In Gloria Padikie Tetteh’s salon located at Teshie Bush Road, clients sit for hours in pursuit of great hairstyles. This is an exercise that requires patience and Gloria is no stranger to that. She conscientiously built Gloria’s Beauty & Clothes – a hairdo and clothing salon dedicated to the art of African hair braiding – from absolutely zilch. For years, Gloria worked from her compound. This allowed her to gain more experience and saved every pesewa she made.
Three years have passed since Gloria opened the doors of her salon. Within these years, Gloria has been able to amass a good number of customers from both far and near. The salon that she commenced from her small compound now trains other ladies who also look forward to becoming hairdressers in the near future.
To Gloria, teaching people the art of braiding is her contribution to curbing unemployment in Ghana. Remarkably, she does not charge the people she teaches any money. She believes her students will have some skills to earn income for themselves once they graduate.
According to her, there are many aspiring entrepreneurs in the country but due to lack of funds, these people are not able to hone their skills. In her own words, Gloria said “I do not have much but I make sure that many people benefit from the little I have.”
Using herself as an example, Gloria indicated that she did not have anyone she could borrow money from when starting. She did menial work to raise some money and that is when she enrolled in a hairdressing school (informally).
According to her, she used to practice on a mannequin head day and night for several months just to perfect her skills. Telling how she got her first client, Gloria said she made a friend design a flier for her which she distributed to people in her neighbourhood.
“A friend of mine who operates an internet café designed a flier and printer some copies for me. I then distributed them to the people in my vicinity. That’s how I got clients in the beginning. I didn’t charge the first five (5) who came,” she stated.
Gloria continued, “After practicing on mannequin heads for a long time, I just wanted to be able to have live people to practice on. I always tried to be as professional about my business as possible, even though I was working in my home.”
“I remember thinking that I really had to look for a commercial space because doing this in my house was not going to work. It was really challenging. I tried to save, to move toward that goal. But at the same time, money was still very, very tight for me. I literally had no savings. I saved the little I made from the work I was doing at home and I was able to acquire a shop to operate commercially.”
Recounting how difficult it was for her during the beginning, she promised herself to help others to also learn the trade when she is in a better position to do so.
Gloria said she always saw herself as being able to make something from nothing.