Sometimes, it's the darkest before the dawn. No matter how cliché that might sound, Stormi Steele is a woman who can vouch for how real those words truly are. Back when she was a junior in college, she was depressed; "Actually, I was suicidal," Stormi clarifies. While to the outside world, she was in school studying painting and photography and things seemed to be going fine, within her something, many things, didn't feel quite right. In fact, something felt very wrong.
"I did what a lot of us do around that age," said Stormi. "I went to school because it was expected of me, but I wasn't happy. Then one night, I had a breakdown and so I picked up my bible, trying to figure out what to do. Three nights later, I had a dream. In that dream, the name of my business and my business statement came to me. After that, it was like everything just took off."
Indeed, it did. In 2011, Stormi realized that becoming a hairstylist is what she needed to do, so she enrolled in hair school. "I wasn't really the happiest with my hair when I was in high school," explained Stormi. "Then, while I was in the military, my hair broke off. While I was in hair school, I tried making a product so that my hair would grow." I could hear the smile in Stormi's voice when she said, "I still have the original bottle that product was in to this day."
Stormi remembers that in 2012, she had $800 to her name but after graduating from hair school and opening up her own salon, she started making six figures.
However, it wasn't until 2014 that she came up with something that would not only change her life, but the lives of thousands of others—a hair serum. One that not only helps hair to grow longer but triggers dormant hair follicles, heals scalp ailments and even treats alopecia (thousands of customers say so). And just how did Stormi get the idea to make the serum? Again, it came to her in a dream. Not the serum specifically, but one ingredient at a time, beginning with cayenne pepper. "When cayenne came to me, at first I thought it was weird," admits Stormi. "Then I looked up all that it could do and I was amazed."
From Dreams to Reality
Photo by Trenton Steele
After taking note of all of the ingredients that she dreamed about, researching how each of them would prove to be beneficial and then playing the process of elimination based on which items blended the best, Stormi began using her 100 percent organic homemade serum on her own hair. Within a year, the quality (and length) of her tresses had drastically improved. By 2015, she started sharing her masterpiece on her social media pages. The serum sold. Her customers remained consistent and loyal. Yet still, something was missing. By 2018—yes, just last year—even though things were going well, Stormi was wearing herself out, putting in 18+ hours at her hair salon.
"I was making good money at my salon, but something was still pulling at me," says Stormi. "People were still asking me for the serum, but because I was making it myself, I honestly didn't have the time to do it. Then, last year, for my birthday, my husband and I went to NY. I went out onto the balcony of our hotel room and stared at the skyline. In my mind, I thought, 'Somebody created all of this.' That was on August 11 or 12. When I came back home on August 16, I decided that I should give the serum my full attention. I created a website, posted a sale for the serum and, within that first month, I made $46,000."
Yes y'all, you read that right. Stormi's hair serum made almost $50,000 in just thirty days. Understandably, she took that as a sign that she should take the dive and go all in with her haircare products. So, she quit styling and, each month, she rolled out something new—the serum, the shampoo and conditioner and so on. At one point, she received so many orders that she made six figures in five days. Now, in 2019, Canvas Beauty—a haircare, lash and brow, and extensions line that she runs with her husband Courtney Beasley—has netted a whopping one million dollars in a year's time. Yep, you read that right as well. A big part of that is by word of mouth from her customers; many claim to see hair growth results in two weeks (some in as little as seven days).
"I've always had a big imagination," says Stormi. "And, after you come back from feeling like you want to die, you don't really have much left to fear. Besides, I tend not to listen to what others say and I definitely don't listen to their fears."
Even though Stormi admits that getting Canvas Beauty to soar has required a lot of sleepless nights, trial and error and still having to hear her mom say, "Don't give up what you know for what you don't know" as she encouraged her to return to school, she has no regrets and is enjoying the journey. "Learning about infusing the oil, mass producing product, meeting the supply and demand of what my company offers, marketing—sometimes it's overwhelming, but I know this is where I'm supposed to be."
How to Make Your Own Dreams Real
Photo by Mauria Moore & Curtis Carrington (Curt Scene It)
And what advice does Stormi have for other women who want to step out on their own dreams?
- Don't be afraid. "If you've got a vision, you need to go for it. It wouldn't be in you if God couldn't trust you with it."
- Establish your why. "On the hardest days, it's been remembering why I'm running my company that has kept me going."
- Learn your business inside and out. "No matter who comes along to help your company to grow, you are the one who needs to be the heartbeat of it. No matter what."
- Don't be afraid to outsource. "I can't do it all, no one can. I focus on my strengths and have absolutely no problem finding people to help me in other areas. It saves a lot of time in the long run."
- Support your tribe. "Don't be the person who always needs to be pedestaled. Money and fame are great, but the main reason why you should be doing what you do is so that you can be a part of helping others become who they want to be." (Stormi definitely walks the talk when it comes to this particular point. She hosts what is known as The Dream Girl Society Brunch every August and February. It's a networking brunch for entrepreneurial women.)
- Stay in the moment. "It's easy to get discouraged if you look too far ahead. Work with what you have right now. If God thought you needed more, He'd give it to you."
I started this with a cliché, so it's poetic that I end with one. Dreams do come true, y'all. Stormi Steele is living proof.
Feature image by Mauria Moore & Curtis Carrington (Curt Scene It)
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Though it is a year-long must for many, coffee hits different as the seasons change and the weather grows cooler. Similarly, a fall nail trend you're bound to see everywhere this season is latte nails. Just like sipping on a warm, comforting latte during the crisp autumn days, latte nails are all about providing those cozy vibes. Think earthy tones like creamy beige, caramel, and deep and soft browns or nudes with a touch of warmth.
Versatile and complementary of the warmer tones typical of the turn of the season, latte nails are a fabulous choice to embrace the sweater weather.
Latte Nail Design Ideas
Keep scrolling for different ways to rock latte nails this season.
Vanilla Latte Nails
Fall Brown Latte Nail Ideas
Coffee Latte Nails for Fall
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Featured image by Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images