Young entrepreneur overcomes troubled childhood, opens beauty salon and inspires others | News Headlines

SOUTH ST. LOUIS ( – In less than a month, a local 19-year-old entrepreneur is taking the leap into the small business world, all while setting an example for young girls.

Kaniya Slusher, 19, opened Major Beauty House salon in Dogtown on Nov. 1. The salon focuses on eye brow tinting and eyelash extensions, and Slusher said she plans to expand services down the road.

“I’m happy it’s not going how I thought it would, because it’s even better,” she said.

Part of her motivation stems from a troubled upbringing, where she often lived in various places due to her parents’ substance abuse. After deciding she wanted more for herself, she found a love for eyebrow and eyelash work thanks to a family member. Soon after, the next step was figuring out what it took to open a business.

“I didn’t have that family push that people would automatically assume that I have,” she said. “But I think that’s okay, I did it on my own and I would encourage others to do the same. You don’t have to let your current circumstances define what you do or how you do it.”

In October, she leased a space for the salon on Tamm Avenue in Dogtown. A month later, she opened her doors.

“My business arrived to me by being able to do what I love to do everyday,” she said. “So I don’t like to say I’m a small business owner, or I’m a boss, or this is how I got here. I just like to say I’m living my life and I’m doing what I love everyday.”

Slusher employs nine people and said their goal as a salon is to increase diversity in their clientele and in the area.

“We feel welcome here, but I want people to feel comfortable coming in here as well,” she said. “We want people to know we can work with different skin types and don’t want people to be self-conscious and afraid to come in.”

In addition to running her business, Slusher inadvertently found herself in the role of mentor. 

Aspiring entrepreneur Reginae Jackson, 11, saw the salon on social media and made a point to meet Slusher. She said she sells accessories and purses after getting her business license when she was 10.

“We both want to go somewhere in life, we both live in St. Louis, we’re both trying to make a business out of something and we’re both just young ladies,” Jackson said.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved



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Brandon Maxwell’s mom shares sweet stories of the fashion designer’s childhood

Brandon Maxwell is the genius behind iconic looks of famous celebrities like Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey and Meghan Markle, but to his mom, Pamela Woolley, he’s still the little boy who grew up giving her fashion advice.

Woolley sat down with TODAY’s Sheinelle Jones for our “Through Mom’s Eyes” series to talk about watching her son’s career take off.

“I made the mistake of storing my nice dresses in a closet next to his bedroom,” Woolley said with a laugh. “He would take my dresses and redesign them and make them into whatever. … I’m telling you, he was always critiquing what I was wearing. And believe me, I was asking ‘Do these earrings look nice?'”

Brandon Maxwell, Pam Woolley (Courtesy Pam Woolley)
Brandon Maxwell, Pam Woolley (Courtesy Pam Woolley)

Woolley, who lives in Texas, said that the chaos of having so many children (Maxwell is the oldest of four) meant she often leaned on family for help. Her mother worked at a local boutique, and Maxwell spent plenty of time in the shop growing up.

“His school was literally around the corner from where my mom worked,” Woolley said. “It was one of those stores where you can call and say, ‘Hey, I need this outfit for this event,’ and you walked in and she had a rack full. She had the outfit, she had the shoes, she had the earrings, she had the purses. You walked in, you got what you need, you left. And I think a lot of that love for what he does, designing clothes, came from that, watching my mom.”

Woolley said that while Maxwell was surrounded by a supportive family growing up, he also battled insecurity.

“I think he questioned himself a lot,” she said. “But … he has said several times: ‘Lean into who you are.’ And he was always leaning, he was always moving in that direction, he was true to himself.”

As a parent, she felt her most important job was to encourage her kids.

“You just reassure them, and you’re positive,” she said. “I always had the faith and belief in him, and I think he had it down. Of course, he had it in himself. You just have to remind him it’s there, because it’s always been there. You know as a parent what your child’s gifts are.”

Years later, Maxwell returned that support when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Woolley told Sheinelle that all of her children surrounded her with “love and support.” During New York Fashion Week 2019, Maxwell even dedicated his line to Woolley and the pair walked down the runway together.

“You have no idea,” Woolley said of the emotions of that day. “His whole life flashed (in my mind) while we were walking down that runway. I was thinking of the day he was born and all the things we’ve been through, and I couldn’t believe that he made his dreams come true. Just, my son was doing what he’s meant to do … thank goodness

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Relive Childhood Memories And Design The Perfect Holiday Gift, A Personalized Toy Box

Who did love getting a personalized gift as a child? There was something exciting about receiving a present with your name engraved or painted on it. If you ever needed to wow a recipient with a gift, a personalized item was a sure win.

Adult gift-givers can relive the fun of those childhood memories by giving personalized gifts. Today's shoppers have many options in personalization ranging from "off-the-shelf" items to hand-painted or even custom engraved gifts. Online shopping supports all of these gift options and more with personal design tools to make gift-giving even more fun and meaningful. It's now possible to create a perfect holiday gift right from the comfort of home. Better yet, you'll be able to preview the design, something you could never do with over-the-phone orders.

Design Your Own Is Perfect For Unique Names

If you're one of those people with a unique name you know how hard it is to find personalized items off the shelf. If you know a kid with a hard-to-find name, you know how disappointing it is for them to never find anything with their name on it. Design your own options eliminate this frustration and allow you to bring a smile to the faces of these kids who are proud of their unique names.

A Personalized Toy Box Is Fun And Functional

One gift that will be welcomed by kids and parents alike is a personalized toy box. Kids will love having their own place for all of their treasures, made even more special by their name being displayed front and center. Parents will appreciate having a functional and attractive storage spot for the unending pile of toys kids seem to accumulate.

Personalized toy boxes come in all shapes and sizes from 100% hand-crafted and laser-engraved heirloom-quality pieces to manufactured fiberboard boxes that feature painted or acrylic lettering. Some toy boxes are large enough to double as a bench or coffee table, others are small enough to tuck into a corner in a bedroom or playroom.

A good toy box design tool will give you several options to choose from to design your toy box such as wood color, name versus monogram, and font choice. Before making your final purchase you should be able to see a mock-up of your design to verify that everything is spelled correctly and designed the way you want. With one quick glance you'll be able to tell if it suits the personality of your intended recipient. If it doesn't, simply play around with your options some more until it's perfect.

This preview function takes the guesswork out of personalized gifts. No more waiting on pins and needles, hoping the final product looks the way you want it to. You'll know exactly what to expect before you even click the purchase button.

Selecting The Perfect Holiday Gift

If you're convinced that a personalized toy box should be on your shopping list this year, make sure it's a quality piece. Quality pieces last longer and look …

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