Turning a Passion into a Business: Latonya Williams-Bradley
CLEVELAND – “Snip, snip, snip.”
Strands of long, black locks fell effortlessly onto the floor as a pair of young eyes looked on eagerly—carefully observing the technique of the hands behind the shears that snipped away to create a new, edgy look.
Latonya Williams-Bradley of Cleveland watched intently as her mother cut, washed and curled mane after mane, building a strong clientele at her Rosedale salon.
“I remember I would sit and watch my mom at her salon as a girl,” recalled Bradley. “It was just something that I always had an interest in.”
At a young age, Bradley knew that she too would one day become a hair stylist. But what she didn’t know was that she would also become an agent to help others do the same. Now, she is the owner of Goshen School of Cosmetology in Cleveland.
Bradley received her education at Coahoma Community College (CCC), completing the cosmetology career program in 2006.
“My time at Coahoma was great, and I learned so much,” said Bradley, who worked her way through the program as a single parent. “My instructor, Ms. Shirley Ferguson –Hicks, taught me everything that I needed to know.”
After passing the state licensure and becoming a licensed cosmetologist, Bradley returned to CCC seeking certification as a cosmetology instructor. She completed that program in 2009 and was immediately offered the opportunity to become an evening cosmetology instructor at Coahoma.
“I accepted the position, and I truly enjoyed it,” said Bradley. In 2011, she served a brief stint as an instructor at Blue Cliff College in Gulfport as well.
While teaching, Bradley became curious and started researching entrepreneurship, eventually deciding it was time to pursue her dream of one day opening her own salon. She opened Goshen Salon and Boutique, located in Cleveland, in Sept. 2011.
According to Bradley, Goshen is a biblical term used to describe the best land in Egypt.
“It is a land of plenty, comfort and growth. Around this statement Goshen School of Cosmetology was established,” she said. “Our core curriculum and institution is designed to promote growth, increase and comfort.”
Now, what was once the dream of a little girl has become a reality. Bradley has enjoyed substantial success in the exciting field of cosmetology. During the past nine-years she founded, owned and managed two successful hair salons. In addition she has taught at two colleges, and inspired numerous students to strive for excellence and to achieve maximum personal potential.
“I would tell anyone, if that’s your passion and your heart’s desire—pursue it and be the best at it,” Bradley said. “But most importantly, believe that there is nothing too hard for God.”