This is a special edition of Dana’s 5 Cents because, professional hair stylist Shekinah Jo Anderson blessed Gumbumper with her keen styling advice and an inside look at her life. Recently, Shekinah just launched her hair care product line self-titled, Shekinah Jo, stocked with beautiful edges cream, moisturizing shampoo and intense conditioner. Shekinah’s series “Tiny and Shekinah’s Weave Trip,” is on VH1 and just recently aired its season finale this past Monday. The Atlanta native is definitely off to a great start with her star clientele and personality but, do people really know who the Real Shekinah Jo is? Peep the interview to learn more about this talented and gifted stylist.
How long have you been in the hair business?
Well, I graduated hair school and got my education from Empire Beauty School in Atlanta. When I was at the young age of 12 I started out braiding my friends’ hair at my grandmother’s daycare center. So mostly I just was braiding hair, but I wanted to do more. Then being young and dumb I started hanging around the wrong people; I ended up dancing for a while, until I met this young lady and started working for her in her salon for little to nothing. I was doing odd jobs like picking her up, sweeping floors, set appointments, etc. I started to learn the basics of how to curl and cut hair while working there and I used to always braid her clients hair, but I eventually became frustrated, because I wanted to do more. I went back to school to get my GED, then onto cosmetology school. I met Tiny ‘Tameka’ Harris, 2 weeks before I graduated. I had really mastered hair styling and developed a high end clientele through me working at the cosmetology school. People were recognizing my talent, so when I met Tameka we developed this friendship. I used to work behind the scenes of her other shows like: “Tiny and Toya” and the “ Family Hustle” just offering my advice and critiques. But, Tiny wasn’t my only loyal celebrity client. I also went to work with Future and Rich Homie Quan just to name a few. Tiny and I just connected on a deeper friendship level and we kept developing that relationship.
What are your goals as a professional hair stylist?
A lot of people don’t know this but I lost a lot of clientele when I went on to do my television show, “Tiny and Shekinah’s Weave Trip.” People start noticing that I was spending more time with a specific client and not catering to them, so people strayed away. But, I am very thankful for my loyal customers that stuck around and supported me. So right now my goal is to continue to build my clientele up and push my hair care line, Shekinah Jo.
What is mainly misperceived about you?
A lot of people view me as this very loud, funny, ratchet and ignorant girl that doesn’t know how to act in public. I’m not saying that I don’t have those qualities, but that’s not all Shekinah Jo is. People don’t know that I’m a very God fearing woman. I believe in God, I pray and I can get very emotional at times. People think that Tiny always takes care of me and my career, but Tiny is not the type of person to have a person around her that doesn’t have anything going on for them. I’m full of ambition and want to continue to make great business decisions. I came from a very big and well-rounded family. I just know how to interact with different kinds of people. I don’t criticize people, if I have something to say I tell it to people’s face. I’m just real.
What’s Shekinah’s specialty as a hair stylist?
I’m pretty versatile. But, my specialty would be color. I’ve enhanced my cutting skills, so I feel that I am better at that. I can do a great cut and have my client be happy, however I always know I want to keep getting better. But, also my sew-ins and press outs are one of a kind. People travel from all over to have me do their hair and I just want to keep growing as a stylist and getting better with all my techniques.
What advice would you give an inspiring stylist trying to find their niche?
Believe in yourself. Believe in God. Don’t pray about celebrity clientele, just pray you’ll get better at your craft and the clients will come. Never praise people, praise God. Also, remain humble. God will take you where you need to go.
To learn more about Shekinah Jo her hair care line or more about her Beauty Bar go to www.shekinahjo.com.
~ Dana Williams