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Life & Work with Dina Rodríguez Tillman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dina Rodríguez Tillman.

Hi Dina, 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?
Before becoming the entrepreneur I am today, I was a student in college studying fine arts. My hope at the time was to get my degree and become an art teacher.

I had previously worked in high-end retail, hair salons and, in night clubs as a mixologist. All experiences that have helped me develop and lead me to the position I am in today. I had a dream to find a career that would blend my creative art skills with my people skills. What better way than to make people feel beautiful. Connecting with people and using my creative vision for people to see the best version of themselves.

I went to cosmetology school and got licensed to be the best stylist possible. I continued my cosmetologist education to became a Senior Cosmetologist and a Redken certified hair colorist. I now have over 17 years of experience in the industry.

It was after my many years of managing a large beauty department salon that I finally decided to take a leap of faith and start my own hair salon called Hello Bonita!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Opening a business six months before a pandemic has been extremely challenging. Having to pay every bill while being closed for three months and not knowing when the lockdown would end was gut-wrenching. The bills did not stop coming because the country shut down. All of the contractors I had before the pandemic decided not to return as well because to safety concerns.

When I reopened one June 1, 2020, I was standing in my salon alone. I worked and grinded from June 1, 2020 to August 30, 2020. I thrived, I learned, I worked. I never knew I was so determined. I never knew how resilient and brave I was. It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. It’s still hard to find people who are comfortable to do this work. Being a stylist doesn’t allow for any social distancing, but I am here and ready to serve my community to the best of my ability. I am grateful for the support from my community who have been so supportive of me and my business. I am forever grateful.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I love being creative. I love being a Hair Stylist. Making people feel good and look good brings me joy. I am known for being a colorist and a stylist that can accommodate all different hair textures. I love doing all hair types and textures. I am most proud of being a Latina woman who is a mother, wife and a business owner.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
When I worked for a large department store, I was treated as if my hard work was not enough. Everyday I was reminded, I was replaceable. Even on my days off, I was interrupted. I missed so much of my family time. There was no work-life balance. When I left my former company, I was forced to realize I really didn’t know my children the way I should. My family time is precious. I take my time now. I take my children on short trips and I am able to bring them to work. Hello Bonita is a family business. I am setting an example to my girls and to other women, we can create the life we want. We don’t have to choose a career or family.

Contact Info:

  • Email: hellobonita776@gmail.com
  • Website: hellobonitasalon.com
  • Instagram: @HelloBonitaBaltimore
  • Facebook: Hello Bonita Hair Salon @hellobonitabaltimore

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1 Comment

  1. Hireath Tillman

    June 18, 2021 at 1:51 am

    this is really beautiful mom (Its bonita themself)

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