We had the good fortune of connecting with Imani Barnes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Imani, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My purpose behind starting Glitter & Glory was to introduce a new way of thinking and experiencing beauty to the forefront of the industry. Although, I was young at the beginning of my journey in business, that thought process has served as the foundation for everything that I do. I’m almost 4 years in now and I can honestly say that an appointment at Glitter & Glory could be described as a dreamy luxury that is both educational and transformational. After leaving my studio, you will more than likely feel refreshed, excited and more in love with yourself than ever before.
I want everyone to know that Glitter & Glory isn’t just a business or another beauty bar, but instead a passion project brought to you by a young, ambitious and loving professional that just wants to bring luxury and excitement to everyone, but especially black women everywhere. Being able to say all of that about my business is proof that my original thought has developed beautifully.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Glitter & Glory is an enhancement bar currently located in Midtown Atlanta, GA where I specialize in full body waxing, corrective skin care and soft glam makeup artistry. My clients always tell me that my attention to detail, strong technique, inviting spirit, amazing products and the overall quality of the experience is what keeps them coming back for more. If I’m being honest, I’m most proud of my client experience and what it’s like to be a GG as we say at my studio.
My journey in the beauty industry started back in 2017 when I worked at a popular makeup store. I really enjoyed my time there because it allowed me to see new products before everyone else, understand new techniques and keep a pulse on the industry as a whole. At that point, I was already a makeup enthusiast, skin care junky and dead set on attending esthetics school once I finished my undergraduate degree at UNC Greensboro. Like most things in life, however, my plans were altered when I decided to attend beauty school the summer before my senior year. I spent 600 hours learning the ins and outs of the esthetics industry, connecting with classmates and gaining practical experience with visiting clientele. I graduated from esthetics school in August of 2018, secured my license by October, started my business in January 2019 and graduated with my Bachelor’s degree the following May. Although my business was already being established, I spent my first 8 months out of esthetics school perfecting my technique at a wax center.
Nothing about the beauty industry or entrepreneurship is easy, but I can’t imagine a life where I exist without the two. Gaining clientele, retaining clientele, finding your niche, establishing your voice, building confidence, managing books as well as yourself and just continuing on every day are some of the most common struggles I’ve faced. I’m at the phase of my career where I have most of these things under control, but of course life will always test you so I try to focus on the good even when I’m faced with the bad. Along the way, I’ve learned that passion is fleeting, but purpose is forever and that it’s not something you can run from. You must be yourself and stand in whatever that looks like because more often than not it’s bigger than you. The journey is not easy and it’s not always fun, but it’s always worth it.
I said it before, but it must be said again that Glitter & Glory isn’t just a business or another beauty bar, but instead a passion project brought to you by a young, ambitious and loving professional that just wants to bring dreamy luxury and excitement to everyone, but especially black women everywhere because we deserve it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Food is the most important so I’ll start there and name a few favorites. I absolutely adore The Court Cafe because their chicken and waffles are so good and who doesn’t love all day brunch. For a snack I’d hit Lazy Bird for a good açaí bowl and hit a taco truck for lunch. For dinner, I’d let my friend choose a type of food and go from there. To hangout, I’d take them to Santa Monica Pier or Venice Beach for all of the views and content. I love being anywhere where people are just existing and enjoying simple things so the beach is definitely a favorite for that.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be the person or successful business owner that I am without the help of some of my line sisters, close friends, mentors and clients turned family. I’m sending so much love and thanks to each and every one of you.
Stephanie Briana Photography Stephon X Photography