When Consquilla Carey was 16 years old, she participated in an apprenticeship at a hair salon in her hometown of Farmville, Virginia. Carey—who was born in Baltimore, Maryland— became interested in styling hair at the age of five. After styling her doll’s hair, she advanced to taking photos of her work to create a photo album book. Next, Carey began monetizing her skills by charging family and friends for doing their hair.

“As a child I was an entrepreneur and did not even know it. By the time I was in high school, I had a big clientele, and I was making money,” Carey stated.

Despite the presence of her gifts, Carey was constantly called ugly names because of her dark skin. She also never felt like she was a smart child.

“I had behavior problems. I often got into fights and was suspended from school,” Carey said, also mentioning her academic struggles. “Doing hair made me happy and I would forget about all of my problems when I was doing hair.”

Carey became pregnant with her son, Daquan Hill, in the twelfth grade. He was born prematurely at 27 weeks because she experienced a pregnancy complication. Hill was later diagnosed with autism.

“Daquan was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and hospitalized several times. Mental health education is very important to him. Daquan is a musician. He plays the viola. He would like to become a music therapist,” Carey said, mentioning that her 28-year-old son is her biggest cheerleader. “It is my job to show him what leadership and greatness looks like.”

Daquan Hill, son of Consquilla Carey, performed at The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights’ Biennial Civil Rights & Fair Housing Gala on August 20, 2022, at Maryland Live’s Ballroom.
Photo credit: Consquilla Carey

Carey returned to Baltimore at 19 years old and did not give up on moving forward in life. She attended Dudley Beauty School and Morgan State University where she earned a B.S. degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. After continuing her education by obtaining a master’s degree in Education, Carey became a public school teacher while building a cosmetology career. She also received a full scholarship to attend beauty school through a grant from The Baltimore Urban League.

“I don’t fit in within the 9 to 5 world. I did not fit in when I worked at other salons. Instead of asking for a seat at the table, I decided to buy the table and the chairs. My salon is my happy place. Not fitting in motivated me to create the type of environment that I would love to work in,” Carey said.

Carey opened Affordable Styles Hair Salon located in Baltimore in 2010. She later founded CC’ s Beauty Institute LLC, which is a licensed beauty school, in August 2021. It is located in Richmond, Virginia.

Gratitude and giving back remains an important part of Carey’s life. She and her family are not strangers at overcoming adversity.

“I am forever thankful because I struggled financially over the years while I worked on building my brand. I failed a lot and had to hit the reset button. I received a lot of rejections. It took a long time to get to this point. I truly appreciate the process,” Carey said. “Several adults in my family had literacy problems because of the lack of education due to being African-American in Prince Edward County, Virginia. I saw what impact lack of education had on my family. I was determined to break the cycle. My family struggles are my motivation. I graduated from the same school system where my relatives were denied an education.”

The giving entrepreneur and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has awarded ten scholarships for students to attend her beauty school; given away free makeovers to women who were in need or going through hard times; provided mentorship; and partnering with an organization called DARS that provides services for individuals with disabilities.

During this holiday season, Carey would like to give back to a local cancer survivor.

“I would like to donate a custom wig. The wig can last them for years. The person would receive a free makeover, including a wig, outfit, and makeup for the holiday in the Baltimore area. The person can text or call me at 443-630-0037 to nominate someone or enter themselves,” Carey said.

November 30, 2022 is the deadline to contact Carey regarding a nomination. It should include a story that possibly integrates dealing with health problems, hair loss, and experiencing a hard time. Find details via  https://fb.watch/gSxwn7gtf7/. Visit www.affordablestyles.org to learn more about Affordable Styles Hair Salon.

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