We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Beresford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, what do you attribute your success to?
Faith and authenticity. I started my business in faith. I quit the reliable job i had and decided to become a hair stylist full time. This would be my only source of income but i had to start with zero clients and build. I also chose to be true to my beliefs about keeping hair in it’s healthiest state and specialize in natural hair care knowing that wasn’t the most popular way to go in the hair care industry. Now however, i’m glad i did, And have become a leader in natural hair care in West Michigan over the past 10 years.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a licensed Natural Hair Care Specialist. That means, i cater exclusively to individuals with natural/curly hair. I am the owner of The Rise Salon located in Grand Rapids Mi. I think it’s important to have a space where individuals with natural hair can feel safe and be celebrated. I hear stories often of traumatic salon experiences because of stylists not knowing how to care for textured/curly hair. I wanted to help solve that problem. We’re celebrating 10 years in business this year and are grateful. My professional journey started when i was 14 years old in my parents basement where I started as a braider. I stumbled on my gift to do hair in 8th grade. I became obsessed and ventured out to start learning more about my craft. I knew i could continue braiding without a license, but something changed. A line from the movie ‘Drumline’ changed the game for me.. “if you don’t have the honor and discipline to learn your craft, then quite frankly Devon, you don’t deserve to be here-Dr. Lee” Its then I realized that although doing hair came naturally to me, there was much more i could learn, and much further i could go being licensed. So, i went to hair school an my passion continued to grow. Originally from Toronto Canada, interestingly i thought Americans were cooler than Canadians so i moved to Michigan to go to hair school. I worked three jobs until deciding to become a full-time hairstylist. I sat many days in the salon with phone in hand waiting on it to ring and hoping someone would trust the new girl in the salon with their hair. Thankfully, one by one, they did and my clientele grew over the years. Most of them have faithfully Been with me for the past 10 years. Ten years in, I feel like I’m now learning some things that I should’ve Learned when starting in business that would’ve helped me to avoid financial issues, customer service issues etc. however, I believe everything happens for a reason and in the right timing. In the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to take business courses and travel taking hair classes to ensure I stay up to date with the latest in hair care. I want to offer my clients the knowledge, education, and skill they deserve. My journey has had its twists and turns, and overall, I’ve held on to my dream, and it’s been extremely rewarding. The Rise Salon is the first of its kind in Grand Rapids and we will continue to grow. Teaching individuals with natural hair to love, embrace and care for their natural hair. This is just the beginning.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Grand Rapids is a cool city. I’m a foodie so id definitely take them to *Love’s Ice cream. They have the best Vegan ice cream. *Donkey Taqueria, Amazing Mexican food. *We’d hang out by Reeds Lake And take in nature Then of course, schedule an appointment at The Rise Salon.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Thats easy. Shout out to God! He’s the mastermind behind it all. Leading me to the right people, places, and organizations for wisdom and development of my craft.
Aleka Thrash-ACTPhotoMedia @actphotmedia Courtney Hamilton-@hamilhouse
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