Tomieka has over nine years of cosmetology experience and takes pride in forming lasting relationships with her clients, many of whom are military families on tight budgets. When her employer of over seven years was ready to sell her salon, Tomieka jumped at the opportunity to own her own business. Using all of her personal savings, Tomieka was able to become the new owner of “A Touch From Above” salon.
Her challenges did not end there, however, as she faced the challenge of being a new business owner. Serving only to compound her difficulties in managing her own salon, the building her salon was in fell victim to arson one year ago. She shared, “After our businesses burned down, thirteen people were out of a job overnight.” Although she had fire insurance, it was not enough to cover the entire reconstruction of her space.
Determined to not let her business die, she looked for alternative sources of funding to bring her business back to life. She heard about microlending on a segment on the local news and applied immediately. “Making my clients happy, particularly for weddings and special occasions, is too rewarding for me to give up,” said Tomieka.
Tomieka will use her $7,500 Kiva loan to install new flooring and signage to finish her salon renovations, as well as purchase more inventory.
She currently has five employees and hopes that her refreshed salon will allow her to expand to as many as nine.