By Danielle Miller
Tucked away behind kiosks and booths of clothes and jewelry sits a quiet and spacious salon called Destiny’s Braid and Beauty Bar in the re-up-and-coming Milwaukee Mall on North Ave.
Tiffany Coleman, 31, grew up in Milwaukee with a special talent for hair. Since the age of 10, Coleman knew she wanted to do something with hair. In 2011, Coleman went to MATC for cosmetology but wasn’t able to make a career out of it until 2014 when she set up shop in her own one-bedroom apartment.
Destiny’s Braid and Beauty Bar opened in March of 2017 after moving shops to find a more spacious place to make her salon’s home and to give her clients the best space. After cutting hair in her house and working waitressing jobs to make ends meet, it was a viral photo a friend had posted of Coleman’s work that pushed Coleman to make a career out of it.
Coleman said that in March 2014, she officially quit her job as a waitress and by July of that same year she was “bombarded with people wanting me to do their hair,” and that salons and shops were showing interest in her work.
“I am more than just a stylist,” Coleman said, “I’m an entrepreneur first, and a stylist second. I’d sell ice to you if it meant surviving.”
Coleman said she was able to get the recognition she needed through social media by following popular videos to see what worked for them.
“It’s a formula that has been working,” Coleman said about posting her work on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. She said that she follows the trends and looks to see what is grabbing people’s attention in viral videos and pictures to see what she can use in her own posts.
Coleman said she is proud of her roots here in Milwaukee, despite the stigma she said it’s a privilege to own a shop in the Milwaukee Mall because of her history in the area.
“I get to teach [my clients] about the mall,” Coleman said. “I wanted to come somewhere I could make a difference, and I feel like I make a difference here.”
Her clients are what pushed her to go out on a limb to become her own boss and Coleman said she decided to “do it the right way, or not do it at all.”
Coleman’s goal for her shop is to break the stigma’s many people may have about the salon atmosphere. A weekly event for Destiny’s Braid and Beauty Bar is called Donuts with Divas, and allows clients and those curious about the shop to come in and talk and leave the salon feeling good.
“It’s all about togetherness,” Coleman said about the point of her event. “Sometimes that’s all it takes to put a smile on someone’s face; to show they aren’t alone.”
Coleman’s start in opening the salon wasn’t an easy beginning, and said that a lot of the information about starting a business, such as acquiring the right permits and what it takes to pass inspections. The information, Coleman said, was not so freely available.
“I’ve been having to learn from experience,” Coleman said. “Learning to network, learning how to conduct myself as a business, even though I didn’t go to a business school.”
Coleman said she wants to continue to build her business, not just for the community but for her children. As a single mom, Coleman said the journey hasn’t been easy and they often cross over, but her frugal motherhood skills help her as a businesswoman.
“A lot has changed in the last three years, and I can connect it here to this salon, this place, the clients,” Coleman said. “It takes it way beyond the money.”