We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Ray and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process was I needed a way to earn money quickly after leaving a career field I was in for 14 years. I loved to braid and I knew that would earn me income in a crunch.


Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business Braided By Design is a hair braiding studio. We specialize in hair braiding of all types, Box Braids, Senegalese Twist, Marley Twist, crotchet, Feeder Braids and more. I believe that me having the gift of braiding is definitely By God’s Design. I incorporate Him in everything I do. All my business decisions I take to God first! I am most proud of my clients! They really don’t know how much their support has done for me! There were many days I would be crying and praying behind the chair because of everything I had going on. Through my journey of starting my hair braiding business I was also able to bring to life my non profit, Braids For Hope! We teach young girls between the ages of 7 and 17 the skill set of hair braiding, so they will always have a way to earn income. No matter what situation they find themselves in. We also teach them self confidence and financial literacy. I also started Ventures By Design LLC In 2019 which encompasses my short term rental business and other real estate investments I have been blessed to be apart of.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Being that I’m not native to Houston, I struggle with this…. Eat at Pappas Seafood Visit the Rodeo Downtown Houston The Museum District

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shouting out Wealth Creations United, the taught me that financial wealth and stability is more of a marathon instead of short sprint. The process to wealth is comprised of many small decisions that lead to that path. It’s not instant. They also taught me that real estate is the path to financial freedom. They helped me acquire real estate deals in Georgia that help me contribute to my streams of income. They also encouraged me to start my short term rental business as well. I would also like to shout out my Mom, Lisa Thompson who has her own Human Resource Firm (InnovateHR) in Houston, TX. My mom has always shown me a great example of strong leadership in the workforce as a female. How to carry yourself professionally with Integrity and determination. I would like to shout out my best friend, Tiffany O’Neal owner of Realistic Lace Wigs LLC. I met Tiffany over 15 years ago on our way to Afghanistan. She was my first investor! She absolutely believed in the dream to start Braided By Design and my non profit Braids For Hope. She also help me get into my salon space. I would like to shout out my amazing sister, friend Charmeka Lewis, also the owner of Crowned Cakery. Not only is Charmeka a ball of joy and light, she is also always there encouraging me and pushing me. She is always there to lend a hand. Lastly shout out to all my amazing family. They have always pushed me and encouraged me to keep going.

Website: https://www.braidedbydesign.com/
Instagram: @jraybydesign @braid3dbydesign @braidsforhope
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-ray-22b94827
Twitter: @jraybydesign
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jraybydesign/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jejora82

Image Credits
Koolview Photos Harbor Grace Co