Angela Chambers-Lee

Arielle Kilgore | May 21st, 2021
Angela Chambers-Lee (Photos by Bernard Smith)

Angela Chambers-Lee (Photos by Bernard Smith)

Angela Chambers-Lee, also known as Dree, owns two successful businesses in Greenville and Mauldin, SC. The salon Touched by Dree and TLC and Bellas Academy of Cosmetology have molded talented tonsorial artists and helped others form their path. The school includes classes for becoming a Cosmetologist, Esthetician, and Nail Technician.

As a stylist, Angela specializes in cuts and color. In order to be enrolled in the program, the student must have a high school diploma, their driver’s license, and another form of identification for the school. Angela’s school allows young girls starting at the age of 16 to apply. Each program consists of its own cost with the Cosmetology school starting at $15,000. Her Nail Technician course starts at $4,000. Lastly, the Esthetician program starts at $5,500. Promotions are in effect from time to time to cater to her students for more affordable options. The tuition for each school covers the books and classes needed, and kits are available at a extra cost.

Her professional journey began in 1991. Since then, Angela has been a licensed cosmetologist for over 30 years. She has also taught other stylists and artists her craft for over 18 years. The gift to style African American women’s hair is a skill everyone needs to possess. Angela wants to train people like her to be the best at doing hair. She shares, “I want to be remembered for helping any and everybody to be a better version of themselves,” she says.

Though well seasoned, Angela began styling hair at the young age of 11. “It was the “Ah-Ha” that inspired me. I was encouraged by the before and after transformations of my clients, and their responses. I truly had the passion as a young girl. I have grown to realize that my passion is also a gift,” she says.

With the onset of Covid 19, Angela had her doubts opening a new business during this tough time. Although the business was a self-made dream, she had her doubts. One of her students encouraged her to consider the opportunity. “She said, “What’s the thing that’s stopping you right now? I said well it’s a pandemic. So, of course, I’m not thinking about spending money right now,” Angela explained. But eventually her insight changed and on February 22, 2021, she opened her business and became the first African American female in Greenville, S.C. to have their own cosmetology school.

“We’re definitely making history right now,” she says with enthusiasm. Her business has been blessed in a pandemic, more than she could imagine. The joys of teaching other beauty professionals are endless. Her main motivation and dedication are to her students as they graduate and are guaranteed jobs straight out of her program. The goal for both her salon and cosmetology school is to produce eventual entrepreneurs. I want my students to have the confidence to open their own,” she says.

The school and its owner stand by this statement alone, “Don’t Be Ordinary! Dare To Be Original!” She says, “Nobody can be you better than you. You can only be yourself.”

In November of 2015, Chambers-Lee lost her main supporter — her mom. Before she passed, she told her daughter that she will never be satisfied till she had something to call her own. “Those words have never rung more true. I turned the key to my own salon and it’s amazing to see things come full circle,” Angela said. The same doors that she, unfortunately had to close were opened again in 2016. From then on, her salon was named after her mother in remembrance, Annie Bell Graham.

As a history maker and rule-breaker, Angela knows that there is a calling on her life. It is paramount that she shows other people and her daughters and son that you can be successful in whatever you do as long as you put forth the effort and the time. “There are many nights I stayed up, and I didn’t even go to sleep. But that’s how much time I put into building my business,” she says.

Angela is leading by example, and showing her students and colleagues that what God gives you, He expects for you to share with others. “Teaching someone my craft is not enough. My true legacy will be how I helped them to become better than me,” she shares.

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