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Entrepreneur Opens Only Black Woman-Owned Beauty Academy in South Jersey

 

Atiya Johnson, a salon owner for 17 years, is now also the owner of Janas Cosmetology Academy – the first Black woman-owned beauty academy in South Jersey. It is a 6,000+ square foot facility that houses classroom space and also a studio.

Haircare runs in Atiya’s family, and in 2004, she assumed responsibility for her mother’s salon, Janas Hair Studio, founded in 1994. For the past, almost two decades, Atiya has provided customers with full-service hair salon options. Over the years, Atiya noticed an alarming trend in the employees hired at Jana’s Hair Studio that had a lack of ability to properly style and help maintain ethnic hair.

Atiya continued to see employees transition because they lacked the skills to style the hair needs of the diverse clientele that would walk in the door. She realized that the deficient originated with their training. Atiya worked with many professionals and had a passion for the industry that at times did not share the same passion for people who looked like her! In New Jersey, the overwhelming majority of beauty academies are owned by white males, and the number of teachers lack diversity. Even worse, the teachers are often far removed from the current industry, and many overall lack the knowledge of performing services on diverse black and brown clientele.

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Atiya decided to open the academy back in 2017 to address this lack of knowledge in styling innovative industry-leading techniques for all walks of life, including the care of African American hair. It took four years and multiple hurdles, but on October 30, 2021, Janas Academy officially opened as a full-service beauty school. Located at 1397 Blackwood Clementon Road, Clementon, NJ 08021, the distance is approximately 15 minutes from the city of Camden.

The school offers a nine-month full-time or flexible part-time program equaling 1,200 hours and serves up to 150 students in cosmetology, barbering, braiding, nail technician, and teacher certification. Students can opt to attend part-time during evening hours versus the full-time day program. The Academy structure is a hybrid model of in-house training and online learning.

Permanent staff includes a director, operations manager, office staff, and several highly qualified and “boots on the ground” instructors. Atiya serves as the Chief Executive Officer, and her husband, Dwayne, is the Chief Operations Officer. Janas Cosmetology Academy is hiring additional staff in the areas of instructors, office support, and marketing personnel. The program will officially begin on November 1, 2021, with an inaugural class of twenty-five students.

The Jana’s Hair Studio, where students will receive hands-on training, also offers professional services to the public, including natural hair care, relaxers, braiding, color, cuts, weaving, lock maintenance, and wigs. Atiya provides custom wigs for cancer patients and volunteers with the American Cancer Society. Unique to Jana’s Cosmetology Academy and Jana’s Hair Studio is a line of hair care products created by Atiya that is geared to ethnic hair. Atiya developed The Seven Collection to ensure clients receive products that ethnic hair requires to remain healthy hair. The product line features two kinds of shampoos, a deep penetrating conditioner, a moisturizing conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, and detangling spray.

Atiya is ecstatic to finally realize her goal of serving the community with a quality beauty school option that focuses on ethnic hair and brings an inclusive environment. States Atiya, “I am so glad that we are finally here. My passion for helping individuals in the areas of technical training is a dream come true.”

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Written by PH

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