North Sioux City business owner empowers those with ethnic hair

Honoring Black History

NORTH SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – It was her dream to, one day, own her own hair salon and today, Samantha Gilmore of North Sioux City is living that dream while giving back to her community. 

“I think she’s a great mentor, one of her characteristics is she’s funny, compassionate with people, and flexible that’s what I think of Sam when I think of her,” said LeAnn Stephenson, Samantha Gilmore’s business partner.

Gilmore has been a hairstylist for 17 years.

“Be inspired, love what you do, my father-in-law who is my pastor says it all the time if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” said Samantha Gilmore owner of Beautique Salon.

Gilmore’s journey led her to the North Sioux City, where she opened Glam Beautique Salon in May of 2020.

“She got this building, this space and we from the ground up like this place looks so different we stripped the floors, we painted the walls we changed the ceiling, she had to do that in a short amount of time and this is her baby, and it is growing,” said Stephenson.

The salon is providing an outlet for women in the Siouxland community with ethnic hair.

“It amazes me how deep rooted the culture is with the African American families that have moved here from different places and they have been here for years upon years and I just want to let them know I am here to serve you and help you with your hair you don’t have to just throw a wig on for the rest of your life, you don’t have to get braids sometimes can be too tight for your hair I can show you a healthy way to take care of your hair,” said Gilmore.

Gilmore specializes in extensions.. from relaxed, natural, to perms. But it’s more than that. She strives to empower each woman that walks into her salon.

“it’s just like when Sam does their hair, they are a whole new person they feel totally brand new,” said Mckaisa Wilson, Gilmore’s salon assistant.

“We don’t always have to have a short bob if we are a certain age. We don’t have to have straight hair if your hair is naturally curly. you can do whatever looks good on you. focus on loving yourself and what works and what is the best you possible and that’s my job and I’m here to do it woot woot,” said Gilmore.

However, Gilmore says properly caring for ethnic hair begins with education at a young age.

“Our goal is to bring in a course where the young ladies and their parents come in we will teach them how to do their hair we will give them a little set and were going to physically teach them this is how you wash your hair detangle it you have to learn how to love your hair love yourself love who you are because there is so much stuff out there that’s telling you that you shouldn’t love who you are and it’s like let’s start from within and from the get to this is how you can love your hair,” said Gilmore.

Gilmore is not just a business owner, but a mentor to young women.

“She’s great with the young people, She’s great with our future young people that really have a desire to do something positive,” said Stephenson.

“Her just showing me the steps and like all these things when your curling hair different directions like I never knew anything about that so I have to say that she has helped me a lot with my hair I just really don’t like messing around with my hair and she’s has made the process a lot easier,” said Wilson.

As Gilmore continues to grow her business, she plans to connect with other businesswomen to provide support. 

“I am always looking like can I help you what can you do come on over like why not let’s build this together like build a team let’s do this lets knock down the walls lets knock down the glass I mean because why not ? We’re better together than separate so I’m like okay what do you want to do let’s do this together,” said Gilmore.

Gilmore says a long term goal for her is to one day get involved with the education side of cosmetology school. Creating an in depth program that provides more education on how to treat ethnic hair as well as how to start up your own business.

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