Maya Bowen

by Terry Watson | July 16th, 2018
Maya Bowen (Photos by JLG Creative Studios)

Maya Bowen (Photos by JLG Creative Studios)

Trouble doesn’t last always, and Maya Bowen is a true testament to that. On July 7, Maya will finally see the fruits of her labor when her long-awaited, Marks of Beauty Hair Studio has its grand opening. She’s ready to show the world that just because she was down for a moment, does not mean she’s out forever.

As a preteen, Maya’s brother would consistently beg her to braid his hair and that of his friends. She didn’t enjoy it, but she would do it. One evening, she had planned to attend her 8th grade prom, but she had no idea what to do with her hair. She figured out a style within minutes and was pleased with the outcome, considering it only took her a few minutes, it was free, and she created it herself. Even then, being a hairstylist was the furthest thing from her mind. Getting along with her mother and her abusive step-father was more important and nothing seemed to be working.

At the young age of 15, Maya became pregnant with her first child. By 18, she had welcomed a second. She was young, single, and struggling. Luckily, around the same time, her mother ended the relationship with her stepfather and things began to turn around. A once troubled existence with her mother, changed for the better and she finally had the mother-daughter bond that she’d always prayed for.

Raising two young children and creating a better life for them was Maya’s first priority. At one point, she attended nursing school with plans to become a nurse. When that interest faded, she enrolled in an information systems course and even landed a job as a technician at a popular company in the area. “After I started working, I realized that women don’t always want to listen to other women, and men don’t want to listen to women in the tech field. They would get a man to say the exact same thing I just said, and it became really frustrating,” explained Maya. Discouraged, she asked to change her role, but stayed with the company.

In 2014, Maya decided to explore cosmetology, the one thing she had been steering clear of for years. She visited Empire Beauty School, enjoyed the instructor, and decided that day that she wanted to be a hairstylist. Her mother and children all encouraged her, picking up the slack while she worked during the day and attended class at night. To make extra money as well as perfect her techniques, she would take on clients on the weekend at her home. It took several months of around-the-clock running for the busy mother of two to feel the effects. Her health was already questionable because of an artery disease she had, and her body just couldn’t keep up. “I kept telling everyone that I was tired, but no one really listened,” she sighed.

Maya’s voice gets more intense as she explains how she’d resolved that she was ready to ‘take herself out’. She dropped her children off at church with her mother but didn’t come inside like she normally does. As she was driving, she sent her mother a text that she had planned to be her last. “I can’t do it anymore. I’m sorry. Please take care of my kids,” the text read. Her mother started calling her cell phone relentlessly but couldn’t get an answer. One of the children tracked her by using her computer tablet that was connected to her cell phone. By the time her family located her, she had ingested several pills and was immediately transported to the hospital. By the grace of God, she lived. Whether she wanted to still be on this earth or not, she was.

By now, her brother was in the military and doing well for himself, so he offered his sister and her children the opportunity to come and live with him while she attempted to get back on her feet. “After I moved with my brother in 2015, I met one of his friends who seemed to be so perfect for me. He was very calming and said all the right things,” Maya reflects. After a few weeks of meeting this gentleman, they fell in love, decided to get married and make a life together. It didn’t take long for her new husband to change and transform into a person she never thought he would be. He was jealous, abusive, and manipulative, to say the least. He tried everything in his power to break her spirit, and for a while he succeeded. Maya remembers the two years she was his wife as the worst time in her life. However, God gave her a precious daughter to show her that beauty and love always prevails.

Now with three children and her supportive mother and children by her side, Maya is ready to embark on her new adventure as a business owner. She’s ready to show others how to claim their beauty and regain their confidence, just as she had to do less than a year ago. She has battled many health issues, including a fibromyalgia diagnosis, knee problems, and mental illness but now knows how to manage them all with God and a stable home life. She lost a few friends during this rollercoaster but cherishes all the relationships that have carried her along the way and is grateful for those that didn’t give up on her. She can’t wait to show them the results of their unconditional support

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