‘A royal experience’ | News, Sports, Jobs
Two friends who attended Fort Dodge schools together growing up will soon have connected businesses that they hope will provide customers with a full salon and spa experience.
Tianna Brown plans to open RoyalT Nails alongside Braids, Dreads and Twists Shop by Carress, owned by Carress Bjorklund. The company is located at 2224 Second Ave. NOT.
“We have a passion for business and people”, said Brown, an upper secondary school graduate from Fort Dodge in 2005. “Fort Dodge is our home and we are proud of our home.”
Brown received his BS in Cosmotology from La ‘James International College and his Associate Degree in Business from Iowa Central Community College.
Early in her college career, Brown discovered that she was particularly fond of nail art.
“When I was going to La’James I started getting my nails done around the same time and the nail art just wasn’t there.” Brown said. “I was showing them pictures and it was a ‘no’. I thought I could do it, so I took extra lessons at La’James and from there I focused on the nails.
Brown said she loved the artistic side of a nail design.
“I have always been in the art” she said. ” In the smallest details. So shape the nail. I also like people to feel good about themselves. It’s a big part for me. I really focus on the design.
Some of the nails she designs include rhinestones or other types of jewelry.
“She’s the queen of bling” says Björklund.
Brown previously worked at downtown Smurlz for about a year. When she closed, she went to work for Wonder Nails for five years.
She was fired from Wonder Nails in January 2021. Around this time, she decided to take the opportunity to open her own business.
“Carress grabbed me and here we are,” Brown said. “It was a quick transition.”
At RoyalT, Brown plans to offer pedicures, manicures, shellac, acrylics, dipping powder and facial hair removal.
Free drinks like wine, soda or water will also be available.
“I want people to have a royal experience without breaking their budget”, Brown said. “A place where they can come and relax and not worry about being rushed or that their service will not be the same as before. Consistency.”
“I am proud of each of my clients”, Brown added.
The south side of the building where RoyalT Nails will be located is currently undergoing renovations. Brown hopes to be ready to open in about a month. She said she would provide updates on her Facebook page “RoyalT Nails”.
She has known Bjorklund since third year when she moved from Livermore to Fort Dodge.
“We both went to Duncombe, Fair Oaks and Phillips all the way to high school,” Brown said.
Bjorklund is eager to have connection businesses.
“We both have great personalities”, says Björklund. “It’s a firecracker. It must be.
Both plan to offer packages for both companies.
A year ago today, Bjorklund opened Braids, Dreads and Twists Shop By Carress. The date of June 17 is important to her.
“In my heart, he told me that this is the day that I wanted to open my business”, says Björklund. “For me it is a celebration of freedom and I am proud of freedom because we are finally recognized as free for who we are and embrace our ethnicity.”
Hair has always been a special part of African American culture, according to Bjorklund.
African-style braiding dates back thousands of years, Bjorklund said.
“People would have their hair braided, twisted and locked to identify who they are” she said. “Over time, some people would buy slaves and shave their heads because they would not be identified by the tribe.
“This is how we identify ourselves culturally. Sometimes it is used as marital status or whether you are rich or not rich.
Bjorklund said she wanted people to feel good about their hair.
“I’m proud of who I am” she said. “My job is to educate people about the culture and educate people about ethnicity and educate people about their hair so that more people can be comfortable wearing their natural hair.
“Our culture, many of us use extensions to make us feel better about ourselves from being discriminated against for who we naturally are. So being able to educate others and my clients on how to maintain their hair so that they don’t need to use extensions (this is important).
She takes pride in running her own business.
“This year, this salon became 100 percent black property in less than a year,” she said. “I renovated this part of the living room. I started my own hair care line around this time.
“One of the biggest things I’m proud of is making it natural, anything that doesn’t require chemicals, that’s what I specialize in. With the services here, I specialize in natural hair growth and protective styles. It’s a chemical-free salon.
She has planted a garden on the property recently.
“We started to build a garden at the back and at the front so that I could use the items from the garden to make some of my hair care products.” says Björklund. “This garden represents my grandmother (Mary Lee Mosley). She loved gardens and planting gardens.
Mosley also inspired Bjorklund to style the hair.
Mosley would leave town just to get her hair done the way she wanted.
“I have trained several times on my own hair” says Björklund. “Watching my grandmother motivated me to train myself and never stop. “
Bjorklund offers the following styles in their shop: box braids, Ghana braids, lemonade braids, microtresses, cornrows, crochet, dreads, retwist dreads and more. She said the average date lasts two to three hours, but can be longer. Prices vary depending on hair length and service time.
She also offers hot oil hair care and various natural hair masks.
“My goal is to make people feel good to make sure we are helping them have a healthy scalp and have an experience where they feel welcome,” says Björklund.
Brown and Bjorklund are happy to do business in their hometown.
“I have always said that I love to travel and come home” Brown said. ” I feel good here. I made a lot of connections here. It is the house.
Bjorklund thinks she can be successful at Fort Dodge.
“One thing I love is no matter where I fail, if I fail in life I know I can survive here because there is enough support for everyone to be successful” says Björklund. “It’s a family town.
“You can be successful here. It is possible to live your dreams and our city relies on service and hospitality. It is the house. It is the home of many people. We are proud of it. We want to give back to our community and own our own businesses in the city where we were born and raised.