This Women’s History Month, StyleSeat is proud to share women’s stories of empowerment in our “Because of Her” series. From our very own CEO and co-founder Melody McCloskey to a selection of Pros from all over the country, all of their narratives share a common thread of overcoming obstacles to become successful businesswomen. And what’s even more inspiring are the women in their lives who helped them along the way. In this blog, StyleSeat Pro Tequilla Daniels discusses continually evolving as a stylist, entrepreneur, and individual.
Tequilla Daniels obtained her natural hair care license at the height of the reinvigorated natural hair movement back in 2011. She later went on to attend Paul Mitchell The School in Memphis, TN and completed the program as a licensed cosmetologist in January 2015. But after passing the state board examination two months later, Daniels worked full-time as a highway patrol dispatcher while she did a part-time hair assistant/commission program to build her clientele.
“While working as a dispatcher, I grew more and more unfulfilled with the job and the overall culture of the workplace,” says Daniels. “I thought about what naturally makes me happy and how to make that my career. I have been naturally talented with hairdressing since childhood. It was the most organic choice. Having a full license gave me the freedom I needed to move and grow the way I wanted.”
In June 2015, Daniels started working in the beauty industry full-time and has established a business built on timeliness, a serene salon atmosphere, clear communication, and honesty.
“My definition of success is being fully aware of your capabilities to create a life deemed worthy of living by your standards and expectations,” she explains. “My standards and expectations are ever-changing, [and] I know I’ll be able to get all those desires because of the continual seed planting taking place in my life today.”
So who are the people in Daniels’ life who push her to be better? “Every hair and coaching client I have demands that I be a better version of myself consistently,” she says. “When I am showing up in a coaching aspect, what I say to these business owners matter. I don’t take it lightly. In the same respect, hair is a big deal to many women. For them to be confident in my abilities, continual education, and development is required in both areas to provide the best service possible.”
Keep reading to find out why Pro Tequilla Daniels has stuck with StyleSeat since the very beginning of her beauty career, how she’s pouring into other minority-owned businesses, and the ease she aims to bring to each of her Client’s salon experience.
On using StyleSeat her entire beauty career…
I knew very early on that I wanted to handle my booking online. It just made sense. I worked full-time while building my clientele part-time. There would be absolutely no way I could book or answer every question someone had manually.
I would add everyone that contacted me via text or phone into the system and that would be my start of communication. StyleSeat housed all my services and prices, work schedule, and policies. It was easy to share the link with anyone who needed those FAQs answered. While potential clients were on my page, they would go ahead and book.
Soon enough, clients going to StyleSeat first was the standard. Reviews helped potential new clients make their decision to choose me over others. StyleSeat makes it easier to update and enforce policies. It also makes it easier to raise prices when needed without the awkward conversation with each and every client. Whenever there is a change or important news, I can use the email promotion feature and let all my clients know with an email blast.
As I evolve as a stylist, my StyleSeat page does as well. As a professional, the more streamlined with the services provided and the more detailed you are with the descriptions of those services, the easier it is to curate your ideal clientele with StyleSeat.
On building a powerful legacy…
You rarely ever know the true impact of your life until you no longer have it, but I hope that I leave this world better than I found it. I want entrepreneurs, especially beauty professionals, to think long-term when starting this journey. I want to create an ecosystem that fosters the education of business literacy to those of us that have been denied the opportunity the longest, minorities and women. More specifically, minority women.
According to Forbes, Black women are among the fastest growing entrepreneurs’ demographic. I personally know why that is. I want to help equip these ladies with tools and strategies that will incubate growth and sustainability. I want whatever company, toolkits, books, or organizations I have a hand in creating to address this specifically.
On making a pivot during the pandemic…
Before the pandemic hit in full force, I enrolled in a branding cohort that changed the trajectory of my life. I have always been more interested in the business side of the beauty industry and was concerned that so many of my colleagues were not setting up businesses that could allow them to leave the chair. I wanted that to become where I served in the industry. This was my next step.
When the stay-at-home orders were put in place March 24, 2020, I had completed the seven-week acceleration program and was ready to pivot. The program really could not have come at a better time. I had the fire I needed to problem solve and implement things to keep the business afloat until we got back to work. We sold products, an original “I am Essential” statement tee, color and relaxer kits, among other things. We also have an extremely wonderful clientele that donated to our own COVID Relief fund that lived on the salon site. The salon barely missed a beat, and in that moment, I realized other businesses may not have any plans in place.
I used LinkedIn to reach out to other professionals outside of the beauty industry, but necessary to any business owner or independent contractor, to go live with me on Sundays during the lockdown in Tennessee to discuss how to better prepare your business to face possible financial challenges. During this three-month span, I spoke with brand specialists, tax professionals, meditation instructors, bank managers, therapists to discuss emotional intelligence, business capital funding companies, freelancers, business coaches, and others. Many of these professionals never thought to communicate with the beauty industry directly and many of those who attended the lives never thought to form relationships with these businesses.
While acting as a liaison between corporate America and entrepreneurs/1099 contractors, I realized I had a passion for helping others succeed and create their dream businesses. So, I used the stillness that the stay-at-home order gave us to complete a business coach certification program. On August 27, 2020, I learned that I passed the test and I was officially a certified business coach. This led to the opportunity for my sister-in-law, a strategy and business infrastructure consultant, and I to open Sqrd Advising, LLC in November 2020 where we serve as managing partners. With this completely virtual business, we focus on helping minority-owned, women-led micro-businesses build identity, implement infrastructure and systems, and achieve sustainable growth.
On making time for self-care as a busy entrepreneur…
This definitely is still a struggle I have, but my bi-weekly manicure and pedicure is non-negotiable. I am scheduled for monthly chiropractic adjustments to help alleviate some of the body pains associated with working behind the chair. My household adopted a plant-based lifestyle four years ago in an attempt to be more mindful of our nutrients. I have also adjusted my salon work schedule from five to four days a week. I make sure to take off for important life events and vacation (pre-COVID) and enjoy just being in the moment.
On how she hopes to make her Clients feel…
In one word, comfortable. My chair is purposefully turned away from the mirror. Not because I’m insecure in my talent, but because I want my clients to have complete confidence in my abilities as well. Literally, every client comes in completely excited and ready for her hair appointment. Even my new clients trust me from the jump. It is truly a blessing.
Many of my clients fall asleep, complete work assignments, zone out on their phones, or we talk. However the client decides to enjoy her appointment, I’m convinced it wouldn’t be as relaxing (for both of us) if she was staring in the mirror worried about what’s going on the entire time.
Ready to power and grow your beauty business? Sign up for StyleSeat!
Read more Success Stories: