Daniella Emillien aka Hair By Ivy‘s story is reminiscent of the saying, “A rose that grew from concrete.” Once struggling with homelessness and juggling motherhood, she put her passion to work by creating custom wigs and quickly climbed the ranks in the celebrity hair industry. She is now one of the hottest celeb hairstylists in the industry with such talent as RHOA‘s Marlo Hampton, Growing Up Hip Hop star Reginae Carter and LHHATL‘s Joseline Hernandez rocking her signature looks.
Ivy also owns her own luxurious hair suite and custom wig collection as well as serves as teacher and advisor to aspiring hair stylists through her Ivy League Academy. Her academy teaches the installation process of a lace frontal, learning how to make frontals and wigs look natural and undetectable, the tricks and tips on building a brand, credit repair, and residual income.
We connected with the beauty to talk hot hair trends, natural hair care tips and more.
— Tatayana Yomary
Hype Hair: First things first, I have to congratulate you on all of your success — especially knowing your background of living on the streets while being a mother. How has your success impacted who you are as a person and your motherhood?
Hair By Ivy: My success has impacted me as a person and my motherhood by making me more molded and polished. I think first before I do anything and I appreciate my journey much more versus if it was just handed to me. My struggles molded me completely because I feel if I didn’t go through my struggles I wouldn’t appreciate who I am now. I am so grateful. I can now think back to the times when I was sleeping in the car and now I have a three-bedroom luxury apartment. To when I was doing hair in a hotel with a newborn baby, now my baby is in daycare. It’s just a different lifestyle for me now. It’s not the same anymore. And, I just look back into my diaries when I used to work and stuff and I read I would cry, not because I’m sad, but cry tears of joy because I appreciate the journey completely. I use my story as an inspiration for others who don’t know where to start or who have had similar experiences as me. It’s motivation to keep going.
HH: Working in the hair industry is not an easy feat. How were you able to take your career to the next level in a matter of two years?
HBI: Marketing myself day and night. I use Instagram as one of the best tools in free advertising. I post at least three to four a day, I tag different cities, different celebrities and I use hashtags. One of the things I would do is every weekend I would take 100 flyers and wherever I go, I would pass them out. Whether I put them in grocery stores, on people’s cars or even talking to people to say, “Hey, my name is Ivy and I would like to give you my flyer.” I still promote myself even though I’m a celebrity stylist because there are other people who don’t know who I am. I do promotions to my clients by saying if they refer me to two people I would give them $15 off on their next service. So not only are they getting $15 off I’ve gained 2 new clients.