Current Town: Rutland
Years in VT: 7.5
Business Name: Euphoric Hair Experience, LLC
Business email and/or website: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us a bit about your background.
Born and raised in Chicago, IL. During high school worked at Galter Life Center a rehabilitation center in their nursery for the children of the patients and staff. After finishing high school at Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, I went on to complete a program for phlebotomy. While working as a phlebotomist at Quest Diagnostics, I was interested in wanting to know more about patients and decided to go back to school and complete a medical assistant program. During my internship as a medical assistant, I was hired on with Advocate Medical Group and continued with the same company for 9 years until I decided to leave Chicago with my children. I love Chicago, but, the crime was too much for me to want to continue to raise my two boys there. They needed a real chance at life! My mother started traveling for work as a phlebotomist and ended up with an assignment here in Vermont. And there starts my story here in Vermont.
What do you enjoy about being a business owner/professional of color in VT?
The joy of being a business owner is I’m the boss, lol! Really the joy is being able to provide a service that is needed in the community that will meet the needs of some if not all of the community. Being a professional of color in Vermont has not been a hard task for me yet. I know moving forward there will be obstacles in my way. But, I am definitely up for the fight!
What are some challenges that you’ve faced as a business owner/professional of color?
If I’m honest, as a business owner or professional of color, the only challenges I have faced is not having my basic needs met. I have nowhere to get my children or my hair done and it’s hard to find the correct personal items we are able to utilize. These are very basic needs. I have actually been very lucky in my field of work in healthcare to be sufficient, competent, and skilled in order to be able to work in all the different positions I have worked at Rutland Regional Medical Center and not have any push back.
How have you worked to overcome the challenges?
After being approached by the Rutland Area NAACP to continue the BIPOC hair clinics that were started and serving almost 200 BIPOC children during this year 2022, gave me the drive to want to open a hair salon to met the needs of the BIPOC community. With the support of the Rutland Area NAACP and this community, Euphoric Hair Experience will be one solution to the problem.
What opportunities do you see for your industry in the future?
The future is wide open! These services that will be provided will be meeting the needs of the current and future of this community. With the increase of the BIPOC community, our basic needs are not being met and this is part of the solution to this problem.
In what ways could the community or state of VT support BIPOC in your line of work?
It is so many ways the state of Vermont and the community can support the BIPOC business. We are always accepting donations and sponsorships, becoming a customer, spreading the word, giving opportunities to other BIPOC business professionals to have the opportunity to open other salons around the state, and just being supportive of the business. The state can also not make it so hard to obtain different licensures and staff.
What advice would you have wanted to receive about being a VT professional of color/business owner before arriving?
It would have been nice to know that this is a very hard process to do alone. People are not very forthcoming with adequate information needed that can save money while trying to start a new business.
What do you wish others knew about living in VT that you’ve discovered?
Even though Vermont has been known for a very long time as being one of the “whitest states”, other ethnicities live here as well. So many different people from different places are nice and very welcoming. I can’t say that for all people in the state of Vermont. It is a great place to raise children. My boys have had almost an equal amount of opportunity in school, sports, and arts since living here. And I say almost because it has not all been perfect.
Are there other things (events/opportunities/etc) you’d like to share with the VT BIPOC community?
Even with Euphoric Hair Experience opening in April 2023, I have been asked by the Rutland Area NAACP to continue to plan and coordinate future BIPOC hair clinics. So, we still have those to look forward to! I am currently looking for two BIPOC hair braiders, a natural hair stylist, and a full time barber to fill positions in my salon.