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Life & Work with Denise Larell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Denise Larell.

Hi Denise, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Since a little girl, I’ve always had a passion for hair. I always knew how to do it, I call it my gift. A natural born talent that wasn’t taught to me but gifted to me. Growing up, I was less fortunate. My mom was a single mom of four and we barely made it by with the help of government assistance. With my “gift” I was able to do my own hair, just enough to look decent. That worked for me at the time. During that process, I progressed to doing close family members and friends. One day I posted a picture of the work that I did on a family member’s hair on social media and I literally have been soaring since. This happened when I was about 16 years old. I made my first $1,000 in a weekend just from solely doing hair. I was amazed, so I kept going. Although hair was my passion, initially I wasn’t thinking longevity. I wasn’t thinking of it more from a business aspect, I thought of it as more of survival, something to keep me afloat. I was young, with a talent, it didn’t require much, and I made a lot of money so it worked for me.

At the age of 18, I moved out of my mom’s home to my own apartment. I was a home-based stylist up until I was 20, and then I worked in a traditional salon. I worked there for 1 1/2 years and moved into a small salon suite. I worked in a suite for two years and in that process, “doing hair” started to no longer work for me. I now wanted and needed to build a brand. I used to call myself and brand “Cosmo Moca” it was just a name I used for my social media account. Social media had now become so big that it became my brand. However, as I matured and gained experience in different areas of my career, I knew that it was time to go to another level. I reached out to a business coach and I rebranded everything. I changed my brand name to my name, Denise Larell. I took a business class and gained an excessive amount of knowledge about business and implemented into mine. I started my own product line, upgraded my services, upgraded my client’s experience at my salon, etc. Now at the age of 25, I’m the owner of my own traditional hair salon.

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?
It hasn’t been a smooth road at all. My life has been a constant struggle. My childhood was the biggest struggle that I had. Growing up in poverty and enduring so much that it created a lot of trauma in me. That trauma manifested in so many ways of my life that it sometimes prohibited me from being able to live in my passion and purpose.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a hairstylist located in Baltimore, MD. I’m known for my cutting techniques. Cutting is my specialty and I must say, I’m very good at it! I’m most proud of my work ethic, ambition, and my ability to keep going even when things aren’t the best. What I believe that sets me apart from others is simply me being me. Me living in my authentic self on the daily and touching so many different people lives just by doing their hair. Getting to meet new people on the daily and connect with them on a personal level and not just hair. That’s the best part about my job that I love!

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
For any upcoming stylist, I would say to keep going! But in the process of you “going”, network. Get connected with people that can help you, especially in the cosmetology industry. The industry is constantly growing and it’s so much you can learn. Don’t limit yourself and continue to be a student at all times.

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1 Comment

  1. Brittany

    June 7, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    Denise is bomb love this article girl happy to say i’ve seen this young lady grow and glow up, since she was working from home! so glade to have come across such a awesome human being and even tho denise is very young she has inspired me to excel in my career of choice and my side business !! every time i visit her it’s always great customer service and conversation keep up the great work denise !!!! -Britt

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