Richmond academy trains and encourages teens to turn wigs into wealth

Richmond academy trains and encourages teens to turn wigs into wealth

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - School is out for summer...well, at least most of them are. We found one school open for business, and it is teaching area teenagers how to build their own businesses in the beauty industry.

It is called Wild and Worthy Wig Academy. Yes, it has a fun name, but it also has a serious mission of helping students turn wigs into wealth.

They say two heads are better than one. However, seven or eight of them crowned with fine strands of black, pink, blue, red, or even blonde hair are most preferred - especially with the timer ticking.

Class is in session at Wild and Worthy Wig Academy, located inside Plant Zero in Richmond.

"We're learning how to manage our time on sewing the hair to the cap," said student Tyniah Thomas.

For four days a week, seven hours each day, you'll find students Tyniah Thomas and Ziya Woodson here, making sure every hair is in place. With needle and thread in hand, they focus their eye for detail while imagining the creation to come.

Their teacher? Daviece Clement, a veteran hairstylist who opened this hair extension boutique back in March. Beauty is in her blood.

"Since I was in the 4th grade, I knew I was going to be a hair stylist," said Clement.

The New York native also knew she had something else to offer.

"I was born to empower women," said Clement.

This is why she now uses extensions as education and encouragement in this six-week program she created for high school girls who are passionate about all things beauty.

Here, Clement teaches the ins and outs of the business, so that one day, these ladies can start their own.

"I want to own my own salon when I get older," said Woodson. "I want to sell hair, flatirons, curling irons, all that."

And "all that" takes more than laid locks. In just a few weeks, these ladies have already crafted business plans, and set financial and marketing goals. In fact, one of their assignments:

"They have to do a sales pitch. They have to call people and ask if they want to come in for a consultation," said Clement.

"My business name is going to be Miss Niah," said Thomas. "I'm going to start small and start selling lashes, and then I'm going to work my way up to like going to different vendors getting hair."

There is no splitting hairs here. This academy sets the foundation for their futures, and Clement believes if they stick with what they learn, and continue to develop their craft, they'll end up heads above the rest.

"I just see young women literally living fearlessly," said Clement. "If they have goals and they have dreams, they can attain them. and all we're trying to do is sprinkle a little faith and a little hope into their lives."

The young ladies offer wigs and other services to the public.

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