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Meet Uriel Ben-Levi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Uriel Ben-Levi.

Hi Uriel, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Harlem in New York City. I graduated from Cosmetology School in 2013. I became a professional hairstylist and decided I wanted to bring my talents to Hollywood so I moved to LA in 2018. In 2020 while being out of work due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, I decided to start my online boutique Riel Panache Collection.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I am a single mother of two teenage daughters so moving across the country was not easy and a little scary. I struggled financially in the beginning just trying to find my way. Things had gotten better and then the Pandemic came and stopped everything. It was difficult as a mom but also as a creative not being able to do what I love.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a Professional Hairstylist. I specialize in braiding, blowouts and all around styling. I am most proud of being Key hairstylist for VH1’s Black Ink Crew Compton Season 1. Working with the show was my first time working on set with a major production and to be named Key was a major accomplishment for me.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was extremely shy. The thought of being the center of attention literally made my stomach hurt. I had talent and I wanted to do something drastic to force myself not to be shy so I auditioned for a Performing Arts Middle School to be in their Drama program. My first audition, I was accepted into the school. Once I was actually in the program, I could not shake my shyness so I switched to the school band where I learned how to play the Cornet. That’s probably the one thing I regret because I was a really good actress and who knows what could have happened. One thing that stuck with me was my ability to braid. I started braiding at the age of 11, it was just a skill I picked up from my mom who braided hair as well. I didn’t take it seriously until I was an adult looking to do something with my life that brought me joy.

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Image Credits:

Nathaniel Filbert Alexis Hunley

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