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Quarantine leads to lucrative braiding career for senior

Tom DiGrispino
Lorean Williams with her parents on Senior Night.

While sitting around bored during Quarantine 2020, Lorean Williams opened up YouTube and started watching braiding tutorials. That sparked an interest for Williams and turned into a passion for braiding. 

Quarantine gave her the time to think and sit about what she really wanted to do with her life. The answer for Williams was braiding. With constantly practicing on family and watching braiding videos, Williams’ passion became a career with a regular slate of clients even though she is still in high school.

“I would always practice on my family to better myself, I would post the content on Instagram and that’s where it all started. It became real,” Williams said. ¨Feedback, messages after messages, people waiting to book. I couldn’t believe it. I never really realized how good I was.

“As soon as people started booking for me to do their hair outside of doing my family hair, people would text me asking for squeeze-ins, willing to pay over $300 just for me to style them, so it made me realize this is a life-time income.”

Despite juggling school, cheerleading, and braiding, the senior always makes time to accommodate her clients. 

“I got overwhelmed with braiding when I would over book people after work and cheer practice for not prioritizing my time well,” she said. “I would stay up at 3 am exhausted, drained and empty on school nights trying to accommodate my clients.”

During the 2-to-7-hour long process of braiding hair Willams offer clients snacks, water and entertainment, making sure they are OK.

“The adrenaline rush you get on the last braid is unexplainable,” Williams said. “Seeing how my clients’ face lights up when I’m done with their hair and feeling confident will forever be the reason I continue to go further in my passion.”

Senior Zoey Lucious is one of Willams’ clients. She saw people on her Instagram feed reposting Lorean’s work, and she was attracted by the quality of the work, as well as the prices.

“Lorean is very consistent with her work. Even if she doesn’t have time for me, she always tries her best to fit you me in her schedule. She is very professional with her work, always checking up on me, asking if I’m OK during the course of getting my hair braided,” Lucious said. 

“It only took 1-1/2 hours for two French braids and I wanted to stay even longer because of the conversation we were having. It made me want to keep going back.¨

Williams plans to attend Indiana University Bloomington to major in Business and Management so she can own her own shop where she has employees braiding clients’ hair while she just manages the business.

“I thank everyone who has supported me every step of the way, showed me unconditional love and I plan to beautify future and returning clients,” she said.

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