We had the good fortune of connecting with Justina Jefferson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justina, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my brand I believe is transparency. I am so honest when it comes to sharing where I started, how I have failed and how hard the journey truly is. It all starts with believing in yourself, surrounding yourself with friends and family who believe in you and support you to the fullest, even on the hard days where you don’t support yourself. I share absolutely everything with my friends, family, people who ask me about my journey and my clients. I think there’s something so humbling about being raw, transparent and honest with those who support you. Allowing them in to see the whole journey, is really important to me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Building a brand, a following and business is not easy by any means, I am most proud of how far I have come. I started doing makeup on the floor in my living room, in front of a window for the best lighting (lol!), I now have a studio with a beautiful 18-light vanity, ring lights and more makeup than I ever could have imagined. But this didn’t happen over night, it has taken me 3 years to build up what I have now, 70 hour work weeks, so many hands -on classes and lots of stress crying. The biggest thing to remember is that IT GETS BETTER. It doesn’t get easier, but it does get BETTER. With good friends, family, mentors and a little wine, you will persevere! I learned no matter how many times you fail, you always get back up and try again. When I first started hairstyling, I was TERRIBLE! lol! Lots of YouTube videos, different types of hair classes, tips and tricks from other hair stylists and taking mental days and here we are! I can style updos for weddings in 25 mins! (which is very efficient) but this is 3 years worth of practicing day in and day out. Stick with it! As the late Hussle the Great would say, “Dedication, Hard work, plus Patience.” -Nipsey Hussle.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
When my girlfriends come in from out of Town, we HAVE to explore South Beach, I LOVE going to Mangoes for a night out but first dinner at Bongos Cuban Cafe! I also love to take my friends to Tampa for a few nights! Ybor City is such a fun time. Breakfast at Metro Diner, Lunch at Titos Latin Kitchen and Dinner at Columbia of course! Ybor is historic, so we would definitely walk down 7th avenue, have a fews drinks and impromptu photo shoots on our iPhones. Head back to Miami Gardens to check out the Venetian pool, Wilton Manor for some amazing Karaoke and lastly hit up LIV and party the night away!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Where do I start? You cannot build a brand, ALONE. Special thanks to my Nana, Judy, my mom, Christina, my mentor, Alex, my friends Makabia, Josie, Assyria and Andrea, my Business Coach, Angie, and a few Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist’ in Tampa who have shown me so much love, support and teaching moments! A few books that I have to shout out, “The Alchemist” (Paulo Coelho) “IT’s all in your head” (Russ), “Crushing It!” (Gary Vaynerchuck). These have helped me along the way, not only in my business but also in my personal life.
alt Photography, Kimberley Asante Photography, Dolce Vita Photography