Introduce yourself and profession to our readers:
My name is Dajonay Taylor, I am 24 years old and a recent graduate with my masters degree in Public Administration majoring in Emergency & Disaster Management, I am currently working on my Doctoral Degree in "Community Integration & Leadership." I am the owner of Belle Vie Hair Extensions and the founder of BELLE Girls Mentoring and leadership program. Where my goal is to teach and inspire the young women to conquer their dreams and the importance of Self Advancement. I offer virtual and in person workshops and events which create bonds and support for my participants.
What inspired you to pursue this area of interest?
What inspired me to create my mentoring program because I felt that it was a much needed in my community as well as for college students. I felt like the young ladies in my community needed someone to talk to show them moral support when they felt like they could not speak to close friends or relatives. I created this safe haven for young girls who had questions that needed answers. Also, offering them academic support as far as SAT prep, college application help, trade school searches etc...
I believe that every young lady deserves to be heard and be ensured that they are safe and supported, which is why I and along side my fellows mentors use the motto " BE WHO YOU NEEDED WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG." Because at a certain age we all needed someone to confide in whether it was a cousin, friend or parent. We are helping build positive relationships along with building everlasting bonds. I was also inspired to begin my hair company because I love to be versatile with my hair styles. I love long hair then a short blunt bob to a short hair cut all in one month. But I dreaded spending so much money for luxury virgin hair. So I began my own company where I offer top quality luxury virgin hair at reasonable prices. "Everyone deserves to look good and shouldn't have to pay an arm and a leg to do so."
What advice would you share with those interested in a similar pursuit?
My advice would be focus on you communities needs. If community service is something that you are very passionate about look at a specific area and focus on how you can make it better.For example I chose mentorship because in my community there are several programs surrounded around the population of young men so I created a program where young ladies can feel equally as important and where they can network and learn all while getting the support that they need.
Discuss a professional challenge and how you overcame it:
My professional challenge was putting myself out there making my brand known. I would get so over whelmed with the idea that there are so many other programs that are well known and have so many participants that I would sometime give up on ideas and the program in it's self. But i had to remember that this is only the beginning and if I really wanted to impact someone life I had to keep going.
I also struggled with this with my hair company because there are so many other hair companies that I felt that there was no way that my own could be different; I would start with great ideas then stop because I would get so over wheeled with the idea that I was putting in so much money and I may not get anything in return but I had to remember that my passion was making people feel beautiful and live beautiful lives So I kept re naming and re branding until I came up with the perfect name for my companies name which is "BelleVie" meaning Beautiful Life. I made sure that both of my businesses are personable, and after doing so I have seen a tremendous change in both my sales and audience.
What is next for your brand/business in 2017?
What's next for BELLE is opening our very own center in the community where we can have our weekly meetings and have our events. We will also be setting up a chapter of BELLE in Columbia, SC. For Belle Vie we are working towards opening a salon in NYC.
How can readers connect with you online and through social media.
I can be reached on Instagram @xdaja @bellegirlsmentoring @belleviehair Facebook Dajonay Taylor.