Keyshia Daniels

Laci Ollison | May 15th, 2019
Keyshia Daniels (Photos by Pharen Lopez)

Keyshia Daniels (Photos by Pharen Lopez)

Everyone has a story of how their journey has manifested itself. Some people are fortunate to not experience much heartache, and others are tested in life a bit more than most. The story of serial entrepreneur, Keyshia Daniels is far from ordinary. As she describes it, the journey has been a “roller coaster ride.” Her story has been one full of hurt and pain, as well as victory and triumph.

Born in Whiteville, North Carolina and raised in Raleigh, the single mother of two has been a hairstylist for 27 years and owns a cupcake business as well as a hair care product line.

“I started doing hair when I was about 18 and I got my license in cosmetology after giving birth to my first son.”

But before Keyshia got her start as a hairstylist, she found herself working a corporate job while trying to pursue her passion for hair only part time.
“It’s funny how life works. My grandmother and I went to the bank to get a paper notarized that I needed for nursing school. She saw a sign that said they were hiring. I ended up getting a job at the call center for the bank and worked there for five years.”

It was also during this time that Keyshia received extremely devastating, and unexpected news. One week after undergoing a breast reduction procedure, Keyshia received news that she had breast cancer.

“My doctor said It was a blessing. I must have Angels all around me, because in five years I may not have been alive if I had waited too long to have the Breast Reduction surgery,” Keyshia said. “Fortunately, I didn’t have to receive chemo because they found it early enough.”

Her children were just 10 and four at the time. Soon after overcoming her bout with breast cancer, Keyshia unfortunately lost her job at the call center. But it was through the loss of her job that she gained the push that she needed to become an entrepreneur. Now, she uses her brand as an avenue to raise awareness of and bring recognition to breast cancer survivors; including her grandmother, her mother, and her aunt. The colors of her business are pink and teal, in honor of those who are living with, or have lost their battle with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and peritoneal cancer.

In addition to being a hairstylist Keyshia is a master baker, owning a cupcake business that creates treats for special occasions and holidays. “I started baking in 2010,” said Keyshia. “One of my friends tasted one of my cupcakes and encouraged me to start selling them on the side.”

With multiple businesses, Keyshia found herself contemplating on which one she should give her full attention to. “I remember asking my mother one time what I should focus on, and she told me that I should focus on whatever makes me the most money. I replied: hair.” But her passion for styling hair and creating healthy tresses didn’t just stop with her clients in the salon.

Through her love of baking and her passion for hair care, she also created her own line of hair care products. “In the midst of everything that was going on, the Lord gave me a dream about the scent of cupcakes,” she shared. “But I didn’t know how that was going to intertwine with hair. Then He showed me in another dream about the scent of conditioner and other products.” Keyshia created her products to encourage healthy growth of hair, with an added twist of scents inspired by deserts that she creates in her baking business. Her Cupcake inspired hair care products include a red velvet shampoo, a chocolate conditioner, a lemon coconut growth serum, a lavender vanilla hydrating oil, and a vanilla hair polish.

Throughout her personal life and her journey as an entrepreneur, Keyshia has experienced a lot of things that would probably discourage the average person from continuing to pursue their dreams. But this powerhouse has persevered through any obstacle thrown her way. “I have had a lot of loss and grief, but I kept pushing.”

While she experienced the unexpected death of her grandmother in 2015, her brother suffered but survived an aneurysm in 2016. She then lost her mother three months later to Ovarian Cancer also in 2016, and her aunt in 2017 from a battle with Peritoneal Cancer. She also remembers a time when her and her oldest son had to rely heavily on friends and family when her journey in entrepreneurship had just begun. “My oldest and I have had instances where we had to move in with friends and family,” she said. “It was hard starting out as a young entrepreneur and single mother.”

But through her trials, Keyshia credits her strong relationship with God as the one factor that has allowed her to keep pushing through any adversity that she has encountered. “Make sure you have a strong relationship and a sincere prayer life,” she said. “Through everything that I have been through, it was by the faith of God that we were able to make it.”

A minister that possesses a consoling and loving spirit, she proudly serving under the leadership of Pastor Jameliah Young-Mitchell of Unity Church Charlotte.

In regard to her biggest joy as an entrepreneur, the flexibility that comes along with being your own boss makes her journey worthwhile. “Having the flexibility to be all that I can be to myself and others has been amazing for me. If I would have continued my banking career, I would not have been able to have been there for my family. It was a lot but the fact that I could be there for them was an even bigger blessing,” she shared.

Keyshia continues to impact lives through ministry, in the salon that she works in, and through her cupcake business. She is now working on developing new products for her haircare line, which she hopes to release soon.

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