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Rising Stars: Meet Gorma Browne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gorma Browne.

Hi Gorma, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I am first generation born in the Unites States. Both of my parents are from Monrovia, Liberia which makes me of Liberian decent. My journey in the beauty business started at the tender age of 16. I grew up watching my older sister doing hair and that motivated me to want to do the same.

By the time I graduated high school at 17, I accumulated a large client base which fueled me to continue my education at Empire Beauty school where I became a licensed cosmetologist in the state of New Jersey. I continued in to field for 10+ years moving on to utilize my talents in other cities such as Philadelphia and where I reside now in Baltimore county/ and city. During that time frame, I also became a mother to an amazing boy by the name of Kaylen Joel who changed me for the better and gave me the unconditional love I could have never imagined. As time would go on and life began to change around me; I began to feel like being a full-time mom, hairstylist and working in the medical field as a healthcare advocate was very overwhelming. I started to think, what could I do to change my situation? What could I do to allow me to have more time with my family but still make full-time income? That is when I discovered a technique called microblading.

Microblading is a tattooing technique in which a small handheld tool made of several tiny needles is used to add semi-permanent pigment to the skin. The service became popular in Europe and the US in 2010, microblading is already widely known in places like Singapore and Korea in as early as 2005. One memory that resonates with me and motivated me to transition is how much people would compliment my eyebrow throughout then years, I always had very full brows to the point where I was growing a unibrow. Let’s just say… I hated it! Until I was old enough to get them waxed and arched and I truly appreciated having a full brow. That made me want to be able to form and shape the brows to complement the natural beauty of other women and men’s face, skin tone and bone structure.

Flash forward to March of 2019; I finally decided to take a training course with Sierra Gates from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta/ The Glam Shop to get certified as a Microblading/Microshading and Lash extension artist which was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I now am the proud owner and operator of the Mane Exchange Beauty Studio located at White Marsh Mall’White Marsh, MD and let not forget to mention that it is black-owned! It is such an amazing feeling to be able to enhance my client’s beauty and confidence with things that may not seem that important such as eyebrows but, it makes a big difference in your look. In the near future, I plan to expand my business and offer more beauty services and also become an educator to teach other people how to become successful.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road along the way. There will ALWAYS be good and bad times. Nothing will come easy and you will need to work hard for it. In order to be successful in any business, you have to invest into yourself and your business 100% before you even open those business doors. and taking any clients. Building the website, creating and following up on your social media presence, marketing, networking, ensuring you have all the supplies needed, state and county licensing, practicing daily, researching new techniques, quality supplies and much more to check off of our lists prior to even beginning. It could all become very consuming and really test your work/life balance. When I finally decided to open up my studio March 1st, 2021, my little brother suddenly died March 5th from cardiomyopathy. That sent me to a deep dark place and made me want to give it all up. I decided to take a much needed break until mid-April, I had to do a lot of soul searching and remember my mission in all this. I want to be able to provide and for my family, create generational wealth, and honor my brother’s name. In the long run, I know that I have a true passion for working for myself and I have been genuinely touched by clients who send me messages about how their new brows have improved their lives. One piece of advice I would give anyone trying to become a business owner is NEVER give up, even on those tireless days and nights. Also, remember to celebrate your accomplishments and enjoy time with your family.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
At The Mane Exchange Beauty Studio, we currently provide the following services: Microblading, Microshading, Brow and Lash Laminations, Lash extensions, brow and face waxing, makeup, and beauty mark tattooing. I would say that I am mostly known for my Microblading and Microshading services which I am very proud of. It takes a lot of courage for someone to trust you with semi-permanently tattooing their face, lol. What sets me apart from most people is that I’m never in competition with anyone but myself. I challenge myself daily to better my skills and business. I pride myself on not only opening a black-owned business in the midst of a pandemic but also my excellent customer service skills and my beautiful establishment which makes my clients feel like they are sitting in the lap of luxury. I want all my clients to feel like Queens and Kings because that is what they truly are.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
People can connect with me via email @themaneexchangellc2@gmail.com or following us and message/DM on Facebook and Instagram @themane_exchange or @iam_gormazing.

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Image Credits

Photo cred: @photomaticsmith

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