Self Made: Sierra Gates Is Her Own Black Beauty Boss Movement

Sierra Gates
Photo Credit: Nathan Pearcy

Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star Sierra Gates is the definition of beauty boss moves. She has gone from having her car repossessed in front of her salon to owning a million-dollar beauty empire. She not only owns The Glam Shop, a full-service beauty salon in Atlanta—she also owns the building it is housed in. 

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Sierra’s beat-the-odds success is not lost on her, either. That’s why she has made it her mission to show other young women how to build their own empires—even during a pandemic. 

With 13 years in the game, she teaches budding beauty bosses money-making techniques with her microblading and scalp hyperpigmentation courses. She’s helped hundreds more open up e-commerce shops stocked with items from her own vendor lists. And, she’s penned an e-book, aptly titled Make A Million, Maintain A Million, with more tips and tricks.

Here, the beauty mogul talks about her passion for building up Black women and the key to lasting success.

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

Sierra Gates
Photo Credit: Instagram/sierra_glamshop_

HYPE HAIR: Congratulations on your success! Your “Microblading The Sierra Way” classes are making waves in the industry. How did you get into it?
SIERRA GATES: Thank you! I started out as a makeup artist. I did Toya [Johnson], Reginae [Carter], Deelishis. They loved my makeup, but they were always in love with my brows. So, when this new wave [microblading] came back out, I said, “let me try it out.” I mastered it and have been doing it ever since. That was in 2016.

HH: It’s been pretty lucrative, too!
SIERRA: [Laughs] Microblading got me to my building where I am at now—I bought the building about two years ago. Now I show girls they can do it, too.

HH: What should beauty hopefuls know before taking your class?
SIERRA: Microblading is like a mini surgery. You’ve got to make sure you really love it because you’ve got to be patient with your clients. It’s not like a rush thing.

HH: That’s right; it’s pretty permanent.
SIERRA: Once you get it, it’s on there. You can’t take it off! It’s literally going to be on for a year-and-a-half. 

HH: How has it been touring with your classes during the pandemic?
SIERRA: I make sure we wear our masks, and our students sit six feet apart from each other. We stay safe, but I still want to give them this six-figure technique because when this whole thing lifts, they can take off running.

HH: You have been very vocal about building up Black women. Why is that so important to you?
SIERRA: It is my honor. I was a teen mom and told by numerous people I was going to be a statistic. I know that other little girls are put in that same predicament, and they are told that they can’t be great in life. So, it’s like I have a point to prove to make other girls—other Black girls—successful. I market to Black girls, my clients are Black, and my consumers are Black. It’s just been like that since day one. I need them to know if God did it for me; He can do it for y’all.

Photo Credit: Nathan Pearcy

HH: Speaking of all-Black everything, you’ve also been celebrating other Black-owned brands since day one. Can you share three you are rocking right now?
SIERRA: I love Shimmer Elite Extensions by Bambi, The Crayon Case by Supa Cent, and Milano Di Rouge.  

HH: Reflecting on your own growth, what is one thing you wish you knew before getting started?
SIERRA: Family and friends are not going to be your biggest supporters. It’s always going to be the people you don’t know. It was always God sending somebody who I knew nothing about that knew hardly anything about me who pushed me into my next season.

HH: What advice do you have for the women you’re pushing into their next season?
SIERRA: Stay consistent in everything that you do. Even with this whole buy Black movement, we are going to have our ups and downs. When I didn’t know how I was going to feed my daughter if I didn’t stay consistent, then I wouldn’t be where I am today.

To learn more about Sierra and The Glam Shop, visit

About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon is founder/Black beauty directory for Sadiaa Black Beauty guide, the premier directory Black-owned beauty brands, and former digital media director for Hype Hair.