Joy DeVaughn, 24, Entrepreneur
Tell me about yourself.
I was introduced to entrepreneurship my senior year of high school, in an Intro to Business course. From the class I was selected to participate in a business plan competition at the Chicago Urban League, where I won second place in the competition. I graduated from King College Prep then [I] went to Northern Illinois University (NIU), I didn’t like it there- so I decided to transfer to Columbia College. I started my first business at nineteen, a concierge service called Busy Body Personal & Concierge Services. I did everything from organizing closets, to helping set up for weddings, cleaning to walking dogs. Still I wasn’t happy, so I had the bright idea of going to cosmetology school, to learn how to do nails, so I could open a nail salon. I went to Dudley’s Beauty College and got licensed to do nails. Before passing the state exam, I accepted a position at Spa Nordstrom to gain experience. I stayed there for 3 1/2 years.
You started your own nail salon in Miami.
I did open a nail salon. It was located in South Beach, Miami.
What is the story behind the salon.
I was in the process of shopping around for business loans and the perfect location for my salon here in Chicago. My boyfriend’s [at the time] parents lived in Miami. We went to visit and decided we wanted to live there. I also decided to partner with his mother. So with the help of his parents we found a great location.
How did you set it up.
I was very hands on during the whole process. Laying tile, painting, deciding on a color scheme and choosing furniture, just to name a few things. In a addition to nails, I set up a private hair studio. Just enough room for one stylist.
My Miami dream was short lived. As an entrepreneur the most important thing to do is to follow your gut, and to always revert back to what you believe in. My partnership didn’t go as expected, so I returned back home to Chicago to start from scratch on my original plans to open a [Chicago] nail salon as well as some other creative ideas I have in the works.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on getting my brokers license. I want to get into investment properties, rentals, rehabs and single families. The reason is to have real estate as a financial foundation for whatever entrepreneurial ventures I have. For example a new salon.
Remember no matter what goal you are trying to accomplish, be flexible in how you attain it.