Beauty is in You
Years In Business: 3
Number of Employees: 1
Elevator Pitch : “God made you respect it.”
As part of our follow-up to the progress the Daughters of Zion CNPP grantee is making within Memphis, Shelby County, and beyond- we are highlighting their weekly Entrepreneur of the Week award. When asked why Nina Booker was selected as the entrepreneur of the week, Dr. Gerald Kiner, PhD declared, “ Nina Booker is a fighter , a warrior , and a rescuer for anyone that needs a fighter or a warrior by their side. I am so honored to know her. She is a tremendous asset to have on your team. In this day and age where so many people are hurting, it’s an amazing feeling to be connected to a person like Nina who has all the right connections.”
Nina Booker answered several questions for the entrepreneur of the week.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: My name is Nina Ophelia Booker. My beautiful company is called Beauty is in You. It is a community based beauty shop.
Q: How did you come up with that awesome vision?
A: There are a lot of women, men, and children who are not able to afford to keep up their beauty and maintenance and they’re suffering because of the mere fact that they can’t afford it. They can’t afford to feed their families, they can’t afford to do anything and they’re barely making it. So, basically what I wanted to do was help these people through a collaboration of working with community services and helping people build up their self-esteem, build up their confidence, and build their family.
Q: How did you come up with that name – Beauty Is In You?
A: I was standing in the mirror one day, and I was thinking about a scripture that God said. God said, “He is inside of us and we are His temple.” If we’re God’s temple, then we can’t be anything but beautiful. And so, I thought about it, I said, “Beauty is in You because God is inside of you.” God is not in a building, He is not in a place, He is actually inside of you.
Q. You have a beauty shop that does services for at risk, in need, high in need individuals. Do they come to your location? Do you come to them? What is your location? Tell us more about how they can access you?
A. Actually, I go to them. I tell them that they do not have to come out of their comfort zone, I will come to them. Your comfort zone is where we need to start.
Q: What would you say to a family, and there are many families in Memphis that need your help, but are apprehensive about coming to you for help, that feel shy, that feel embarrassed. Why should they not feel that way coming to you?
A: I would first tell them, been there, done that, wearing a t-shirt right now. And if you don’t believe me, I can give you other people who can tell you that, “Yes, she has struggled through a whole lot. Her and her daughter are survivors and you have been nowhere that she hasn’t been already. She can tell you the truth because she can show you where she’s been.” You do not have to be afraid of where you’re at. You don’t have to be afraid of where you’re trying to go. You will get there, because we’ve all been there.
Q. What do you mean when you say you tell a person, “Hey, I’ve been there, I’ve done that?”
A. Glad you asked. We were homeless for two years at the beginning of the pandemic, me and my daughter. We moved around staying with family members, and finally we got to the point where we couldn’t stay with another family member. We moved into a place called the Dorothy Dandridge House, which is considered a transition house, but it was not one. It was actually a home that someone was renting out to allow families to stay in there to transition into the next stage of their life, to help them get out of their homelessness, and to get a job and everything, and build their life.
So, when I say that I’ve been there and done that, and wore that t-shirt, I’ve gone to CSA. I’ve gone to Home 901, I’ve gone to MIFA. I can help you fill out the applications, I can help you find someone to talk to. I have contacts in these places that I am now friends with, because not only did they help me, we still communicate.
Q. How old was your daughter when you all were homeless?
A. My daughter is now 18, she was getting ready to get out of high school, so she was more or less 16 when we first got homeless.
Q. How did you keep your daughter motivated through homelessness?
A. Well, first, let me let you know that my daughter now attends Paul Mitchell, so she did graduate high school, and she did go straight to Paul Mitchell while we were in homelessness. So, basically, from my daughter’s birth until now I always told her that she belongs to God, she belongs to me too, but she belongs to God. My first thing was to treat her just like they did in the Bible, I gave her to God. I made sure that she was independent from the day she was born to make sure that she knew that mommy was there, but there were some things that she needed to do.
I also have an open door policy with my daughter, a lot of people don’t believe me, but my daughter tells me everything. Some things I don’t want her to tell me, but she does. The thing is, communicate with your children, don’t go in the room and close the door and say, “I need some time to myself.” If God wanted you to need time to yourself, He wouldn’t have given you a child. So, you can’t close the door on them, you can’t tell them that you need time to yourself, because you don’t know what your child is going through, you don’t know what has happened in their life. And if you close the door on them one time, they’ll feel like they can’t bother you.
Q: What are some of the testimonies that you’ve heard?
A: One woman had never heard of a beauty shop wanting to help communities. And so, she was really, really excited that not only did I lead her in the right direction, she was excited that I wanted to give her children free haircuts, free styling, free makeup, and also to let her improve her image. I let her know that jobs are available out there without having any skills. So, she was really excited. She got a job almost three days after her and I had collaborated with Church Health.
Q: How has the Daughters of Zion Community Navigator Pilot Program impacted you in your vision in what you do?
A: Everything that I do now, I announce that Daughters of Zion were the ones who led me in the right path. And if it was not for Daughters of Zion I would not know which way to go or even where to start. I wouldn’t have had the push that I needed to go out there and find the information that I needed. Therefore, once the Daughters of Zion kept pushing me into that right direction, they made me feel more aware of myself, which is one of my goals, to make other people feel self-aware. Being in collaboration with Daughters of Zion, has built my self-esteem, built my self-awareness, and taught me to have a millionaire mindset.
Q. Any last comments that you want to tell someone on why they should come to you?
A. First, I want to give them an opening and let them know, do not miss this opportunity of Daughters of Zion to help you build your business. We are entrepreneurs back behind, but we can come out front. You are important to God, therefore, you are important to Daughters of Zion. If you need help, if you need anything, come to me and I’ll help you get to where you need to be and Daughters of Zion will also help you because they are more than just helping you build business, they’re trying to help you build you.