Diana Green, who now owns a line of hair products and a salon in Miami, United States, said she was four years old when she decided that she wanted to become a cosmetologist.
“I am literally living my dream now,” she told The Beacon.
Green recalled that her first ‘hairdos’ involved plaiting stems of grass that she attached to makeshift dolls – considering that she did not have real ones. She eventually practiced on people.
Decades later, Green opened Bodacious Beauty Salon in Miami. She is also owner of the Miss Bodacious line of hair products, which include flat iron, wax stick, edge control, heat protectant, lace glue, and lace glue remover- all of which can be viewed by clicking HERE.
Green is originally from Unity district in the Lawrence Tavern area of St. Andrew, and is the eldest of seven children for her mother Joan Wilson.
Her family struggled to eke out a living. “But there was never a new school year when I didn’t get everything I needed to go to school. Sometimes it is the only shoes I get for the entire year,” Green noted.
She, after graduating from Unity Primary School, enrolled at Tarrant High.
While at Tarrant, Green came under the guidance of two amazing Cosmetology teachers known as Miss Forester and Miss Ximmines. Those educators saw Green’s passion for Cosmetology and went beyond the call of duty to assist her.
Green noted that, although she could not afford the books needed, she never failed her Cosmetology exams.
“I would save lunch money and print the notes,” she told The Beacon, adding that she never missed an opportunity to sit at the front of her Cosmetology classes.
Green eventually left high school in 1999 not only as her school’s top achiever in Cosmetology. She also left with certification in Cosmetology via a HEART programme.
“That’s where my journey began,” she noted.
Immediately after high school, Green ventured into the world of work, settling in a job her Cosmetology teacher facilitated at a salon – Just For Me Kids, near Immaculate High School.
She subsequently worked at New Dimensions on Molynes Road, Upper Cut Super Concept in Half Way Tree, and Spring Of Beauty – also in Half Way Tree.
Green eventually got an opportunity to travel to Bermuda, thanks to a client.
“I didn’t know that hairdressing could cause you to travel,” she said. “I wasn’t interested in travelling because I didn’t have any relative overseas that I was close to.”
After spending two-and-a-half years in Bermuda, Green, in 2010, returned to Jamaica, where she opened a salon at Golden Spring in St. Andrew.
Another client provided an opportunity for Green to travel; this time to the Cayman Islands.
Green’s skills later took her to Miami, where she worked at different salons. She also was employed to a hair shop – Discount Beauty Supply, where she met a lot of people who subsequently became her clients.
While in Miami, Green mulled changing her profession, but eventually rubbished the thought.
“I love hair,” she said emphatically. “I don’t do hair because of money or because I think it could help me to travel; I do it because mi love it… To me, honestly, it is really not a job for me.”
Now that she is an entrepreneur, Green noted that she does not allow self-employment to throw her into complacency. That’s a reason her business has been a success.
“I don’t think I have ever been successful doing hair in my whole life like now in Miami – even before I got my papers [to operate my own salon],” Green said.
Her eldest of three daughters also works at the salon as an assistant and make-up artist.
People from different backgrounds show up daily for goods and services such as lace wigs, bond-ins, ponytails, sew-ins, shortcuts, and colouring.
Green eventually diversified her operation – introducing the ‘Miss Bodacious’ line of hair products, which she said is doing well especially in Jamaica.
She also improved her credentials by becoming a certified hair loss practitioner.
Green explained that her interest in restoring damaged hair is rooted in a childhood experience – the day things went awry while she experimented with her sister Shinell Lewin.
“Mi actually pick off her head to the point where they had to trim her,” she recalled.
Green further told The Beacon: “From picking off my sister’s hair, I think I am now one of the best persons who can treat damaged hair. I brought back my sister’s hair better than it was before. People usually commend me. They come to me with no hair and, before you know it, they have a head of hair.”
Green, in the meantime, encouraged aspiring cosmetologists to focus on their goals.
She said: “If it is your passion, never focus on how many other people are doing it, because there is always something different about everybody that attracts your own people to you – and there is enough out there for everyone. We don’t have to be in competition with each other. Just stay focused and remember that being consistent is the key.”
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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