We had the good fortune of connecting with Tanika McBee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tanika, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. I think chicagoans are very well rounded. We are ready for any and everything. I adapt easily to different environments and I’m not afraid to take risks. Growing up I’ve done a lot and I’ve seen a lot, the good, the bad and the ugly. I wouldn’t change a thing though because that’s what made me the person I am today and allows me to share my stories globally!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Cosmetology/Trichology Educator and Author. I have had a passion for hair since I started rolling my grandmother’s hair at the age of 12. I’ve also had a passion for teaching and writing. I can remember being the only child having a “pretend class” and lessons for my students.
I didn’t take a straight route to my career. Even though I was passionate about hair, doing hair throughout high school and afterwards, I didn’t graduate from high school and I ended up moving to Minnesota at 21 and getting a GED. Then, I finally decided to attend Cosmetology school and get my license to practice all while being a mother of two wonderful children. I graduated Cosmetology school at the age of 29. I moved to Indiana to be back closer to my hometown when I was 31.
I always felt like I had a story to tell and at 39 my very first book was published ” Empowermoments for the Everyday Woman A 31-day devotional to empower your womanhood”. It was an anthology written with other amazing women.
My journey has not been an easy one. I will be publishing my full story soon! I have overcome challenges of being raised by a single mom, spending more time in the streets than at school and even almost losing my life. I have learned many of life’s lessons and that is how I developed my brand.
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?
My best friends, if they didn’t already live here would definitely have to visit downtown by way of lake shore drive. I mean you can take the expressway but the view of the lake on a sunny day is marvelous, with the city in the background! They would definitely leave with some extra pounds because Chicago has thee best food. There are too many places to name but I love “Home of the Hoagy”, a good burger from “Gibson’s in Oak Brook”, a loaded baked potato from “Golden Gloves Cuisine” a polish or pork chop sandwich when my stomach allows room from “Maxwells”, the hibachi grill at “Chi Tung” and pizza from “Home Run Inn” or “Italian Fiesta. It’s so many!
Just hanging out downtown and on the lake is great! I don’t go out a lot but I love a nice play. We definitely have an awesome theater scene! Also the “Taste of Chicago” , “Navy Pier” the concerts and events at “Millennium Park” or “Northerly Island”. I missed those places last summer because of the pandemic but we’ll see what this summer brings!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Nothing I do would be at all possible without God of course! My family, friends, church family and clients are a wonderful group of people. I am truly blessed. There is this one angel that I met through divine appointment, the fabulous Mrs. Kristen R. Harris. She followed God’s direction on her life which led to so many women being empowered, so many breakthroughs, so many books being written and so many businesses being birthed. Our stories are similar and I love that she’s from where I’m from FOR REAL and she understands how you can’t let who you were stop you from being who God predestined you to be. I applaud her and definitely want to give her a SHOUT OUT for giving myself and so many others that push we needed!
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