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Hidden Gems: Meet Keisha Jennings of The Hair Xperience

Today we’d like to introduce you to Keisha Jennings.

Hi Keisha, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I self-taught myself to braid at 9 years old. I braided my doll’s hair because that was all I had at the time. As time went on, my brothers grew their hair out and I would braid their hair. It wasn’t the best looking braids but at that young age, I did pretty well. Lol. In middle and high school I would braid and do my own hair. I would also do the neighborhood kids’ hair. I would go to my friend’s house or they would come to mine and I would do their hair. From there it progressed and at a young age, I had a side hustle from doing hair. I never thought my path would be hair. I remember going to sign up for nursing school and as I was leaving I saw a sign that said now enrolling in the cosmetology program. I went back in and enrolled and worked as an assistant in a salon called Strut Hair Studio. That’s where my career really started. After completing the program and receiving my Cosmetology license, I started advertising and running specials to get my name out there. From there I built a clientele. After transitioning to another salon, I finally decided that it was time to have my own. After strategic planning and continuous hard work, I can now say I am now a proud owner of The Hair Xperience.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Although we hope and wish everything will go smoothly, it has not been a smooth road at all. I have never cried so much in my life. Lol. The biggest challenge was getting it open. We remodeled the salon from the floor up. I was very hands-on and did a lot of tedious work there. All while still taking clients full time and going to school to obtain my Business Degree. So there were a lot of late nights and early mornings. The support from my family, friends, and clients has been very helpful.

As you know, we’re big fans of The Hair Xperience. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
The Hair Xperience is a salon located here in Jacksonville. We offer a wide range of hair services, braids, and we also have a nail tech that offers nail services and pedicures. (Nails by Quita) I’m a licensed cosmetologist so I offer natural hair care services, relaxers, cuts, extensions, and I have a niche in braiding. The thing that sets me apart from others is that I don’t just specialize or offer just one specific service. With my brand, I’m most proud of being hands-on with everything. I have a degree in Business, so I value professionalism and good work ethics.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was always shy. I never liked to be the center of attention and I was quiet. Growing up I use to like reading, hanging with my friends, and braiding. I loved when I created hairstyles or did hair at such a young age. I was always in my books and worked hard to continue to make good grades. I wasn’t perfect but I always knew I would be great. That’s what I worked so hard for at such an early age.

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