Documents for Resilience

Today, I renewed two important qualifying documents: my Oregon Board of Cosmetology license and my LLC (Limited Liability Company) license. I obtained my cosmetology license 30 years ago when I was just 16. At that time, my father asked me what I wanted to do after finishing high school. Though going to college had always been my goal, he told me I would be responsible for my expenses if I pursued higher education. However, he would pay the $600 fee required to attend beauty school if I opted to learn a trade and support myself through college.

I worked hard throughout high school to earn my nail license while my peers enjoyed their weekends. When I got to college, I set up a nail table in my dorm room, obtained an independent contractor license to perform my services outside of a salon setting, and hustled through college, earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. After my undergraduate education, I continued pursuing my love for learning and curiosity. I obtained an MFA in Costume Design, then entered academia as an adjunct instructor, full-time tenure-track assistant professor, and finally, an associate professor with tenure. I’ve come a long way from my humble roots. I have earned all those qualifying documents, and I wouldn’t change a thing about any step of the way.

Over the years, I have found myself in arenas with peers who had more of a head start than I did. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to build my hustle, determination, and resilience; the experience taught me how to be the boss I am today. After all these years, I still keep my cosmetology license, not because I plan to do nails professionally again or in the future, but on principle, just in case.

Before the late 1980s or early 1990s, a woman couldn’t get a business bank loan without the signature of a male relative. Additionally, they couldn’t obtain a business license without facing several hurdles. However, The Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 marked an essential step in recognizing and addressing the unique challenges women face in business. This legislation aimed to create a supportive environment for women entrepreneurs by enhancing their access to resources, credit, and federal contracting opportunities. Thanks to this Act, women-owned businesses in the United States have become successful.