• Rachel Lout

A Cut Above the Rest: Portrait of a Local Salon Owner

This is my ninth feature in my portrait series 100 Years Strong. Commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, this series of portraits is a celebration of strength, victory and beauty featuring fierce, fearless women in Deep East Texas.

It takes a lot of hustle and sacrifice to build a business. More and more women are wanting to live their dream of owning a business and in the United States, women entrepreneurs have been increasing by an amazing 3,000% since 1972. Texas has the largest percentage of women-owned businesses in the nation. Additionally, Black female-owned business are the fastest growing economic force in the U.S. The number of Black women owning businesses in the US is up more than 460% in the last 20 years. Female entrepreneurs are successful because they set achievable sales goals, prioritize collaboration, grow their businesses slowly and methodically, and employ excellent time management skills.


It is important to consider the history of Black female entrepreneurship. During post-Emancipation, self-employment was the only economy they were allowed to participate in and some women thrived. Madam C.J. Walker created specialized hair products for Black women and became America's first black self-made millionaire.


In 2020, women are still stepping out in courage and making their dreams a reality! Jasmine Sterns is the owner of Posh Beauty Bar in Nacogdoches, where she provides all her customers The Jasmine Experience! Read on to learn more!

“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity.  But I made it!  Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come.  Get up and make them.” - Madame C.J. Walker

This is a question I ask everyone, do you have a favorite motivational quote? Take your own path. It was designed for you!

Who are the women that have inspired you? Debra Davis, my mom. Tanesha Smith, my cousin.  Raynell Stewart. Courtney Adeyele.

Can you tell me some more about Posh Beauty Bar and the services that you offer? Posh Beauty Bar is a one stop shop, where you can get your hair, lashes and skin care done. We also offer hair extensions, lashes (eye glass wear and posh merchandise in our retail area). Posh is very dear to me. I started it with my own money, no bank loans or grants, no help from anyone except myself, God, my mom, hard work and dedication.

What were you doing before this, and is this your first business? Before i stated Posh I worked in sales of every kind. I was a sales manager at Etech; counter manager for Clinique; I sold cars. Pretty much any thing you put in front of me!

What are some of the challenges that you experienced while trying to start your business?  Mostly my neighbors. There’s a huge hindrance with parking between the two businesses in which eventually it became ugly, however God made me a tough cookie. It all worked out in the end.

What is something that you wish you knew before starting your business? I wish I knew the importance of having a standalone business.


What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business? My uniqueness in marketing and growing an audience 

What are your long-term goals? My long term goal is to grow Posh as big as Paul Mitchell, maybe even bigger, and also to be an celebrity stylist.

What is some advice you can offer a woman who is looking to start her own business? Enjoy your journey. Bigger is not always better. Starting small can be beneficial.

I am looking for more fierce, fearless women to participate in this portrait study. If you or someone you know would be interested in sharing your story, please contact me. You can learn more about my project here - https://www.rachelloutportraits.com/19thamendment

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Rachel Lout Portraits, Nacogdoches, Texas

© 2018 by  Rachel Lout Portraits.