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My name is Darlene Samuels, and I am from Bronx, New York.

My business originally started as me just doing hair. I am a self taught braider. Sometimes I like to think of myself as a hair influencer, even if it’s only reaching my few fans. However, one day I got an idea to expand my business. I wanted to rebrand myself, because I am my brand. The brand is me. I found love & passion in doing hair and making mostly kids & women feel beautiful, so I wanted to create a way where I could still do that even if I couldn’t do their hair.

What makes me different as a person is my personality. This may sound a little cliche, but it’s very true. I am a graduating senior, and I remember freshman year one of my now good friends said “You’re always so happy & cheerful. I can tell you’re a freshman.” I believe he was insinuating my youthful spirit, some may even think of as naive. Nonetheless, I am 22, almost done with college & still as joyful as ever. I work very hard & am still healing myself, but I am always determined to be my best. This is what’ll separate me for the industry, the competition, and just everything that isn’t for me. I believe I am my brand. I am the unicorn slayer. Since 15 when I started to teach myself how to braid, to 22 now with more than 5 years of experience under my belt & heading towards entrepreneurship, I know success is in my future. My business won’t be any hair business. I won’t have just any salon. Everything I do, everything I’ll sell, and every service I give will always be done with 100% of myself. If the work isn’t quality, it isn’t me.

In 5 years, I see myself starting or have already started my family, getting my masters, and just in a place of peace. I see my business in full mode & flourishing. I can see my hair boutique as an actual shop in one of my favorite cities. I can also visualize my success as a hairstylist. Finally receiving the credit & recognition that I deserve for the years of hard work.

The legacy I want to leave behind is specifically for young girls. I want them to know that no matter how many “no’s” you get, as long as you say “yes” then nothing can stop you. I want to leave a legacy for my future kids and show them that you are not what you come from. I want to leave a legacy for my parents, for working so hard to keep me in my books & with a pure heart. Most importantly, I want to leave a legacy for myself because all the things that tried to tear me down became a stepping stone for me to raise higher. At a young age, due to my circumstances, I was always looked down upon & doubted. I had to teach myself that others truth wasn’t my truth and I am the ruler of my own destiny, along with God of course.


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Chris Collins is an American multimedia journalist from Los Angelas, California

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