She has been in the cosmetology industry for 18 years. Originally form Alexandria Virginia. She obtained her cosmetology license in high school. She came to Wilmington NC on a Basketball Scholarship. She received a degree in Business Management from UNCW. UNCW is one of the top colleges in South Eastern North Carolina. She is one of the top stylist and Educator in Wilmington. She decided this career as a child doing her friends’ mom hair that would earn her five dollars. She fell in love. She also used to visit a cousin of hers name Marlin Austin in Virginia Beach. She was 10 yrs old in the salon atmosphere and watching her cousin she just knew that cosmetology was the way she wanted to go. She didn’t know why but she was fascinated. Some of the challenges she faced wasn’t many because she stayed focused on what she wanted to do, never letting anything distract her. She credits her being into sports growing up to know how to deal with certain situations. It taught her to press on and give it all you have even when it seems its going downhill. Count it all joy because there is a lesson to be learned in all situations. She has ups and downs but nothing to stop her from reaching her goal. One thing she named as a challenge was finding good people to work in her salon. Now she does, even training others that have gone on and opened up salons of their own. One other challenge is that she has MS. She doesn’t use it as a crutch, it is a part of her but it doesn’t rule her life. She never look at it as a disability even though she knows what can happen any day she wakes up. Some of the best things she has experienced every year is the best experience of all is to say that she has some of the last clients for 10 yrs or more. To be able to do hair and providing an atmosphere that is comfortable that makes her clients happy is a reward in itself. She feels that stylist reach people not only through their hair but through our conversation as if we were counselor. She is about uplifting people. An advice that she has for someone that wants to follow in her foot steps would be to set goals and stick with it and don’t let anything take you off your path. Never give up is her motto. Professionally Latonya that expresses going hard every day, sticking to a set schedule and being organized is the key. She says to keep from getting overwhelmed she takes one day at a time. Although unplanned situations occur, she stays well rested to make it through the day. Most people need a motivator but because Tanya is a self motivator, she motivates herself. Her word means everything to her, so whatever she says she is going to do she does it. She doesn’t have anything new coming up at this time. Latonya can be followed on Face book at Tonia’s Exclusive Hair Gallery, or stop by 4506 Fountain Dr. Wilmington, NC.