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Meet Trailblazer Ms. Kia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ms. Kia.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ms. Kia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m 32 years old. From Compton California. I have two sons ages 11 and 6. I’ve been braiding hair since I was 15. In high school, I would braid hair in my mom’s living room after school and on the weekends. I attended cosmetology school at Marinello back in 2009. Two years after having my 1st son, things didn’t really work out as far as finding a job, so in 2010, I moved away to live with my dad in Arizona waiting to work for a job that never called me back. So, I started dancing as a stripper in a club. I stayed in Arizona for a year, the lifestyle was too crazy! So, I had to move back to California. I started my journey after
walking away from the lifestyle of a stripper.

In 2011, I moved back and got pregnant with my 2nd son. Not knowing my worth and settling for less. Being pregnant with my 2nd son, I was stuck and had to figure out things on my own with no job and no place to live. I would go every day after getting my son to school to look for a job. I found a job and got hired driving buses in Orange County when I was five months pregnant. I worked until maternity leave. After having my son, I used the money I had saved and my friend helped me with a down payment for a 1bedroom apt. I got another job driving for LongBeach Transit. Which was closer to my new place. I Worked there for 11 months and I was fired for being late to my post. I had no other way to provide for my boys so I started braiding hair in my apartment at the end of 2012. I would braid and post on social media to get more clientele. I made enough money to pay rent and bills.

After working out of my apartment for a while in 2013, I started working out of my cousin’s shop “Dior’s Experience” in Inglewood. My clientele picked up more after posting and advertising, running specials for braids getting clients in. I worked there until 2014, I moved to “RVM Salon” in Carson. I worked there for three years after the 1st year, I watched things change owners changed the shop name changed and things started to fall apart as I continued to build my brand and my business. I was blessed with opportunities to braid celebrity clients like “Gwen Steffani” on set for the voice. NBA stars “Kawhi Leonard”, “Matt Barnes”, “Allen Iverson.” Singer/Actress/model “Teyana Taylor” and USA Olympic track runner “Gil Roberts.” I even began teaching “Beginner Braid Classes” and hosting an event I named “Ms. Kia’s Giving Thanks and Giving Back Event” where myself and other stylist or barbers who were interested in giving back by providing free services for the holidays to those who were less fortunate. I always wanted to run my own shop and sale hair so that my clients wouldn’t have problems with trying to find the hair needed for their styles.

In 2017, I moved into my own private Salon Suite continuing to grow with my clientele. I then became an Ambassador for RastAfri the braid hair company I love to use. After connecting with so many great people and staying prayed up. A lot of things changed for me. Summer of 2018, I stepped out on faith and opened a “Beauty Supply & Braid Studio” called “ Passion with Purpose” in the city of Artesia, CA. across the street from the Cerritos Mall. The reason I chose this name for my business is that I’ve been through so much to get here, but I stayed focused and I have a testimony behind it.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Never give up on your passion. Be true to who you are, never settle for less than what you deserve. Give freely from the heart and work hard for what you want! But none of it is possible without GOD!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Passion with Purpose Beauty Supply & Braid Studio – what should we know?
I braid all of the latest styles that are trending. Any picture a client sends me, I can do it!

I specialize in “Hair Loss Reconstructing” women who suffer from hair loss due to sickness health medication. I can give them a braid style by covering their bald spots. Tension-free. No pulling. No glue. I also teach Hands On Braiding Classes for beginners. In six hrs. in my class, I will have a person who couldn’t braid leave with the basics of braiding.

I am proud to give back every year during the holidays during my Annual “Giving Thanks & Giving Back Event” providing free services to those who are less fortunate.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
Growing up in Compton, CA. My mother was a single mom, strong and hard working. She instilled in me the knowledge and strength of a woman to work hard and always provide for my kids no matter what.

Pricing:

  • Braid prices range $100-$1200
  • Braid Classes start at $200

Contact Info:

  • Address: Passion with Purpose
    Beauty Supply & Braid Studio
    18300 Gridley Rd Unit J
    Artesia, CA 90701
  • Website: mskiastudio.com
  • Phone: 562-403-1079
  • Email: mskia.braids101@gmail.com
  • Instagram: _mskia_
  • Facebook: StylezUnique


Image Credit:

Ms. Kia’s IPhone, M.I.A – Skyler Tanksley, RastAfri Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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