One might think that ShaQueen Valentine was handed a hairstyle and cosmetology school on a silver platter. After all, her dad ran his own barber shop for years, so that silver spoon in her mouth? Non-existent.
ShaQueen Valentine is young, driven, and determined to set people who cross her path, up for success in their own lives.
To look at this beautiful woman, one might think she is a model, focused on her looks. Truth be known, ShaQueen has always been interested in the fashion world. Helping people, and herself, look better. Therefore, feeling better about life and the self on the inside. It just took her more twists and turns to get to her passion than she had envisioned.
ShaQueen was attending prestigious Lower Manhattan’s Parson’s School of Design when an unplanned pregnancy forced her to make a tough life choice. Finish school and get a degree, or raise a child? Not able to afford both, her heart made the choice to be the best mother to her daughter, and her passion was put on hold.
Years later, after working ‘jobs’, ShaQueen knew she was called back to fashion. But how? Where? Watching her dad as a barber, ShaQueen saw the art of hair as a way to stay in her passion. Color, design, being around ‘pretty things’. Actually being part OF the ‘pretty things’.
Today ShaQueen Valentine and her business partner, Danelle Aune, own and run Vanity Studio, School of Cosmetology in Stamford, Connecticut. Besides being experts on beauty, ShaQueen and Danelle are passionate about staying connected to the community. Supporting ‘Kids Helping Kids’, a non-profit that helps young kids develop leadership skills, these two businesswomen spend time gathering prom dresses for girls so they can know they are as beautiful and worthy as every other girl at the dance. But they don’t stop there. They use their gifts to do makeovers for the deserving young ladies.
One need only be in ShaQueen’s presence for a breath to feel her excitement for everything she does. She revels in the fact that their business is located in an area new to multi cultures. The shop is trendy, new, fresh. Stylists are different and the clients notice the welcome change. Intense education, students working side-by-side experienced stylists doing their magic with Icon Shears comfortably in their hands, sets this salon apart.
ShaQueen is a visionary. For herself, and every student, hungry to learn and succeed, that walks through her doors. She envisions new pathways for young females, acknowledges and uses the gifts she been blessed with, and shares them to challenge and empower women to keep going. Many times, despite the odds.
A woman of faith, ShaQueen is setting up Vision Board parties where each person puts to poster board their greatest dreams. She is an encourager, teaching people to dream, and then dream bigger. And then outrageously. She is inspired to help others make plans for their lives.
ShaQueen’s motto: “Look into the future. Not at the right now. And then take your next step. And then the next one after that and keep going.”
A role model for the beauty industry, a business owner to be emulated, a success story for those who start to believe they don’t deserve a better life, ShaQueen teaches, out of experience, how to become a victor in one’s own life; leaving the victim in the dust.
Faith without works is dead, states ShaQueen, as she looks to the heavens with a look of trust and gratitude.