Black business owners in Metro Detroit making name for themselves with famous clientele

Rashida LaShawn, Tonya Williams share success stories

Black business owners in Metro Detroit making name for themselves with famous clientele
Black business owners in Metro Detroit making name for themselves with famous clientele

DETROIT – For Black Owned Business Month, Local 4 caught up with two women who have made a name for themselves in the beauty industry with some big-named clientele.

“My friend, he emailed me the next day and he was, like, ‘You’re the doctor of glam,‘” Rashida LaShawn said.

“Rashida” is what her friends and clients call her, but she’s known everywhere as The Glam Doctor.

“This is not just makeup for me, Evrod,” LaShawn said. “I don’t just do makeup to make people look pretty. Yes, I do that, but you’re changing lives and people’s spirits. You’re helping them feel amazing about themselves.”

It’s her passion. She works out of her makeup studio but also travels with her team for clients all across Metro Detroit.

“I’ve done Omari Hardwick,” LaShawn said. “I’ve worked with Roberta Flack. I’ve worked with SWV, Vivica Fox, Robin Givens.”

Those are just some of the big names that call on her for services when they’re in town. While she has achieved success, being a black business owner came with some challenges.

“It’s tough,” LaShawn said.

“Why?” asked Local 4′s Evrod Cassimy.

“It’s very tough, and I don’t want to get emotional,” LaShawn said. “It’s just tough to be able to get different things to be able to excel in a way to have the capital that you need.”

“It’s amazing, Evrod. It is amazing to be down here on the corner,” Tonya Williams said. “Everybody says we have the best location, and we do.”

Williams is also on top when it comes to nails and fashion. Her shop, Cuticle Couture, is located in the heart of Downtown Farmington.

“Cuticle Couture is the fashion,” Williams said. “Where nails and fashion meet. That’s our catch phrase. I got a chance to do Robin Givens. Angie Stone is one of my favorites. I’ve done her a couple of times.”

She, too, has a long list of celebrity clientele, but it’s her work that speaks for itself.

“We’re very sanitary,” Williams said. “We keep up with the trends. We don’t have people sitting around all day. It is a wonderful experience. They love the music. They love the atmosphere. We call it nail therapy.”

Williams has been in business for 30 years and just recently opened up a new location, something that would have put a smile on her late mother’s face.

“It’s bittersweet because I know that my mother would be so proud of me,” Williams said.

Both women have overcome the obstacles and are using their success stories to encourage other future black business owners this month and beyond. If you’d like to contact them, the information is below.

About the Author:

Evrod Cassimy is the morning anchor for Local 4 News Today. He joined WDIV in August of 2013. He is an award winning journalist and a six-time Emmy Award nominee. Evrod was born in Michigan but grew up in the Chicagoland area.