True dedication and passion can be hard to find in people. Daniella Emilien, known as Hair by Ivy, has become a true inspiration to others. Not only is she a celebrity hair stylist but her list of accomplishments continues to add up. She’s styled some of today’s hottest celebrities such as Marlo Hampton, Reginae Carter, and Joseline Hernandez. We’d be lying if we said it all happened with the snap of her finger. Ivy’s love for her career has taken her down an amazing path in life, and Sheen was lucky enough to speak with Ivy to get her best advice on accomplishing the impossible.
Could you tell us about yourself, and describe the journey you took in order to get to where you are today?
My name is Daniella Emilien, and my hair name is Hair by Ivy. I’m 23 years-old, and I started doing hair roughly two years ago. I started out homeless. I got pregnant at a young age and my mother kicked me out of her home. After that, I had to financially take care of my baby and myself. I started the journey by simply texting family and friends to support me and my business. It took off from there. At first, it was definitely a rough journey. After the first year, it really took off. I worked day and night, and used Instagram and Google as options, passed out flyers at stores, and every weekend I was marketing myself. I wanted to bring awareness to myself and my brand.
Do you mind sharing a challenge you have faced in this industry? How were you able to find the inspiration to push through?
Well, when you first start off in the industry, no one knows about you. No one wants to really support the business. I was just motivated and determined to never give up and I’m here now. Now people look at my story and I have become the inspiration for others who may not know the right steps. I just stayed dedicated.
You’re known for your ability to prevent hair loss via protective styles. What advice would you give to those in order to prevent this from happening?
The advice that I would give anyone is to be very careful with the chemicals you put in your hair. I would also suggest not keeping sew-ins in your hair for more than 30 days because it is just too much tension with the braiding foundation. I would suggest wearing different wigs on different days because you can take it on and off. What I like to do is glue method, I just glue the wig onto a cap.
When you’re working with your clients, what is one product that you always carry regardless of who you’re working on?
Sebastian Heat Protector.
Could you tell our readers about Ivy League Academy?
I started Ivy League Academy about three months ago. The reason why I started it is because when I first started doing hair, I reached out to one of the most famous hairstylists in Miami, and no one wanted to teach me, no one wanted to give me an opportunity. I perfected my craft and many people would email me daily to ask me to teach them. I started doing private classes in my shop and it expanded, and more people wanted to be taught at one time. I started Ivy League Academy where no stylist was is left behind. It is a seminar that is about six to eight hours. I teach students in my class how to start their business, personal and business credit, which are two important aspects for me in my business because I needed to use my credit to get funding for my hair suite. I also teach them how to talk to hair vendors, the foundation to protecting a client’s hair and skin, and much more. We have lots of fun, and all the students that have attended my class are successful, and you can definitely see improvement. It is important for me to help others who want to take their career to the next level.
Let’s talk a little bit more about your personal journey.
Upon graduating high school, I was living at my mom’s house. I wanted to go to college and was offered a full ride to study broadcast communications. My mom believed that if I went off to college, I would end up getting pregnant. I stayed here and attended hair school while also attending community college. I ended up getting pregnant, and my mom kicked me out of her home for six months. I was sleeping in my car for three months and eventually in a hotel. When I gave birth to my son, my mom took me back in a week later. I was still doing hair in hotels because my mom would not allow for me to do hair in her home. She felt like I couldn’t support myself doing hair. It was difficult doing hair in a hotel with a newborn. It was actually at my baby shower when my friend gave me an envelope with $60 in it. I took that $60 and used it to buy supplies. Eventually, I was able to get my own hair suite, and I began to build my brand. Many people took notice, and everyone started coming to me and it keeps growing.
Do you have any advice for those who are hesitant to pursue their dreams in this industry?
Never give up. No matter what, don’t give up on your dreams. Stay dedicated and determined. If I would’ve given up, I wouldn’t be able to see who I am today. Don’t give up, and do not take “no” for an answer.
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