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Inspiring Conversations with Cornelia Thompson of The Urban Meet Braid Shop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cornelia Thompson.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started braiding professionally at the age of 17 years in Moreno Valley, CA. After five years, I decided to pursue a different career in Property Management and Real Estate in order to provide benefits for my family. In 2017, I became a Property Manager at a huge commercial property with over 200,000 sqft. In the process of continuing my career, I decided it was time to follow my dream of establishing The Urban Meet Braid Shop where my old, present and new clients could come to get professional braiding services by a licensed Braider. I am currently a licensed braider in Nevada. I have plans on branching out, maybe even franchising in the near future to provide professional braiding services throughout the nation!

The Urban Meet Braid Shop was Established in 2019 during the time I was a Property Manager for a Mall. I worked at the mall Mon-Fri 8am-5:30pm and worked at the Urban Meet Mon-Fri 6pm-until and Sat-Sun 4am-8pm. In October 2021, I decided The Urban Meet Braid Shop was priority and it was time to go full time.

The Urban Meet Braid Shop has been a dream for years. I have over 20 years of braid experience and over eight years shop experience. After working hard to create a brand and an establishment it’s now a reality! The experience is REAL, the customer service is the BEST and the work is by far better than the REST!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I am always told that my work ethic is unmatched. The hardest part of being a business owner is staying consistent. From day one, I had to be on time, provide outstanding customer service, present a clean safe environment, use my hands and stand on my feet for over 10 hours a day. Not to mention maintain marketing and social media, also making sure google and yelp reviews are 5 star. I cannot be lazy, tired or have a bad attitude. It takes dedication and determination to be successful as a business owner.

Let’s not forget, I did not have a team so I am the accountant, marketing director, owner, social media coordinator, braider, website creator, in charge of the phone and I handle general operations of the business. I am all of this still today and I will continue to do so until we are financially prepared to upgrade our team.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
The Urban Meet Braid Shop is so unique. We are loud but we are quiet, I say this because we have had the opportunity to have celebrity clients throughout our three years of being open and it’s so low-key. We are the go to shop in Encino, CA.

We are strictly a braid shop, we do not cut, color or wash and blow dry (we do blow dry to maintain hair if necessary). We are not licensed Cosmetologist so our services are limited but we are educated in Natural Hair Care and Braiding Services which does not require a license in the state of California.

The perk to only providing Natural Hair Care and Braiding services is we are able to get to our clients in on time in a timely matter with great results. We work by appointment only, all our services are timed and the experience and environment is unmatched in The Valley.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love The Valley! The wide range of the different demographics, the food, clubs, social events and the word of mouth from people are amazing. If you always treat everyone with the same respect and kindness, it will spread like wildfire. You can meet so many different connects by just being in The Valley.

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