From behind the stylist’s chair, to business coach, Daniella Emilien traded her shears for financial literacy and never looked back.

Several years ago, there was a young woman who had a dream of going off to college a long way from home. She had a full scholarship to one of the best colleges in the Southeast. Her plan was to go off and study Broadcast Journalism and then take over the world from there but, as the old saying goes; “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” As fate, and God, would have it, there was a different plan for this young woman—one that she never expected, and one more rewarding than she knew it would be.

This young woman is Daniella Emilien, who, at that time, was a young college student and mother to a newborn baby that was relying on her for absolutely everything. It was during this time that Daniella made a decision out of necessity so that she could “woman up” and be a provider for her child. Little did she know that she was opening the door to a new plan, a new vision that has led to her becoming the perfect example of growth and evolution as a woman and as a business owner.

Fast forward to today, as a former celebrity hairstylist, Daniella has worked with some of the biggest stars to date such as Paris Hilton, Reginae Carter, Marlo Hampton and more. The young mogul in the making has also built a booming hair business under her namesake, “Hair by Ivy,” and has parlayed that into her latest venture, the Ivy League Academy, a thriving business coach/mentorship program and network hub that educates black entrepreneurs on the immense importance of good credit and financial literacy; all while teaching them how to leverage business credit to become seven figure businesses. In just two years, The Ivy League Academy has helped hundreds of black owned businesses acquire well over 1 million in business funding through the power of good credit and resources curated through the Ivy League Academy.

Her impact has grown much deeper than hair. Now let’s get to know beauty- boss-turned Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, Beauty Influencer and Educator, Daniella Emilien, formerly known as “Hair by Ivy.”

Before we get into Ivy League Academy, let’s talk a little bit about your life as a former hairstylist to the stars!

I started doing hair professionally at the age of twenty. When I started, doing hair was not my ultimate goal. I had a passion for it, but when I first started I was hustling and trying to find a way to take care of my baby. My first celebrity client was Nya Lee from  Love and Hip Hop and it kind of grew from there. I started receiving calls from other artists and their stylists and it took off from there. I feel like if your work is good then it will speak for itself. For me, it was all word of mouth.

Did you always have a vision that you would end up where you are now?

I actually graduated high school with a full scholarship to the University of Florida and I wanted to study Broadcast Journalism. My parents didn’t want me to go that far away to school. They wanted me to stay close so I went to college close to home and got my Associate’s degree from Broward College, and then ended up going to cosmetology school. Then I had my baby so I had to be an adult. I knew I liked to do hair and I felt like I could be good at it so I said ‘I would give it a shot.’ I never knew it would lead to where I am now.

 What was it on your journey as a celebrity hairstylist that led you into financial literacy and credit coaching?

It all started in 2019 when I was teaching others how to do wig applications and how to pluck and style them–I knew that anyone could learn how to do hair but many didn’t really know how to set up a business and run it. They didn’t know how to market it. They also didn’t know about business credit and creating a professional image and how to find vendors and things like that. I knew this was what set me apart. As my child got older, I realized that I did not want to take so much time away from him. I also knew that I was helping a lot of people form their businesses and educating them on financial literacy, so this allowed me to really focus on building Ivy League Academy while also building a brand and having more time with my child.

Who is Ivy League Academy for?

Ivy League Academy is for anyone that is an entrepreneur, or that aspires to be an entrepreneur and is also for the consumer that wants to build or rebuild credit!

What could I expect as a student of Ivy League Academy?

Ivy League Academy teaches financial literacy. We teach you how to build your credit and how to increase your cash flow. We teach you how to build both your personal and your business credit, and how to use this to build a brand and create additional streams of income. We can show how you can take your business credit and buy real estate or how to buy a car and then put them on Turo and not have to make a car payment. We teach you so much more than credit and branding, and this is whether you are building as a consumer or as a business. What people have to understand, though, is that business and personal credit go hand in hand. The Ivy League Academy has helped hundreds of black owned businesses acquire well over 1 million in business funding, and we take pride in helping our community of business owners become even more successful.

That is so amazing! What are a couple of key tips for acquiring personal credit in order to get on the road to building business credit?

For one, know your data and know your credit scores. You should check these daily. I check my credit score more than I check my bank account balance. Also, make sure the data on the report is correct. If you have to, start out with a secured credit card and use this to build. A lot of people are afraid of credit because they do not know how it works. Credit is King!

Daniella credits her perseverance to her faith in God and her strong prayer life. She says that she incorporated prayer into every aspect of her life and career. She says that she always remained a student and was willing to do the work. “Everybody wants to wake up and be where they want to be, but nobody wants to put in the work.”

Find out more about the Ivy League Academy and Daniella’s upcoming events by following her on Instagram!

Creative Direction: @divineinfluencepr

Styling: @troy_clinton

Photographer: @shotbychareese

Hair: @ivywigco