The Glow Boutique

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | January 16th, 2018
Tamikia Samuels-McKiver and Kala Slade (Photo by Howard Gaither)

Tamikia Samuels-McKiver and Kala Slade (Photo by Howard Gaither)

The owners of Glow Boutique knew each other for over a decade. Tamikia Samuels-McKiver and Kala Slade had mutual friends, but were never introduced to one another. “When I finally met Kala and got to know her, I said, ‘where have you been all my life’? I felt I was cheated. She is like a sister to me now,” laughs Tamikia. Ironically, they are both Greensboro natives, having attended Ben L. Smith High School at different times. They are both hair stylist, with Kala previously studying at Carolina Beauty School and Tamikia finishing at Leon’s, but they seemed to relate to each other on a deeper level.

Tamikia previously owned a hair salon but was forced to close it when trouble came knocking at her door in 2014. After serving 15 months in prison, the business owner knew what changes she had to make to ensure she would never again lose her freedom. By the time she was released in April, 2017, she was ready.

The very next week, Tamikia began working in Kala’s hair salon as a stylist. The two became fast friends and often discussed becoming business partners. Since they both already focused on beauty, it was a natural progression to incorporate their love for fashion. “We prayed about it and felt like it was ordained by God. So we moved forward with the idea,” Tamikia explains. Kala already showcased select items in a small boutique within her salon, but the two entrepreneurs had bigger aspirations.

The idea was to not only promote beauty on the outside, but most importantly show women how to be beautiful on the inside. Let’s face it, women are busy being mothers, wives, caregivers, trailblazers, and nurturers. Sometimes we lose our identity and can fall into the trend trap of what others think we should look like. Within weeks, the idea for GLOW, Growing to Love Ourselves Within, was born. “We wanted our business to mean something and not just sell clothing,” says Tamikia.

During the summer of 2017 the ladies started scouting locations but seemed to run into several roadblocks along the way. By early fall, the storefront was secured and they were eagerly making plans for their new venture.

On small business Saturday, in November, 2017 the boutique had its grand opening. Their racks were stacked with unique clothing they personally selected and the shelves were filled with jewelry pieces, many of which Kala makes by hand. She also designs the personalized GLOW items you can find throughout the boutique.

The kindred pair pride themselves on helping ladies renew their spirits and boost their self-love. “It’s definitely more than just a boutique. We motivate the women that come in and help them open up and talk about their setbacks,” says Kala. GLOW is a vessel through which women can renew their spirits. It also helps that Tamikia is a Life Coach, soon to be accredited. She knows a thing or two about misfortune and having to rebuild. Sharing her testimony offers a bit of hope to discouraged customers.

In February, Tamikia will speak at her first conference – the First Annual Women’s Empowerment Day Party at Reflections Event Center in Greensboro. She’s anxious to grace the stage and uplift anyone who is ready for a change.

It’s an understatement that Kala and Tamikia stay on the go. Balancing work and home life can be challenging, and they’re still figuring it out. Tamikia is a wife to a loving husband and mother to an autistic son. They both understand her goals and support her at every turn. “My son has grown up around my businesses, so he’s used to being wherever I am. He’ll just sit and enjoy himself while I’m working.”

Kala is not only a wife and mother, but is a new grandmother as well. Her daughter shows interest in being her own boss and Kala loves to help her cultivate the ideas brewing in her mind. “There is nothing better than not having to answer to anyone, other than the customer,” says Kala.

When asked about the regrets they have, it’s refreshing to hear that neither of them have any. If it wasn’t for the path they’ve both taken, the chance of them being where they are, together, are very slim. They echo the same sentiments and advice for anyone who is afraid to step out on faith…do it.
“Do all your research, and know what you’re getting into, but still do it. Don’t give up on your dreams.”

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