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Stokes Haircare LLC

In the heart of Little Rock, Stokes Haircare LLC is significantly impacting the lives of African-American women seeking natural, protective, or low-maintenance hairstyles. Owner and licensed cosmetologist, Tanisha Stokes, has dedicated her business to providing services that enhance physical appearance, boost self-confidence, and promote overall wellness. With the support of $7,000 financing from Arkansas Rehabilitation Services and guidance from the Arkansas Business Navigator Program, Ms. Stokes has turned her vision into a thriving reality.

Ms. Stokes' journey into the world of haircare began at a young age when a babysitter braided her hair, igniting her fascination with hairstyling. Determined to turn her passion into a profession, she enrolled in cosmetology school at Pulaski Technical College. Enrolling in evening classes allowed Ms. Stokes, a dedicated young mother, to balance her education with her family responsibilities. Since obtaining her cosmetology license in 2009, she has accumulated over a decade of experience, specializing in working with wigs and assisting clients struggling with alopecia—a journey inspired by her own battle with health issues and hair loss.

Motivated by the desire for independence, a flexible schedule, and fair compensation for her skills, Ms. Stokes decided to start her own business. Previously working as an assistant, she experienced the frustrations of shouldering the workload while lacking control over her career and income. Determined to carve her own path, she embarked on her entrepreneurial journey with Stokes Haircare LLC, her first business venture.

Ms. Stokes discovered the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center through her collaboration with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS), where she received assistance with job placement. Working closely with her entrepreneurship counselor, she was referred to an ASBTDC Business Navigator consultant for further assistance. The Arkansas Business Navigator program at ASBTDC played a pivotal role in helping Ms. Stokes understand the intricacies of writing a business plan and understanding the necessary administrative requirements to establish her salon successfully.

The journey from concept to grand opening took over a year, reflecting the dedication and commitment required to transform a dream into a tangible business. Opening Stokes Haircare LLC was not without its challenges, as Ms. Stokes learned the importance of budgeting and financial management. Through these obstacles, Ms. Stokes has learned valuable lessons about persistence, the importance of seeking help, and the value of expanding her network. She acknowledges the process of entrepreneurship as both rewarding and challenging, and she remains committed to utilizing available resources and asking for support when needed.

Business at Stokes Haircare LLC is budding, with a focus on growing the customer base to 20-25 regular clients this year. Ms. Stokes is dedicated to providing exceptional services that meet her clients’ hairstyling needs and boost their self-confidence and wellness. Looking ahead, her long-term goals include opening her own location and creating a welcoming space where clients can feel beautiful and empowered. Additionally, she aspires to give back to the community by actively participating in charitable causes.

Thanks to the financial support from ARS and the guidance provided by the ASBTDC Business Navigator Program, Stokes Haircare LLC continues to flourish and positively impact the lives of African-American women. Ms. Stokes' journey is a testament to the power of determination, resourcefulness, and seeking support. As her business continues to thrive, we can't wait to see Stokes Haircare LLC achieve its long-term goals and leave an indelible mark in the world of haircare and community engagement. Visit to learn more about Tanish.