By Dylan Deprey
Latasha Clark felt stuck.
She thought it was because she had put her dream of doing nails on hold for her children, but it wasn’t just that. She conquered her educational goals and graduated as a medical assistant, but it still wasn’t right. Even after testing her luck at being an armed security guard, she didn’t feel safe in her own home.
She felt trapped.
Clark was in an abusive relationship, and she was afraid to admit it to herself.
It started with verbal abuse and escalated into physical abuse. Friends attempting to help her were receiving death threats from the man she “loved.”
“I feared for my children going into the system because I grew up in the system. I wasn’t trying to repeat the cycle of my mom,” she said.
The situation spiraled out of control when guns, weapons and her children were involved.
“A lot of things made me stay in that situation, and I almost died from it. That was the wakeup call,” Clark said. “The way for me to get out of that was to stop going back, stop blaming myself for what I’d been through and put my big girl panties on and run.”
Originally, Clark only told her story to close family and friends, but then she decided it was time to share her story as part of the healing process. As Lady Diva, the nail artist, she wanted to open her chair for other women in her situation during Domestic Violence Awareness month.
As part of the D&D Nail Lounge “$55 Deal,” during the month of October, $5 will go towards a domestic violence awareness organization.
“I want to bring awareness, and let everyone know that if I can do it and conquer everything that I’ve been through during that situation, you can too. I also want people to know that you have a sister here to lean on, to listen to and open up or to just to be around positivity and growth,” Clark said.
Clark partnered with Demika Claypool, D&D Nail Lounge owner, two months ago after meeting in a nail supply store. They instantly hit it off, and Claypool offered her a spot in the salon. They’ve been working together ever since.
As the two were generating deal ideas for the community, Clark said she wanted to offer more to woman like her, and then it clicked.
“It’s always been in my heart to speak out and share my story,” she said. “This is me opening up to Milwaukee, and letting people know why I go so hard.”
Claypool thought it was a great opportunity to bring in new clients and give back to a good cause. She applauded Clark for opening up to others and sharing her story.
“For her to come from the bottom in that situation, and come up not bitter or angry, and always walking around with a smile, it tells something about her,” Claypool said.
Clark said that she ultimately wanted to give women the opportunity to speak about whatever they need to in a judgement free zone.
“When someone who hasn’t been, through something is giving you advice, you’ll listen to it and appreciate it, but I think there’s a bigger connection when they’ve gone through what they’re going through,” she said.
She said slots have been filling up, and after some of the conversations she has had, she will most likely extend the deal far past October.
“I want these young ladies and older women to understand that what you go through in this situation, I’m not here to judge you. I’m here as a helping hand and a guide because it might not be pretty, but you can get out of this,” Clark said.