We had the good fortune of connecting with Tanya Renee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tanya, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
As a creative, working for other people was always difficult. I remember, literally sitting at my desk, drifting off, in deep thought, thinking about what it would be like starting my own business and working for myself. I did this for about 2 years before I said, “Step out Tanya! If you fall, just get back up! You got it!” And there in lies how I got started.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It started with a shot down vision in 2009. It was revisited in 2011, and I decided to go for it. I didn’t know how I was going to get through it while raising 4 kids and going through a painful divorce. Once I graduated in 2013, I knew that there was nothing that I could not accomplish. I was picked up by one of the top salons in the city and they trained me on Natural Hair care for one year! (Shout out to Melvin Walker, Terre Wafford, and Julius Hairris) I faced many challenges! Being surrounded by people that believed in me helped me get to where I am today! Some lessons that I’ve learned along the way is, be passionate, be flexible and always be teachable. My brand was developed after being told that I wasn’t smart enough, that I couldn’t do it and I’d end up struggling all over again. I was determined to end the word curse, not only for me, but so my children didn’t struggle with the same thing. The cycle started and ended with me! So I take pride in my craft. Not just because I love doing hair but because I get to share my testimony and inspire my clients. I like to call it the “Great Exchange”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spot in our city is the Pearl Brewery! It’s packed with different restaurants from vegan food to Mexican, Italian, Vietnamese and so much more. I literally just found my new favorite Mexican restaurant. It’s on the Riverwalk, it’s called The Iron Cactus! You have to try the seafood enchiladas and the chicken fajita! The chips are made fresh! So perfect! I think I want some now! 😄 I love live music! The Lions Den brings quality live music! Want a drink? I go to Sip It and grab the “She Ready” 🙃 We are in the middle of a pandemic so I don’t go out too much. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime have become my best friends! Lol!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have a very strong support system. First and foremost, my children! Tanaya, Tierra, Talor and Joshua! They were very young while I was grinding, going to school and working a full time job to provide for us. It was a struggle, but they never complained! My parents, Kenneth and Tammy Steen! My siblings, Tiffany, Tasha and Lil’ Kenny. My mentor/Pastor/Godfather, Will Bonds! Shoutout to my assistant, Azure Gabriel, for keeping certain parts of the business going! I can’t leave out one of my biggest supporters, Raquel Bonds!!! All of my family and friends, that have shared a video to their social media, or referred a client to me, THANK YOU!
Instagram: Hair by Tanya Renee
Facebook: Hair by Tanya Renee
Professional photo taken by: Steven Arias