Hello and welcome to the 2nd edition of Philly’s Phinest; an interview series showcasing young entrepreneurs in my hometown of Philadelphia, PA.
Over the month of August I brought you exclusives interviews with: Curran J of Kings Rule Together, Tyrone Dixon and Dayron Bowers of LITM Marketing Group, and Kate Marlys of Philly PR Girl. Philly’s Phinest 2014 is almost complete but before we wrap we have another interview with a hardworking #GIRLBOSS, Yolanda Keels-Walker of Suite Extensions Salon and Pink Label Beauty.
Keels-Walker once had a booming career working for the Central Intelligence Agency after graduating from Hampton University but decided to leave the “9-5” world knowing entrepreneurship was a better fit for her. “Transitioned into a couple of government contractors working in management capacity for them, saved solid for a year and then opened up my first successful business,” Keels-Walker recalls.
She continued, “Entrepreneurship was always something that was on my heart. I’ve done several things you know like including consulting on the side with government contracts. I had like a dog/pet treat business that you know I kind of went hard at then it just didn’t pan out. But my first successful business that I kind of poured everything into including all of my like savings for the year was The Weave Bar.”
Yolanda adds, “I opened up one in West Philadelphia and one in Germantown with a partner up until late last year and then I kind of re-branded myself after ending that partnership.”
After leaving behind The Weave Bar, the 2014 Philly Sexy Single created the full service beauty brand Suite Extensions Salon where clients can come in to get anything done from hair extensions, protective styling, blow outs and even make up services including eyelash enhancements.
Yolanda Keels-Walker has several beauty salons located in Philadelphia and Virginia. She discusses the struggle in maintaining them. “The hardest thing for me honestly is time management because you do so many things and you have so many businesses it’s really hard to kind of devote yourself 100%,” she said.
The interview continued with Yolanda discussing the importance of a good team behind you, what she learned on her journey as an entrepreneur and what things she has in the works for her beauty brands.
For more information about Suite Extensions Salon and Pink Label Beauty visit suiteextensionssalon.com and pinklabelbeauty.com. Follow those businesses on Instagram and Twitter @suiteextensions and @pinklabelbeauty. If you want to keep up with Yolanda personally follow her @businessbabes.
Watch Yolanda Keels-Walker discuss going from a government job to the hair and beauty business, how she juggles multiple businesses, what’s in store for the future and more below.
Be sure to return to GGB next Sunday, August 31, to watch the last Philly’s Phinest 2014 interview
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