#ItTakesAPro Team Artist and SexyHair Ambassador Shayla Robertson (@samirasjewelry) began her career in jewelry, running a small booth at her local mall in Naples, Florida. But after attending the national beauty trade show Premiere Orlando in 2016, her passion for hair and styling took centerstage as she quickly became fascinated with the extravagant world of bridal styles, braids, and makeup.
From that point on, Robertson started practicing on the mannequins at her booth in the mall, incorporating her own jewelry into each hairstyle to create a unique, signature look. Her 219,000-strong following on Instagram is a testament to her talents with her posts frequently achieving viral status.
While continuing to pursue her passion and building up her social media base, Robertson transitioned from her booth at the mall to opening her very own studio in 2019.
We sat down with Robertson to learn a little more about her career success and passion for all things beauty.
“While I was still in cosmetology school, I went to the Premiere trade show in Orlando, Florida, where I saw a big stage full of models who were getting braids done with accessories. It really caught my attention because I love everything sparkly and I wanted to be able to create braids that incorporated that into the hair. I started practicing a lot with mannequins, then moved on to clients who had seen my work at my booth.
Once I finished school, I had grown my clientele enough to open my own suite. I had also worked towards building my social media and participating in competitions like Model Salon Vintage, Hairdo USA, and Sexy Hair.”
“My specialty is bridal, up-do styling, braiding, and makeup. I went to cosmetology school, where we learned everything including coloring, cutting, and styling, but I always knew styling was my favorite. And I also love everything bridal, from going to new venues and places to meeting beautiful new people, it’s all so glamorous.”
How has opening your suite changed your career?
“I was able to get more clients and open up my availability to include weekdays.”
“Begin by building your social media towards a bridal aesthetic. You can do this by collaborating always looking for hairstylists. If you begin by volunteering, it will help to get your name out there.
Then, once you collaborate, you get the benefit of professional photos that you can post on social media. You also build a good relationship so that they can recommend you for future bookings.
“From my experience, what's trending really depends on what goes viral on social media. For example, two years ago, I did a hairstyle that had a slicked middle-part with waves in the back and accented pearls, which went viral after I posted a photo of it to my social media. I was getting tagged from people around the world because they loved the style, and it became a trend to have accented pearls on the hair. This taught me that whatever becomes popular or goes viral on social media will become a trend in real life."