Some of the best skills and talents children learn come from watching their parents. For Destiny Kelly, it was learning how to style hair while helping out at her mother’s salon. Her mom, Cyrita Kearse, recognized her daughter’s talents early—even if Destiny had other aspirations.
Fast forward to today, and the two are now an Atlanta-based hairstyling team running their own hair space, Salon N-V-Me. Neither expected to be in business together, but their successful salon is proving to be the best move they could’ve made.
HYPE HAIR: What made you two want to start a salon together?
CYRITA: Initially, working together was not in the plan. Destiny would come home from college on some weekends and have her clients come to my salon suite, and she worked from a corner in a small room. After graduating with her Master’s in healthcare administration, she quickly realized that her clientele was growing at a rapid pace. Fast forward four years later, we were opening a new salon.
DESTINY: As stated by my mother, working together was definitely not in my plans. I attended Georgia Southern University, where I received two degrees and taught health classes for the University. While attending college, in order to make extra money, I would do hair out of my apartment. Once I graduated with my Master’s, I had begun my apprenticeship under my mom while looking for a career.
I then realized that my passion was actually hair care, and making others feel beautiful. After receiving my cosmetology license and managing a salon with my mother, I started to talk to her about opening up my own salon. After different conversations, I spoke with my realtor about the idea of finding a salon, and within two days she found a location. Two months later, we were announcing the opening of Salon N-V-Me.
HH: Destiny, you were a “salon baby,” working in a salon at an early age. What did you learn from that experience?
DESTINY: When I was younger, my mother had a salon named N-V-Us Salon where I was her salon assistant. I would work after school and on weekends. [I was] responsible for shampooing, roller sets, eyebrow waxing, and much more. At that age, I actually hated doing hair. I use to tell everyone how I was not going to be a cosmetologist when I got older. I was going to college to be a nurse.
When I began college, I hid my talent until I started to run out of meal plans. Once I realized how much money I could make, I started my brand, Styles by Destiny. Working with my mom at an early age taught me responsibility and money management, as well as how to work and interact with others. I also learned that being a cosmetologist is not only about making clients feel beautiful but [also] making them feel comfortable and able to trust you.
HH: Cyrita, you’ve been in the hairstyling game for a long time. How did you get started? And how has it felt to have your daughter follow in your footsteps?
CYRITA: I have been in the hair industry for 25 years. I have always known that I would be a cosmetologist at a young age. I played with doll heads daily and would buy new ones weekly. I love being creative, seeing the smile, confidence and new attitudes. I love the fact that I am able to provide a service that makes people feel and look good.
Having Destiny follow in my footsteps and accept her talents and gifts in the hair industry makes me very proud. It’s very heartwarming to me to have had my daughter apprentice under my tutelage and obtain her Master Cosmetology license and advance so much further in her craft. She keeps me on my toes, making sure that we stay current with new hair trends and techniques.
HH: Do either of you have particular specialties that you pride yourselves on?
CYRITA: I would say my specialty is cutting and styling short hair and maintaining the integrity and health of hair. We offer a variety of hair services from natural and relaxed hair, as well as lash and makeup services.
DESTINY: I pride myself in natural and healthy weave installations as well as natural hair cutting and coloring.
HH: What sets your salon apart from other salons in the Atlanta market?
CYRITA: Our salon caters to everyone, and our clients become our family. We provide a safe and relaxing atmosphere. We are respectful of our client’s time and provide a quick turnaround.
DESTINY: Exactly what my mom stated, as well as our personal creativity with each client.
HH: How does it feel for both of you to celebrate your first anniversary?
CYRITA: It feels really good to have accomplished so much in a very short period of time, and I look forward to many more years to come.
DESTINY: It feels amazing. I am only 29, so to have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time is definitely a blessing. I’m appreciative of everyone that has made this possible from family and friends to clients. They are all my biggest supporters.