Salon owner Atiya Johnson has been in the hair business for over a decade and a half and now, but more than just a salon owner, noticing the lack of styling innovative techniques required to cater to people from diverse backgrounds, she took that problem up and proffered a solution with the opening of Janas Cosmetology Academy, the first Black woman-owned beauty academy in South Jersey, opened on October 30, 2021.
The 6,000+ square foot facility, which opened as a full-service beauty school is located at 1397 Blackwood Clementon Road, Clementon, NJ 08021. It hosts classroom space and a studio, black news reports.
It officially took four whole years for her vision to come to life. The entrepreneur has spent 17 years in the beauty industry and traces her passion to her family background as haircare runs in Atiya’s family.
Her haircare journey professionally launched in 2004 after assuming responsibility for her mother’s salon, Janas Hair Studio, founded in 1994, at age 17 when her mum couldn’t get over the grief of her siblings.
Over the years, Atiya noticed a worrisome trend as employees hired at Jana’s Hair Studio were lost in the ability to properly style and help maintain ethnic hair. While some professionals didn’t just share the same passion for people who looked like her. In New Jersey, the overwhelming majority of beauty academies are owned by white males, and teachers lack diversity in training to cater to diverse black and brown clientele. Sometimes are not up to date with current trends in the industry, and many overall lack the knowledge of performing services.
Atiya decided to get to the root and contribute towards changing the narrative via training. In 2017 she opened the academy which teaches how to handle African American hair.
The school offers in-house or online training in a space of nine-month either full-time or flexible part-time program equaling 1,200 hours and serves up to 150 students in cosmetology, barbering, braiding, nail technician, and teacher certification.
Permanent staff includes a director, operations manager, office staff, and several highly qualified and “boots on the ground” instructors.
Atiya serves as the Chief Executive Officer, while her husband, Dwayne, is the Chief Operations Officer. The program will officially begin on November 1, 2021.
The Jana’s Hair Studio, where students will receive hands-on training, also offers professional services to the public, including natural hair care, relaxers, braiding, color, cuts, weaving, lock maintenance, and wigs. Atiya provides custom wigs for cancer patients and volunteers with the American Cancer Society.
The whole journey of establishing a community based beauty school focusing on ethnic hair is a dream come true do an overwhelmed Atiya, as it brings a more inclusive environment. “I am so glad that we are finally here. My passion for helping individuals in the areas of technical training is a dream come true.”