Today we’d like to introduce you to Raquel Robertson.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Raquel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I was a kid, eleven to be exact, I knew I wanted to own my salon and become a business owner. I would play in my sibling’s hair and let me tell you, shout out to them because they would go to school with their hair looking like it was done by an eleven-year-old. As I continued to practice more, I made a plan to attend cosmetology school because I knew that was part of building a life around doing hair. Although that was something I always wanted to do, I graduated high school and took a more traditional route and went to a four-year college instead.
In college, I determined a major in business would fit the lifestyle of a business owner so I applied to make that my major. I shortly realized that despite the fact that a major in business would help me become a business owner, I was not as passionate about the major itself. Two years into college, I changed my major to Ethnic Studies with a minor in Business Administration. This turned out to be a stronger path for me. I was able to learn about different cultures and ethnicities which gave me a unique background and I was more satisfied by this route. Though this was the case, I still had my passion for beauty on my radar. In my final year of college, I decided to start my YouTube channel. My channel wasn’t something I took seriously at that time. It was a way to share my knowledge and have the benefit of creating videos about my natural hair.
After college, I went forward with an opportunity that allowed me to give back to the community. I moved to New Orleans and did an AmeriCorps program called City Year. I learned so much about myself during that year, continued to make YouTube videos and decided when it was over, I would finally attend cosmetology school. After I finished my year of service, I attended the Aveda Institute of New Orleans. This was probably the best decision I made. Whilst I determined that I didn’t want to own a salon, or cut or color hair but that I found a love for makeup and when I took clients that wanted me to style their hair or braid their hair I was at my happiest.
Once my year of cosmetology school was over, I knew I needed to pursue my passion full time and improve my skills. After two additional years in New Orleans, I moved back to Denver and began working a desk job. At the time it was what I needed but the whole time I worked there (almost three years), I spent my weekends, before and after work building a brand on my YouTube channel as well as with my Raq Natural Beauty. Raq Natural Beauty was created as a way to encourage people to be themselves and use makeup and hairstyling to enhance their natural beauty. The past two-plus years I’ve been able to experience so much and meet so many new people in Denver to be able to build up my clientele as a freelance artist. All of that brings me to where I am today, I’ve recently decided to take a leap of faith and quit my comfortable lifestyle of a salaried job. I will embrace my passion and work full time to help individuals in my community feel comfortable in their skin. This will be done by doing their hair and makeup for special events, weddings and photoshoots plus continuing to help my online community by making informational videos about hair, makeup and lifestyle.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Whew! No process is ever smooth. Out of all that I have accomplished, I have had some struggles along the way. Without only focusing on money, that is one that I will throw out there. Not having enough money to avoid keeping a job that paid a certain amount. Not having enough money to pursue my passion but also maintain and pay my bills. The list can go on but outside of that, I think truly identifying what I wanted to do in life because as you read, I tried a bunch of different things. So, was it that I didn’t know what I wanted to be or at the end of the day, I was scared? Too worried about what others would have thought if I didn’t go to college or get a “real” job right away. Scared of failing and being judged by others. Scared of the unknown when people would ask me “what’s my plan.” Another struggle I faced was time. Saying I didn’t have enough time was a way for me to make an excuse not to do something or avoid what it was I really wanted to accomplish.
These are a few of my struggles but I learned from every obstacle I went through. I realized that it’s ok not to follow a traditional route or have all the answers to the questions people ask me. I learned to find time to do what I love even if that meant waking up early before my job to finish a video or sacrificing time with friends and family on the weekends to work on building my brand. With consistency and hard work, anything I want to do or be can happen. I have to believe in myself and stick with it. A note for you reading this, there shouldn’t be any amount of struggles that could stop you from following your dreams.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My business is Raq Natural. Raq Natural was created because I wanted people to “rock” their natural beauty. Whether that meant natural hair, natural makeup or natural lifestyle. Raq Natural has a few different aspects that make up the brand. The first piece being Raq Natural Network which is my Youtube channel where I share tips and tricks on hair, makeup and lifestyle all while incorporating women empowerment. I post videos weekly and make sure I give the utmost helpful advice. Check it out! 🙂
The second piece is Raq Natural Beauty. Raq Natural Beauty is my freelance business where I travel to women and make them feel beautiful. People can contact me for photoshoots, special events – including weddings and anything that requires hair and makeup to be done. I think what sets me apart from others is that I am me. I like to be myself and get to know each of my clients because that can impact their look. What I am most proud of as a company is being able to have multiple aspects of my brand where I can help people in my community and spread my knowledge on different levels.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I always thank the man upstairs for my journey and where I am going. In addition to him, I could not have gotten this far without some of my biggest supporters. One being my mom who has fully supported every decision I made over the years and has naturally fallen into the momager role. My friends who constantly support me by giving me ideas and paying for my services. My partner, he listens to all my thoughts and is a huge fan. Let’s just say, he now knows more about hair and makeup than before. The individuals who I consider my mentors. I am inspired by them daily. My family specifically my siblings, they are the reason I started and have been able to expand my skills. Lastly, my clients! They trust me for their big day or special event and can see my vision as clear as I can enough to support me and pay for my services.
I must have people in my corner who push me out of my comfort zone and allow me to better my skills. Everyone I mentioned supports me and I appreciate it because I would not want to do it alone.
- Full face of makeup – $65
- Special event hairstyle – $70
- Natural hair services starting at $70
- Bridal packages including hair and makeup available starting at $100
- Website: https://www.raqnaturalbeauty.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raqnaturalbeauty/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Raqnatural/
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/raqnaturalntwk