We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamika Chandler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tamika, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always been a creative individual by nature. Never did I imagine that I had what it took to even fantasize of owning my own business someday. As the third oldest child of nine, and raised by an immigrant single mother, Individualism was not at the forefront of my mother’s Child rearing styles. We were not groomed to Take risks but encouraged to “go with the flow.” Maybe it was a defense mechanism my mother picked up along the way in her endeavors to acclimate into the American culture. It became second nature for me as a young woman to assimilate and to do enough to just get by.

My thoughts and fervor for life changed when the Pandemic hit and my career with the Psychology Firm with which I was working with at the time tremendously raised its expectations of me, which crossed into my personal life. I felt that my job was bleeding me of everything I had. We worked days, evenings, weekends, to ensure the geriatric patients in the 40 nursing homes with which I was assigned, were receiving Psychology and Neuropsychology services. I was on the committees for creating and implementing COVID protocols, I was checking in at 5-7 nursing homes per day to ensure Administrators, Nursing Directors, and social workers that their patients would be seen. I was checking in daily and weekly with the 17 clinicians with which I was assigned to Liaise, I was completely overwhelmed to the point that my hair began to literally fall out!

Due to my ability to work from home daily, and Covid restrictions at the time, Paperwork was piling up and I needed an office space to continue to keep client information confidential, so I sought out an office space to lease. I found one with 2 offices inside. It was at this time that I learned my most valuable lesson on taking risks.

I found a salon nearby and began to work parttime on evenings and weekends there, I Then took a chance on me! I started my own Hair Braiding Salon, in my back office. I placed ads on social media of my private Salon suite for Hair customers to come get their hair done, and not have to worry about the impact of surrounding themselves at the larger beauty salons along with the Masses! I set up a small intimate, Salon Suite calling it Heavenly tHAIRapy and followed all Department of health protocol, as well as Dept of Cosmetology Requirements. I went into business for myself and 6 months later quit my job and became a full time Business owner. That was only the first part of the RISK TAKING.

Risk Taking has enabled me to step outside the pack and take the lead. Since Becoming a Business owner, I have successfully become a Hair/Beauty Product Creator, Developer, and Manufacture of my own Vegan Hair Care line, and Braiding Hair. I believe some risks are very much worth taking, and that for one to become a success at their trade, they must encompass Drive, Ambition, and Mental Fortitude as those are the characteristics that are innate. To take a risk without those character traits may not afford an individual their desired outcome.

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?
I am Owner and Founder of Heavenly tHAIRapy Studio in Orange County CA, a small intimate salon studio that was birthed during the Pandemic, as well as a Professional Braid Technician with over 29 years of experience, as well as a Hair/Beauty Product Creator and Developer.

My husband and I opened Heavenly tHAIRapy Studio to address the anxiety associated with the declining self-image that people were expressing regarding their inability to have their hair professionally maintained during the pandemic. I opened with the intent to cater to individual clients, hoping that they would feel safe and more compelled to continue visits, and that I would be able to refresh their appearance and rejuvenate their self-esteem.

As a Professional Hair Braider, I Specialize in Natural Hair and Protective styling. Once my Salon opened, I was challenged with the task of creating natural hair care products for my customers. I created a full line of Vegan Friendly, All natural Hair care products which now sell across America, Uk, Mexico, Japan, as well as 9 other countries.

One thing which makes me the proudest, is that I am the third oldest of nine and I am the first business owner in the family. Coming from a family that was raised like a wolfpack, it was hard to establish my own individuality. I’ve learned that establishing one’s individuality is vital to becoming successful and is synonymous to becoming free. Once these chains are broken and a person is safe to live the healthy life they have imagined, there is no limit to their potential.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would start at 5:30 am on a Saturday and head over to the Hollywood trail, we would go to the back side of the Mt Lee Summit, that would take a couple hours to just take our time and take in the sights. Then we would head over to Santa Monica Pier to balance out the Mountains with the Ocean, probably grab a bite to eat on the Pier at Bubba Gumps.

We would definitely have to spend a day at City walk. we would most likely park at Hollywood and Highland and catch the metro underground to City walk. On the way back we would walk the Hollywood walk of fame.

We would have to stop at Tracy’s on Exposition and Western for some Belizean food, or Joans and sisters’ Belizean food down the street! We would then go to the Grove to hang out and do some light snacking at the Farmers market there. OMG they have Candy apples, Soul food, Bar- B- que and a wide array of other cuisines.

We will definitely have to make a stop at Leimert Park to listen to some music in the park before we head over to Orange County.

In Orange County we will hang at the Irvine Spectrum, or maybe Javier’s. and walk around the South Coast Plaza to walk off all the weeks’ worth of food.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It definitely took a village to get me to the pinnacle where I stand today. I would like to shoutout my husband Sasha Chandler, USMC. He believed in me, encouraged me and afforded me the opportunity to believe in myself. He taught me to branch into the unknown and provided me the security and strong foundation to take a chance on me. My mother Lorna Daniels definitely encouraged me to go to school, to further my education and made huge sacrifices for her children to be honest contributors to society.
My Godparents, Tom and Cindy Doorn who kept me grounded spiritually and provided anything I ever needed, Mentally, Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually, along with Mrs. Ruth Robinson who always provided support and love.
My siblings all contributed to the development of my character, and I love them all Nicholee, Kyle, Megan, Brant, Loren, Gail Lorna Jr, Gena.
My closest friends Samika and Javier , Tamika Majors, N’zinga, and Costromas whose friendships have been the strongest support for me.
My daughter Cassidy has been one of my biggest support systems as well as my Rhyme and Reason that keeps me well grounded. Our children Sidney, Shannon, Cassidy and Sean are the strongest, most founded and disciplined young people and are forging their way into society as risk takers themselves.

Website: www.HeavenlyThairapy.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/heavenly.thairapy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HeavenlyThairapy

Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/heavenly-thairapy-fountain-valley

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbTdc8RgUcI&t=18s

Other: Vegan Friendly Hair Care Products www.Hthairapy.com

Image Credits
C.Abercrombie, Devo, S. Chandler

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