by Kimberley Cummins
Like most teenagers, Cherian Lorde enjoys doing “normal things” like hanging out at Sheraton Centre, watching television, playing netball and more than anything else — talking a lot of foolishness.
What separates her from most persons her age, however, is her business savvy.
In many villages across Barbados, people know of a youngster who “does hair” well and you can trust that every Sunday evening their varandah is filled with little children waiting to have their hair braided so that come Monday morning they head back to school with the sharpest look.
What many would not have seen much of though, was those individuals making an attempt to move beyond the front steps, the verandas or the side doors to further this talent.
At just 14 years old Lorde has done this and has set-up her very own hair dressing “company”, Cherii’s Perfections Styles.
It is not legally registered as a business yet, but she has opened a business page on Facebook, displaying a variety of her hairstyles for more people to learn about her. Already she is receiving much credit for her pursuit of entrepreneurship at such an early age.
With her mother, Shanelle Howell, being a hair stylist, as well as her aunts, Natasha and Shaniece, along with her uncle Corey, as a barber, it could be said that hair runs in the family.
So it was no wonder why in an interview this morning with Barbados TODAY she said it was for this reason she became interested and was so passionate about the field.
As a five year old tot she would often sit on the ground, looking up at her mum or aunts as they styled the hair of many people, and after a while of just watching the process, the petite teen, said she began to question them about what they were doing.
It†was only a few years later, at age nine, that she decided: “You know what? I can†do that”.
Obviously no one wanted to be the first “experiment” for a nine year old, but as she laughed and recalled those days, she said her cousin Dawnea, whose hair was “flying” at the time, when asked, volunteered to be her guinea pig, so to speak.
“I braided her hair and it came out like I was braiding for years,” she said happily.
“After that, I was able to continue by practising on my family and then other people would see the styles I was doing and they couldn’t believe at my age I was doing hair like this so then I got more and more people wanting me to do their hair. Now I have a lot of hair doing.”
Lorde does not have a salon as yet so she operated out of her Gitten’s Road, Government Hill, St. Michael home but she said she was working towards establishing one.
She pointed out that she had already informed her father how far she intended to take her skill and since he was the type of person that “supplies me with what I want, I know for sure a salon will happen”.
Her styles include flat twists, corn rows, braids, Afro kinky in any style, palm rolls, pin-ups. Though she cannot get rope twists done, she continues to learn through her family and was also in the process of learning finger waves in addition to invisible corn rows.
In the future Lorde plans to become a professional hair stylist and intends to attend the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic so she can refine her skills and acquire professional qualifications with the aim of branching out to relaxed hair styles.
And don’t think that because of her age she has a utopian outlook. She clearly understands that the cosmetology field is competitive and flooded with talented players, known and unknown. So just in case this career does not work out for the best, Lorde had a back-up plan — to pursue paediatrics.
The fourth former at the Alleyne School is studying the sciences to ensure this option remains alive. She has a really busy schedule, especially now, leading up to the Caribbean Examinations Council’s exams, so she now only styles hair on Saturdays or in the event of an emergency during the week. When she is not braiding hair, Lorde can be found at church, taking lessons or singing in the Barbados Mass Choir. firstname.lastname@example.org†