the beauty industry.
We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Consquilla Carey.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?
Consquilla: As an entrepreneur, I enjoy the freedom of being my own boss. I’m a very creative person. I create new ideas and techniques and I do not have to worry about anyone rejecting them. I make my own schedule. I am in full control of my own destiny. Being self-employed allows me to do what I am passionate about every day. Waking up in the morning is easy because I am laying out the blueprint for me to follow. I am creating a legacy for my son. I meet new people who share the same interest. I’m building wealth without an income cap. Overall; I motivate others to follow their dreams.
Please tell us about your business and the services you provide?
Consquilla: I am the owner of CC’s Beauty Institute, LLC. CC’s Beauty Institute, LLC is a Cosmetology School located at 1923 W Cary Street Richmond, Va. Individuals who matriculate at CCBI will receive 1500 cosmetology hours. After completing the program participants will be qualified to take the state board exam to become licensed cosmetologists. They can become licensed in any state that has reciprocity with Virginia.
Participants will learn the latest trends in the beauty industry. Students at CCBI will learn how to take care of natural hair, makeup, sew-in weaves, wig installments, do chemical services, color, cuts, and more. Participants will learn business management, conflict resolution, financial literacy, and compete in hair competitions. The program is offered online, face to face, and Hybrid. Students will learn from industry professionals and licensed instructors. I also own Affordable Styles Hair Salon in Baltimore, MD. Affordable Styles offers hair care and beauty services. I opened Affordable Styles in 2009.
How has your journey been as a mother in business?
Consquilla: As a mother in business, it was challenging when my son was a small child. My son has autism and was born at 26 weeks. Working in the salon was challenging when he was an infant because I had to miss a lot of time from work to accommodate his doctor’s appointments. He was diagnosed with a developmental delay at an early age. He had tons of doctors’ appointments and it was hard building clientele and meeting his needs. When he was in elementary and middle school I lived in Atlanta, and I did not have any family there. I often had to take him with me to the salon, hair shows, and trade shows.
I would have to multi-task. For example, I would have to put clients under the dryer and then pick him up from after-care while the clients were still at the salon. My son is an actor and musician. It is hard for me to make it to all his performances. My son competed in The NAACP Act-So competition in Texas. My salon in Baltimore was a new business. I could not afford to close my salon in Baltimore to go to the competition. It hurt my heart to miss the competition. He did not win the competition. I felt like if I was there, I could have prepared him. As a business owner when you take off, sometimes you do not get paid if you do not have a strong team.
Providing health insurance and benefits for myself and my son was hard as a business owner. I learned to create a routine that works. My son is 27 years old now. He still travels with me to hair shows and special events. He learned to assist me. I try my best not to miss his competitions and auditions. I have learned to build a team to help me when I am not at the business. It is a joy being a mom and self-employed. If I worked a 9 to 5, I would not be able to take off for most of his events and appointments.
What have been some challenges you have overcome that made you a better businesswoman?
Consquilla: I have had a lot of challenges during this journey. Financial literacy and business management was my biggest challenge. One year I made $120,000 and did not have a profit. I did not manage my money properly. I hired more employees than I needed. I did not properly budget. I invested in a haircare line without properly researching. The investment drained my savings account. I had to hit the reset button and return back to work as a public-school family and consumer sciences teacher.
Returning to work after being self-employed was depressing. I then had to juggle teaching school full time and running my salon full time. I had to file bankruptcy because I was in debt. This was a very hard financial time for me, it took about five years to recover from that bad investment. I learned that less is sometimes more. I used to have three to four assistants. I had multiple stylists working for me on commission. I downsized to a smaller building. I worked by myself for a few years. I did not hire an assistant. Later on, I hired one full-time assistant and one part-time assistant.
I continued to teach school full time. I created a system. I lived off the teacher’s salary. I used the profit from the salon to save money and pay the new debt that I created after the bankruptcy. I was a financial mess. I recovered, saved money, and worked on building my credit score. After sticking to the strict financial plan that I created I was able to purchase a new home and open the beauty school. While teaching it was challenging working for someone because I dealt with micromanagement in the school system. During my time as a teacher, I learned to write a curriculum, write lesson plans and teach virtually. I used those skills to create a plan to open my own school.
What do you see for your company in 2022?
Consquilla: I plan to add more programs. I will add a nail tech program, business management, and esthetician program. CC’s Beauty Institute, LLC will offer scholarships to working moms. My company will attend hair shows and trade shows. I will offer internships to high school students who are taking cosmetology.
What else would you like for our readers to know about you and your business?
Consquilla: My business will be serving the community. We will do hair for the homeless and makeovers for disadvantaged people. I offer free workshops on financial literacy, home buying, and college preparation. They can find out more at www.ccbeautyinstitute.com
What advice would you have for aspiring mompreneurs?
Consquilla: Mompreneurs should surround themselves around positive people and other business owners. Do not tell people your plans to people who are not motivated. All your dreams do not need to be shared. Reframe from unhealthy and toxic relationships. Create a routine that will allow you to parent and balance your business. Stay away from distractions. Always put yourself first and do not allow anyone to disturb your peace. Apply for as many grants as possible. Submit to pitch competitions.
Keep up to date on Instagram @consquilla
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.