Let’s set the scene for a second, shall we? You have a hair appointment. It’s an ordinary day and you’re feeling, well, ordinary. Life at the moment is just as mundane and bland as your hair. You take a seat in the hairdresser’s chair. 30 minutes later she swings you around, you check out your new ‘do, and then the next moment you’re being encouraged and loved on with words you haven’t heard in far too long. You leave the salon with a smile feeling brand, spankin’ new not only because of your tresses but because you’ve been poured into with joy, positiveness, and hope.
Pretty amazing right? Now imagine you feeling led to make girls feel like this in a whole other country? What a calling! Courage, passion, and faith has led this woman to push through barriers and actively pursue her God-sized dreams. Meet Brianna!
I’m Brianna Black, I’m 24 years old from Port Huron, MI. I am a salon owner and hairdresser behind the chair. I have been in the beauty industry for seven years. I attended Paul Mitchell The School Great Lakes. I also went to ministry school in 2012 at Great Lakes School of Kingdom Ministry!
fashion meets God: Before we even connected on Facebook, I’ve seen your name posted from mutual online friends who were constantly raving about your work. Did you always know you wanted to be a hairstylist?
Brianna Black: Thank you so much! Yes. Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to get my hands in anyone’s hair! I taught myself how to braid and loved hanging out at my parent’s cosmetology school. I have always loved art and creating so my passion for it really came natural. I’ve never wanted to do anything else. Throughout the years my journey has evolved into taking on a more leadership role as an educator and now as a salon owner. I really love coaching people and pulling out the potential in everyone! My team is truly like my family!
fmG: Ken Paves Salon has been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Seventeen, InStyle and many other publications. Plus, Paves himself has styled a number of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Celine Dion, Fergie, and more. How did you land your prestigious position as co-owner with the salon in Michigan? What are your day-to-day duties?
BB: I met Ken about three years ago and we really just clicked! Our vision for the industry is quite similar. One thing I love about Ken is that he always stresses the importance that we are in the service industry and we GET to serve people and make people feel beautiful on the inside. His book “You are Beautiful” is a living testimony of his heart for people. I very much respect him as an artist and a person.
My day-to-day consists of educating our team and new protégés as well as working with our reservation team and director in training to create a great experience for our guests and team. I also take my own clients four days a week!
fmG: You’re opening a location in Naples, Florida in 2017! Congratulations! How does it feel to be expanding?
BB: It’s honestly surreal! It doesn’t happen without a great team and our team here in Michigan has grown to all have the same vision and culture of wanting to grow! It will be the first Paul Mitchell The Salon. So we are very excited to partner with the brand Paul Mitchell and I think it will compliment our Ken Paves Salon MI very well!
fmG: Beyond the tresses, hair dyes, and hairspray, I can tell your faith is the foundation and core of who you are and what you stand for. Would you say your relationship with God affects how you run the business? If so, how?
BB: Yes, very much. When your career partners with your purpose it becomes a calling. My faith in Jesus is my foundation for how I do life and run my business. God has given me the wisdom and the strength to lead people well.
fmG: In a world where there is so much pressure on how women look on the outside, how has being a hairstylist and a Christ follower allowed you to see the true beauty of a woman who sits in your salon chair?
BB: It’s amazing that I get the opportunity to connect with people on such a personal level. I’ve always made it a value in my life to pull out the gold in everyone, and to look at people the way God sees them. My favorite part about doing someone’s hair is turning them around at the very end and when they look in the mirror and say, “WOW is that really my hair?!” I have the opportunity every day to speak life into my clients and when I feel led to speak an encouraging prophetic word or pray with them if they are struggling. It really is a cool career that I’m able to connect with the heart and inner beauty of people!
fmG: You are currently envisioning and planning a cosmetology center in Nepal- so incredible! Your passionate servant heart for Him and His daughters is so inspiring! Can you describe what will take place in the center?
BB: Since 2010, Angel House has been fighting to take young women off the streets of India and Nepal. Our mission is to expose the human trafficking epidemic in central Asia and provide a safe place for victims to live normal rehabilitated lives.
Tens of thousands of victims are shuttled across the mostly unguarded border between Nepal and India every day. Some estimations report over 400,000 Nepali women in Mumbai alone, with more than a million sent throughout other parts of India and the Middle East.
Working in cooperation with the government across 15 border stations, our team inspects vehicles and questions individuals suspected of trafficking. Once a victim has been identified, he or she is removed from the vehicle and placed in the safe care of our rescue team. Our team of specialists evaluate the condition of the victim and the severity of the situation. After the assessment, the victim is either sent back to their unknowing family or in extreme conditions taken to our rescue home for rehabilitation. Each young woman, most between the ages of 11-20, are plugged into a vocational training program. They learn a trade, are taught basic business principles and when ready are released to start a new business and build a new life while always connected and supported by the Angel House network.
Angel House is currently in the process of building a sustainable campus in a rural area of southern Nepal that will be be a tool to provide young women opportunity for generations to come. More than $200,000 has already come in. The final $100,000 to complete the land purchase, dorms and vocational cosmetology training center.
Nepali girls braiding during Brianna’s missions trip to Nepal
fmG: What stage are you in in the process and what kind of resources do you need in order to fulfill this God-given goal?
BB: I am seeking 100 people to raise $1000! Will you or your business commit? Here is a documentary regarding the freedom homes https://vimeo.com/92781455
Password: ramesh (This is a video that should not be posted to social media because of the sensitive information).
The website for the freedom homes is www.missions.me/freedom.
Brianna teaching in Nepal
fmG: Where can people donate?
fmG: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
BB: In 10 years I would like to have a few more salons! Married with kids hopefully. My fiancé and I have a heart for ministry and missions. So apart from planting salons and growing our business we would like to continue serving the Lord and people!
How inspiring! Thank you, Brianna, for sharing your passion in the beauty industry and love for God’s daughters! Not many people (especially in their 20s) have the courage and bravery to merge their faith and business together. Praying God will continue to bless you, your business and salons, and your ministry!
“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
– Mark 12:31