Nyoka Celestine

FOUNDER & OWNER, NYOKA GREGORY BEAUTY

Nyoka Gregory Beauty is an on-location studio salon located in Houston, Texas that provides premier hair and makeup services with over 15 years of experience. From destination weddings on the tropical beaches of Hawaii and Dominican Republic to the eclectic streets of downtown Houston, I believe that each guest should not just receive a service, but should also leave with an experience.

What inspired you to start your business?

I was inspired to start my business because I got fired from JC Penny salon for doing my mothers hair for free (long story). So after that drama, I decided to bounce back by starting my own business and booth renting. I had a few clients and wanted to give it a shot and did! Here I am 19 years later and doing better than ever. I had to show JC Penny what they were missing by firing a great employee.

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

One thing I did when I first started my business 19 years ago was used my social security number to handle business instead of getting an EIN number. Big mistake! It ruined my credit for a few years and it's always something I remembered. I would say go ahead and get the EIN number and do things properly. I also would suggest consistent communication with your clients. Booking a client is one thing but creating a client relationship is another. I get calls from brides that want me to do their hair and makeup for their baby showers. Or I'll get a call from a bride who wants to hire me to do her wedding because she remembers me doing hair and makeup at a friends wedding. Those long term relationships are priceless and are like the energizer bunny...they keep going and going.

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

I have found my passion for swimming again. I take swim lessons every week and I am really enjoying it. I also like to partner with 2 local charities to help bring awareness to human trafficking here in the Houston area by hosting events.

Image Credit: Teshorn Jackson https://www.teshornjackson.com @teshornjackson, Rashid Tillis @righttimesolutions, Tomas Barron https://tomasbarron.com @tomasbarronphotographer