Hi Laquinta, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I’m LaQuinta Magwood, owner of SAY La V Beauty Salon in Lyman, SC. I’m originally from Walterboro, SC and I’m the youngest of 5. My journey to becoming a business owner and a stylist goes back to my childhood. Growing up, I would always get my hair braided by my oldest sister but it was so tight that I would cry and complain. I hated her jerking my head because she was mad she had to do my hair. When my parents could afford to, they started sending us (myself and my twin sister) to the salon. It was during those hard times that I began to do my own hair. Everyone complimented me which only boosted my confidence to the point where I began braiding and styling other people’s hair. Fast forward to my first semester in college, where I took my passion for doing hair and my need for cash to make braiding my side hustle between studies. I have been braiding hair for over two decades but the funny thing is I didn’t want anything to do with hair anymore after landing a great paying job in corporate America. I had a lot of people tell me I could continue braiding on the side and I tried but that became too much once I was promoted to a leadership position. This promotion was what I hoped for; unfortunately, this company didn’t have my best interest at heart. I was a top-ranking night shift supervisor and had one of the best teams. We were a work family. Due to my performance, I was able to move to an earlier shift with a new team. Shortly after getting my new team all hell broke loose. I was told I wasn’t a great leader and a few months later, I was terminated via phone call. That same day was when I began my personal Sisterlocks ™ journey. Call me crazy but that had to be Fate! Why you might ask? I would usually be upset for losing a job that I invested so much of my time in but I had this huge sense of peace. I got in my prayer closet and cried out to God asking him to please help me find my purpose and he led me to cosmetology school.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has not always been easy since starting my business. One of the main obstacles has been maintaining healthy boundaries. When I started my business, I worked 7 days a week from sun up to sundown. I struggled balancing a healthy work-life balance and I found myself feeling burnt out. I had to learn that setting boundaries wasn’t going to hinder my business. Once I made the necessary changes, I was able to give myself the time I needed to reset which helped my business to grow. Another obstacle I had to face was difficulties when trying to connect with other like-minded professionals. I remember reaching out to multiple stylists to learn and grow, but no one was willing to connect with me. Instead of letting this discourage me, I used this to push me even more to improve my skills. I have also made it my mission to help other stylists in their journeys.
We’ve been impressed with Say La V Beauty, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Say La V Beauty is a full-service multi-cultural salon. I offer a large variety of services from Micro link extensions, braids, make-up, color services, and more. I specialize in natural healthy hair which include, Sisterlocks ™, Brother locks, Traditional locks, natural treatments, and blowouts. I tried multiple times to stray away from locks but it has actually turned out to be the area I’m most passionate about. I am proud of all my clients’ transformations and the genuine love and support given and received. They leave my salon inspired and ready to make their mark on the world. What sets me apart from others is I don’t limit myself to one specific service. I constantly work on learning and perfecting multiple services in order to stay up on the latest trends.
Most recently, I finally decided to start my own hair care line after struggling to find products that worked for me and my clients. I connected with an amazing chemist where we combined science, sophistication and elements of the Earth to give your hair what it needs most: strength, moisture and growth. Each product is handmade with you in mind.
Most of our products are free of sulfates, parabens, PEGs, dyes, artificial fragrance, and mineral oils. All products are formulated with natural, organic and plant-derived ingredients. You will find exotic essential oils such as Neroli, Rose, Jasmine, Chamomile and Geranium in every bottle. My goal is to care for your hair as well as the environment.
What was your favorite childhood memory?
Growing up, I insisted on following my late grandmother to work. My grandmother worked at a hair salon and I loved spending my time at the salon singing and listening to the women share their journey and the latest gossip. What I enjoyed most was seeing the transformation of the clients. This really sparked my interest. Watching my grandmother and the other stylist create the most beautiful hairstyles was the highlight of my day.