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

Hi LaRisa, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am a first-generation American with Jamaican roots. Growing up I watched my mother work multiple jobs to support my 3 siblings and me. From an early age, I knew what I didn’t want to do. My mother never had the luxury of choosing leisure or working a job that brought real forms of happiness. I was the good kid, the straight-A student all the way through graduate school, and a fantastic employee. I had a career in public health and some distinguishable roles doing research work for multiple government organizations such as the Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration, and the National Insitute of Health. During the last presidential administration, I was laid off for the first time and thought it would be simple to just get another job in D.C. I believed what most parents preached about- go to school, get good grades, get a good job, then work for the rest of your life for someone else because that’s the only way job security can be accomplished. Very qualified, I was unemployed for 6 months, which meant I had a lot of time to reflect on this idea of job security and happiness. Choosing to chase after my childhood dream, I enrolled in a Sisterlock (R) course and launched my business as a locitian. I eventually got another full-time job, but when my income and happiness surpassed my full-time job, I ultimately made the switch and couldn’t be happier. Currently, I am one of 13 certified Sisterlock Consultants in Texas. I reapplied that dedication and drive I had while working for other companies/businesses to launch my own. My next move will be to offer mentorship and training to others interested in providing loc services.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being trusted to handle Black women’s hair is a big deal itself. On top of cultural significance, our hair is tied to our power, history, perception, and self-esteem. Because I’ve had multiple challenges surrounding issues of my hair, I can relate to many of my clients, especially those who’ve had hair loss, lack of confidence in accepting their natural hair, and those wanting something easier to manage in the workplace. Our hair is very sensitive and deserves to be handled with care. I’ve taken extra training to help me understand and educate about care for our hair. My services are also highly sought after because I am an expert in loc repairs, reconstruction and reattachment. I take pride in knowing that I can fix almost any loc situation thrown my way, which is also very uncommon in this geographic region. The smiles on my client’s faces after rescuing their locs is just priceless. I also take pride in my customer service skills. I treat my clients like family because, without them, I couldn’t do this work. While most of my clients are local, I have many others fly in every 6-8 weeks from Maryland, Louisiana, Alabama, California, Nebraska and Mexico. Next year I will be offering mentoring services to help other locations improve their skills

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would be the one looking for suggestions! I’m new to Texas and moved here during the pandemic, so I haven’t been quite as active as I’d normally be. I hope to get out and explore the city soon.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The business Sisterlocks (R) provided my first certification, which afforded me the opportunity to start my business. Along the way, I received mentorship from Maame Dankwah in Virginia and Vicky Shelton in Texas. I also couldn’t do this without my supportive husband who pushes me to take more training for skill improvements, all while handling the business aspects behind the scenes. Last but not least my mother, who now gets to see what working a soul-fulfilling job looks like, and she couldn’t be any prouder.

Website: www.TransparencyLivesHere.com

Instagram: instagram.com/locksbylala_

Facebook: facebook.com/LocksByLala

Other: Instagram: @Lalaaarisa Tiktok: @LaLaaarisa

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