Master hairstylist and serial entrepreneur, Kenniqua “Nuk” Jones, strives to impact, empower, lead and employ through her art and five thriving brands: Styles by Nuk ©, Salon 215 Elite, Ecyaj Hair Care, #Nuknation and DO IT SCARED. A Philly Native, Nuk’s career truly began when she resigned from her role in a fortune 500 company and used the money she saved to attend cosmetology school. In 2011, she earned her license.
Internalizing business and management lessons learned from working in corporate America, Nuk opened Salon 215 Elite, a hair salon specializing in natural hair care, and she’s had no reason to look back since. Based in Conyers, GA Salon 215 Elite is known to be the ultimate VIBE. With a glam squad of 17 beauty professionals specializing in silk presses, colors, cuts, lashes and more.
Putting her certifications and license to work, Nuk didn’t stop at Salon 215 Elite. She went on to create Ecyaj Hair Care and an e-planner titled, “Nooks with Nuk.”
We had the pleasure of asking a few questions to Nuk to discuss her entrepreneurial journey:
LR: You are coined a Serial Entrepreneur. Your track record clearly says the same. You have five brands that are thriving: Styles by Nuk, Salon 215 Elite, Ecyaj Hair Care, #NukNation and DO IT SCARED. What drives you? What does each entity bring to the table?
N: In short, I’m driven by helping others succeed! All five businesses empower women and entrepreneurs to be their highest selves. When I’m behind the chair growing hair as STYLES BY NUK©️, I’m giving women luxury haircare and confidence in themselves that they may not have had before. When I walk into Salon 215 Elite, I’m honored to say “good morning” to the 17 women I have employed. When I developed Ecyaj Hair Care, I had my daughter in mind, so that I could pass on a legacy to her, instead of material things. #Nuknation is my tribe on Instagram, and I’m grateful to be their fearless leader in branding and all things hair. DO IT SCARED reminds the everyday hustler that it’s okay to take a leap and be scared in business, just as long as you do it.
LR: When you left a Fortune 500 Company working a traditional 9 to 5 to go out on your own, what was the scariest part of it? What advice can you give others who are in the contemplation stage of making that same move?
N: Honestly, there wasn’t anything scary about it for me. I had ALWAYS wanted to be a hairstylist for as long as I can remember. What was scary was entering a 9-5 to begin with! I knew that working for a company meant losing my freedom, time, and creativity, all in exchange for a guaranteed paycheck and benefits. Once I decided to quit and attend cosmetology school, my daughter was 2 years old, so I didn’t have time to be scared. My advice would be to never take a leap into entrepreneurship unless you are passionate about your craft and willing to struggle to get it. You have to want it so bad that failure isn’t even acknowledged.
LR: Ecyaj is your haircare line. What makes this all the more special is that your daughter will be the owner once she is old enough. What prompted you to make this decision? Where can readers find your product line?
N: I never wanted to be that hairstylist that just did hair; nor did I want to be that mom that just made a lot of money and spoiled my child. I was taught young by my grandmom to earn my own money and appreciate the value of a dollar. I had to go to work with her after school, cleaning the homes and businesses of the wealthy, six days of the week. I wanted to switch gears and put my daughter to work young as well, but for her OWN. Our products are currently sold exclusively at Salon 215 Elite in Conyers, GA, on Instagram at @salon215elite and on our website at www.ecyajhaircare.com. We ship internationally.
LR: You also authored an e-planner titled “Nooks with Nuk.” What makes this planner different from other planners on the market?
N: What’s different about this planner is that it focuses less on calendars, deadlines and dates, and more on goals, brand message, target audience, and collaborations. It also includes a Brand Checklist to ensure you have a secure plan to success, regardless of the type of business you have. It’s fun, interactive, and helpful for the entrepreneur who needs structure and organization. It’s meant to be printed annually and used daily for reference. It can be found at WWW.STYLESBYNUK.COM
LR: Finally, being a serial entrepreneur is a lot of work. How do you balance being a mother and running a phenomenal brand?
N: Balance? What’s that?! If by balance you mean my house is spotless, dinner is cooked, and I frequent the spa, then no. But I’m glad I make it look easy!