TAMPA, Fla. — It’s National Black Business Month and there is one business in Tampa that has not only survived during the pandemic, but it also grew. The Dolly Monroe Beauty Academy is on track to gross $1 million in revenue this year.
“I'm living proof that you can go from low income to a six-figure business if you do the work,” said Monroe.
It was only a few years ago that Monroe was working at a makeup counter, now she has her own academy and is soon to launch her own line of products.
“If you had asked me three years ago if I saw myself in this position my answer would have been no,” said Monroe. “I have seen so many different individuals come through our doors and pursue their goals.”
Since opening in 2018, Monroe has seen 265 students graduate with a dermatological certification.
“My goal is to inspire other young women and entrepreneurs in this industry that if I can do it you can too,” said Monroe.
“I was always thinking about going into beauty but then once the pandemic came I was like, ‘ok I got to get into it real fast,’” said student Mo’si Allen.
Allen decided to trade in the crayons and markers for the hot wax, leaving her job working at a daycare to follow in Dolly’s footsteps.
“Someone to look up to, ‘oh I can do this if she did it,’” said Allen.
Ashlie Padilla was working in the medical field when she too realized it was time for a change, and that change was Dolly.
“It doesn’t matter what you are, where you come from, I feel like she gives women power, she makes us alive,” said Padilla.
Monroe says teaching techniques on eyelashes, facials, and skincare are only half the academy, she also takes great pride in helping every student find a job when they graduate.
“That makes me feel like I can make it in the industry,” said Padilla.
Monroe says the best part of the academy is the people and just because she is the instructor, doesn’t mean she hasn’t learned a thing or two from the students.
“And motivates me to consistently keep going and keep growing in business because there is a bigger picture than just myself,” said Monroe.
For more information, go to dollymonroe.edu.