We had the good fortune of connecting with Shauntavia Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shauntavia, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Yes, my view on work-life balance has changed a lot over the years. In the beginning I believed working all the time was the only way to become successful. I’m from a family of workaholics, so I get it honest. There was no such thing as work-life balance. It eventually caught up to me, negatively affecting my physical, mental health and relationships. That all changed once I became a mother. I wouldn’t necessarily call it balance because there is always something that needs more of your attention. The difference now is, I make time for myself, friends and family. I didn’t do this in the past. I schedule it into my calendar and I make it happen. Sometimes that means ending my day early or not accepting an appointment to make it work. To me it’s worth it. It’s necessary. I’ve never met or heard of anyone regretting taking time out for themselves and family. I don’t want to reach the end of my life wishing I had more time with my love ones, enjoying life or have that feeling of missing my kids grow up.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Beauty Pro University is a cosmetology school located in Arlington, Texas. We are a TDLR Licensed School providing in depth training for those wanting to become licensed Cosmetology Operator, Eyelash Extension Specialty, Hair Weaving Specialty or Class A Barber to Cosmetology Operator. We also offer certification class for Makeup Artistry and Wig Making. I believe what sets us apart is our commitment to providing a program that goes beyond teaching only the basic skills necessary to pass the state licensing exam. We are going to teach you the foundation needed to care for every hair type, age group and skin tone that walks into your door. I want beauty professionals to leave The Beauty Pro University confident in their skills, creativity and knowledge and be able to apply it in real life. We expose our students to the various career paths available to cosmetologist. We dive into professional development and business management. Our students will begin building their clientele while in school. For those who inspire to go out on their own, we will cover topics such as branding, finance, business formation etc.
I am most proud about those who have already taken a course from The Beauty Pro University (TBPU) and hearing of their successes. They are what keep me going when things get hard. I am excited about what The Beauty Pro University brings to the DFW Metroplex and all those we will help along their journey to becoming successful beauty professional.
A little background about me: I started out in the beauty industry in 2013 as a makeup artistry and licensed eyelash extension specialist. In 2015, I decided to go back to beauty school to obtain my cosmetology license. From there, I have worked in various roles from stylist to designer. I’ve had the opportunity to work in the salon, theater, runway, print and TV. I recently added Licensed Instructor to my list of accomplishments (which had been a goal of mine since 2015). I’ve always envisioned myself becoming a beauty industry instructor. Throughout the years I have taught at various cosmetology schools, organizations and have mentored a number of beauty professionals.
I got to where I am today by daring to dream, by staying focused on the goal, planning out the steps and crossing off each step one-by-one. I network with others and hired help. Has it been easy? Absolutely not! lol I’ve had to pivote many times just like everyone else. For example, I’m a wig maker, when we shut down and couldn’t accept clients, I begin making wigs and selling them online. I begin pushing my online store (Cheekspro Beauty Story) selling hair extensions, lashes, and eyelash extension aftercare kits. I reached out to organizations like the Chamber of commerce and SCORE for mentorship. Most importantly, I never gave up.
There are a number of things I’ve learned along the way. I’ve learned to ask for help, to hire, to pick one big task per day to complete instead of looking at the entire list to decrease anxiety. I’ve learned to be flexible, to take time off, to take time for self-care and to be patient.
What I want people to know about The Beauty Pro University is that we are here to change the landscape of the cosmetology industry in Texas. We have real world experience and want to share that knowledge with future beauty professionals. We want those who attend our school to be successful in the industry, to be able to take care of themselves, their family and to build a legacy.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a hard question for me lol, I haven’t really ventured out.
1) Must see a live production at one of the many theaters in the area like Theater 3, Dallas Summer Musicals or Dallas Theater Center.
2) A Ramon Restaurant like Oni Ramon and Mexican Restaurant like Chuy’s.
3) Day party at one of downtown dallas rooftop pools
4) A night out a Lava cantina
5) Fun evening at Chicken and Pickles
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to shoutout Major Williams, Sr. He is not only my dad but a entrepreneur. His experience and advice have helped me a lot along my journey. He encourages me to go after my dream/vision and not just talk about it.
Photographer – Dominique Dunigan