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Episode – 34 Summary:
On this episode of Hair Biz Radio, Host Zakiyrah and Chay interview Pennae Akpuru, a new author, award winning international celebrity stylist and salon owner. Her work has been featured in Ebony, Essence, Upscale and Forbes.

Show Notes:
– A little bit about Pennae.
– She’s been in the business professionally for about 35 years.
– She wanted to change lives, not the fame and glamour.
– She started assisting her mother in the salon and then got her own clientele at 11 years old.
– Her families were all entrepreneurs and they stressed that importance to her.
– She got her license when she graduated from high school.
– She wanted to hustle and also be in business.
– What is your favorite technique you learned outside of school?
– Customer service.
– School brings out your gift.
– Financial wisdom and emotional support is also important.
– What are some things that helped you stay on track with your “changing people’s lives” mentality.
– Understanding that the character of people was changing when they were in her chair.
– Keeping God first is important and the styling was like a canvas.
– When you transitioned from a kitchen beautician from a salon owner, what marketing did you do?
– She made sure that she was the walking billboard.
– She kept her makeup and hair together.
– People in television inspired her.
– Did you ever have a moment where you thought you were too young?
– No, she cared about her appearance early because she dealt with abuse early.
– She knew what she wanted to do and made moves through the madness.
– What were some of the obstacles you had to endure to get a salon at 19?
– She wasn’t great in school with reading, comprehension, she didn’t have business savvy.
– The biggest obstacle she had was not understanding business.
– She was doing 15-25 clients a day with three assistants.
– She was hard-headed and thought character didn’t matter.
– She had a lot of money, but she didn’t do the right things with it.
– What was the transition period of moving to Atlanta and opening another salon?
– Her personal life was a lot of darkness.
– She doesn’t remember being a virgin, she lived in poverty.
– The hair industry was her safe haven.
– Her father abandoned them and she was the only girl among brothers.
– She ended up being a crack addict, and homeless walking around with her hair bag.
– Talk about having a vision and dream to keep you grounded.
– The dream is, who is behind the curtains making people glamorous?
– These dreams came to her at 5.
– When she was attacked, bullied, and abused, the power of the dream let her know that the pain was temporary.
– She’s been journaling her whole life.
– She believed in her dream and God so much that she knew that one day she would be behind the curtain.
– Your dreams speak to you, you’ve just got to believe it.
– The main thing is to write it down.
– Every day do something toward your goals and dreams.
– Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in me and I will give you the desires of your heart.
– You have to be the person He’s calling you to be.
– What were some things you learned about maintaining a salon when you were 19?
– Greeting your clients and make sure you have a good environment.
– Decorating and make sure the rooms were amazing.
– She had to build relationships with the client.
– A salon is a place where people should feel safe and amazing.
– Understand that teamwork really does make the dream work.
– Can you remember a favorite project?
– Ruby Dee – she was an actress that she looked up to.
– Steve Harvey
– Barry White – her godfather.
– Tell us about your book.
– She wrote her truth to help other women like God has helped her.
– This book is everything to her.
– What was the process like, writing our book?
– Her co-writer helped pull her story out.
– The hardest thing was the book opening up some wounds and she didn’t want to hurt anybody.
– She wanted to make sure that the reader was going to leave transformed.
– She was introduced to therapy at a young age.
– She is a firm believer of counseling.
– Stay on your path and don’t look to the left or to the right.

Actionable tips:
– Seek counsel with people in the business.
– Know exactly what you want and write it down.
– Change your circle, seek wisdom and guidance.

Tweetable Quotes
– Your dreams speak to you, you’ve just got to believe it.
– Sometimes your gift can cripple you.
– I hid behind my gift and my pain for a long time.
– Stop looking like you’re together, and be together for real.

Resources Mentioned
Living Past Your Pain to Live Your Dreams– book by Pennae

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