*Photo by Don Burgess
Open For Business: Shauntorri Franks; owner Raquel Brown; Kristen Madeiros, senior stylist; and Sally-Ann Jones, senior stylist take a moment to relax and celebrate as Blueprint Hair Salon opened yesterday.
*Photo by Don Burgess Open For Business: Shauntorri Franks; owner Raquel Brown; Kristen Madeiros, senior stylist; and Sally-Ann Jones, senior stylist take a moment to relax and celebrate as Blueprint Hair Salon opened yesterday.
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She had determination not to give up on her dream.

When Raquel Brown was told she couldn’t have what she thought would be the ideal space for her hair salon, she didn’t cry ‘woe is me’ and pack it in.

Instead, she put her head down and continued to pursue her goal of owning her own business.

And, yesterday, that became a reality when the ribbon was cut for Blueprint Hair Studio at 9 Par-la-Ville Road. Ms Brown said her dream began when she became a hair stylist eight years ago.

She went into the field “because I’ve always had a passion for doing hair. I wanted to be an accountant and I changed my mind”.

Her father, Warren Furbert, helped inspire her to go after being a stylist.

“I was really young and he encouraged me,” Ms Brown said. “So I went and did it and never turned back.”

She had initially found space in the SE Pearman Building that she wanted but was told ‘no’. And even though that initially discouraged her, she remained determined.

“I had my eyes set on this building.

This is a new building — exactly what I wanted, very classy — and when they told us we couldn’t have it, it was hard.

“We went on the hunt to look for other places. It’s very expensive in town, so to find a good price is hard.”

After searching various locales in Hamilton, they ended back at the SE Pearman Building two months later, where the second time around turned out to be the charm.

“This is a lot of work, opening up a new business — a lot of work, a lot of hurdles — but we’re open and it looks beautiful.”

Blueprint will be using Pravana hair products, which has a Nevo line that is vegan-free and gluten-free. Ms Brown said: “The bottle is 100 per cent biodegradable and they give five per cent of all proceeds towards cancer research.”

She added the products are also sulfate-free. Ms Brown worked with most of her staff at other locations.

She worked with Shauntorri Franks at both Salon 27 and Bersalon and she also worked with Kristin Franks at Salon 27.

Sally-Ann Jones is new and she’s “very sweet and very soft-spoken”.

Control Home

Affairs Minister Michael Fahy said at the opening: People sometimes say to me ‘Minister, you’re brave to be in politics’, but actually the people who are brave are the people who set up their own business.”

He added: “Ms Raquel Brown, Blueprint’s owner and CEO, is a young lady that has taken control of her own destiny and with her most capable team, is well on her way to making her vibrant business dream a reality.

“BEDC, by way of its loan guarantee facility, has helped to provide financing to Blueprint to facilitate its start-up.

We encourage any entrepreneur needing business collateral support to contact BEDC to learn more about this form of loan financing assistance.”

Heard Chapel AME minister Rev Rodney Grimes, her step-father-in-law, led a blessing for the opening of Blueprint.