Jauan Clark always had a dream of opening her very own hair salon. While taking cosmetology classes to pursue her dreams, a mentor's interest made Ms. Clark realize her aspiration. With dedication and LEDC's guidance, Ms. Clark has become a remarkable entrepreneur, and her business, New Creation Hair Salon Plus, is now a staple of her neighborhood.
Ms. Clark has always had a passion for beauty; since her childhood, Jauan dreamed that she would own a beauty salon and become an entrepreneur. Taking a step closer to realizing what she had envisioned from a young age, Jauan decided to take cosmetology classes.
An instructor in one of Ms. Clark's classes announced that he sought to retire soon and release his hair salon ownership. The instructor even mentioned that the new owner of his beauty salon was sitting specifically in that class. This announcement propelled Jauan to save money and learn as much as possible from that instructor, who later became her mentor.
Jauan's mentor took note of her effort and dedication, and, in 2015, the mentor handed in the keys of their hair salon to Ms. Clark for very little money, becoming New Creation Hair Salon Plus. Despite the massive remodeling of the salon that Ms. Clark personally did with her colleagues, family, and friends, she still needed additional guidance and capital as an entrepreneur. Especially during the pandemic, when many small businesses in the city, mainly beauty salons, were on the verge of closing.
In 2019, Ms. Clark applied for and received a Small Business Loan from LEDC to assist her 4-year old business with working capital. Later, she worked with the business coaches on LEDC's Small Business Development Team, first with LEDC Alum Javier Sanchez and then with JB Behrens. Together they worked on preparing to apply for the Great Streets Grant offered by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and designed to promote impactful commercial development on those commercial corridors deemed 'Great Streets' by the Mayor.
The Great Streets process is highly competitive, document-intensive, and requires consistent communication with multiple government entities, accountants, and business advisors to ensure that the applicant meets the requirements outlined in the 15 page RFP. During this process, Ms. Clark distinguished herself by her persistence and drive to continually push things forward even when faced with obstacles during difficult pandemic times.
During this period, Ms. Clark's also worked hard to ensure her business applied for as many pandemic-related grants and assistance as possible, including the Bridge Fund Grant. Furthermore, Ms. Clark was hoping to revitalize her business through marketing as a tool to reach more clients within her vicinity.
Through LEDC's ProBiz program, JB connected Ms. Clark with Gbenga Ogunjimi, Founder and Chief Storyteller of GO-Global, a leadership consulting firm that helps profit and nonprofit leaders elevate their stories. With Mr. Ogunjimi's additional advice and leadership, Ms. Clark felt empowered to tell her unique story and rejuvenated New Creation Hair Salon Plus in March 2022.
Jauan Clark Telling Her Story & Reopening New Creation Hair Salon Plus
Ms. Clark's goal in the future is to keep learning about ways in which she can use her passion for beauty to change and keep helping others in her community by expanding her business. At LEDC, we believe in Ms. Clark and what she can accomplish. As JB mentioned, "Small businesses rely on their communities to be successful…But Small businesses also succeed because their owners are doers. No matter the impediment, they stumble forward, not backward. They seem to have a knack for making things happen and finding solutions when roadblocks appear. Ms. Clark exemplifies these entrepreneurial characteristics."
To book an appointment at New Creation Hair Salon Plus, you can call 202-678-1009 or to learn more about their services, you can visit their Facebook page at New Creation Hair Salon Plus.
For more information on how we can help your small business, you can learn more here: LEDC - Small Business.
Story Credit: Sofia Iszard, LEDC Communications