Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaliyah Taylor.
Hi Aaliyah, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am the twenty-three-year-old woman and minority Owner of Unruly Beauty Bar. Unruly started when I went from a 4.0 Nursing Student to a college dropout at the naive age of nineteen. I had made the unruly decision to take some “time away” from college to service lash clients in my cramped studio apartment. I had found something that offered me money and freedom. So there I was, a nineteen-year-old entrepreneur with no idea of what I was doing or what I would build. Just the promise of no homework and fast cash,
Fast forward six months later and my cramped apartment no longer offered the space I needed to service my growing clientele. So I found a cheap (basically free) location in the basement of a salon. I fixed it up and started servicing clients in my first real location outside of my home.
I begin to realize that my connection to women made me a standout in my field. My growing clientele appreciated my late evening time slots, my hospitality, and my flair for decor that started to viciously show itself in the basement of that tiny salon.
I quickly outgrew that salon space and less than eight months later, I was in my first salon location – Unruly Beauty Gallery located in an old gallery in downtown Baltimore.
After a year of being downtown, I was forced to expand again to Pikesville, Maryland. This location had space and private parking for my strong community of loyal clientele. I spent three months renovating what once was an old clothing boutique into an Instagram-worthy beauty bar. My grand opening launched in August of 2018 the same month I turned twenty-one.
Unruly Beauty is not your typical beauty bar. I created Unruly with the goal in mind to bridge the gap between expensive self-care and affordable self-wellness. .We are the new “zen spot” for the career mom of two and also the new “cool spot” for the twenty-something millennial woman. My beauty bar proves that affordable, exceptional self-care prevails. Unruly’s hospitality, guerilla marketing, and upscale interior design make for a hidden gem right here in Pikesville, MD.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Parallel to 35% of Black women who own businesses in the United States, I have been shortchanged when it comes to receiving bank loans, venture capital, or angel investments. I faced great resistance as a young, I was constantly denied by banks and angel investors for business loans for my salon location or ventures.
Although I had steady clientele, growing income, and prolific vision I quickly learned that the financial system was not on my side as a minority owner. This forced me to be self-funded. I taught myself how to leverage minimum personal credit and use my own day-to-day revenue to scale my business. This task made the journey far from smooth.
As a college dropout, Black female from inner-city Baltimore the obstacles are stacked high against me but I have soul and substance and I have steadily defied expectations. I made it my mission to make myself financially literate. After all, my business depended on it. I read books like Profit First by Mike Michalowicz and slowly learned how to handle my accounting.
As the great Nipsey Hussle once stated, “Money is a tool – it’s the means, not the end. Inspiration is the metric that dictates whether or not a project is a success.” The ultimate motivation behind Unruly Beauty Bar is to inspire women who look like me. I created this company with that goal in mind. I found my purpose by filling a void of Black representation in the wellness industry and will continue to grow and do so despite all obstacles.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Unruly Beauty is not your typical salon. It’s a destination for women’s modern-day self-care. The Unruly experience is what sets us apart from traditional Beauty Salons. Women come to Unruly Beauty to indulge in self-care and to engage in the creative culture. My beauty bar features photo-friendly décor allowing it to transform into a multifunctional event space outside of the salon hours. Additionally, the space plays upbeat music and features an on-site pop-up shop that exclusively sells Unruly street-wear merchandise. Unruly Beauty Bar is also called a “bar” for a reason. We offer guests over 21 the option of enjoying a glass of wine with their beauty treatments. I did not simply create a Beauty Bar but a conversation piece. I designed a physical space that allows patrons to explore the Unruly brand while they receive signature beauty treatments like eyelash extensions, facials, and hair removal services.
Also, as a minority owner, it was important to me to represent the culture of radical Black entrepreneurship in the decor of the space. With this belief at the core of my interior design goals, I implemented a unique, seven-foot, dot-art image of the legendary entrepreneur and philanthropist. Nipsey Hussle. This unique dot-art piece acts as one of the many social media trigger points inside the salon’s decor. These ‘trigger points’ are implemented to encourage consumers to post, hashtag, and constantly inspire.
Can you share something surprising about yourself?
A lot of my clients and business associates don’t know that I’m only 23. It’s not that I try to hide my age, they just often assume I’m older. God has been gracious enough to me in my lifetime to allow me to meet and connect with people from all walks of life. I feel those experiences have shaped me to have a calm and evolved demeanor.
- Classic Lash Membership: $119.99
- Hybrid Lash Membership: $139.99
- Volume Lash Membership: $149.99
- Virtual Classic Lash Masterclass: $699.99
- Virtual Volume Lash Masterclass: $799.99
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.unrulybeautybar.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unrulybeautybar/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnrulyBeautyBar/
- Other: https://www.google.com/search?q=unruly+beauty+bar&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS848US854&oq=unruly+beauty+bar&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i59j69i60l2j69i61.2149j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x89c804a248c2133d:0x8e69b22f10bd7ea8,1,,,
Kela Lester – J Alex Agency Thomas Kirk – Thomas Kirk Photography Keem Sylvan – Lambo Keem Digital Creator LLC