Mushiya Tshikuka and Maja Sly are using their platform to elevate and inspire.
by Abesi Manyando
This coming Thursday, WE TV is introducing a set of beautiful working women climbing the ladder of success through their own efforts. Mushiya, Maja, Beautii, LaKenya and Dedra star in “Cutting It: In the ATL.” The show follows the headstrong stylists as they compete to bring in the most business and dominate the Atlanta hair game. I had the opportunity to sit down with Mushiya and Maja at the press luncheon for Cutting It hosted by the PR geniuses at 135st agency, Saptosa Foster and Vaughn Alvarez.
If I said that the women were quite candid that would be an understatement. These five succesful women are strong minded, independent and ready to take the crown in Atlanta's lucrative hair industry. They are also very clear to remind everyone that they are working women who found success through their own terms-not from men.
“We’re not just housewives,” begins Congolese natural hair stylist Mushiya Tshikuka the owner of The Damn Salon. "That’s what makes us different. We’re smart business women making a living and providing opportunities for others. I came to this country with a dream and I am working for my dream," says Mushiya
Maja Sly who seized the Atl market with her $50 Walk in Weave shop agrees. Maja changed the extension game in Atlanta with her affordable price point. In the first episode, Maja’s pricing is the center of debate amongst other stylists who think she is depreciating the hair market. Nevertheless her businesses nearly grossed 1.5 million dollars last year and Maja wants to continue to elevate her empire with the help of other stylists.
“I became very focused after going through a painful divorce and I set my mind to becoming successful. It was a very difficult thing that I went through. I really hope that women will learn to not give up from my journey. Challenges exist for us to overcome and grow,” says Maja. "We always have to learn to keep climbing and stay strong no matter what."
Like Maja,Mushiya hopes to revolutionize the hair industry with a fierce natural hair movement. “I want to revert women to loving themselves as they are. There’s nothing wrong with our hair textures as black women. We’ve been so conditioned to believe in an ideal that doesn’t accept us as beautiful without compromise so my goal is to make women love themselves and their blackness without apologies. I’m excited that people will be able to see someone like me, with my beautiful dark skin and natural hair embracing all I am. Through “Cuttin It in the ATL” I hope to break barriers and inspire women to let go of all the criticism that has been dumped on them so they can see all the beauty that the truly possess as black women.
Cuttin’ it in the ATl premieres this Thursday May 21st at 10/9 Eastern time. Take a sneak peek here: