How I Made It: Hair Maven Ursula Stephen Talks Building Her Brand
African-American women are walking into the world of entrepreneurship fearlessly. They are taking the necessary risks to build their empires from the ground up. Take a peek at your Instagram or Snapchat feed – and what will you find – a bevy of online boutique owners, professional hairstylists, make-up artists and highly regarded fashion bloggers on the rise.
At Madamenoire, we strongly believe there is nothing more inspirational than a businesswoman in the driver’s seat. We truly admire women who choose to grab the steering wheel in regards to their career aspirations. In an effort to celebrate this growing batch of beauties, we have teamed up with Nissan to salute a few great women who are fierce, focused and unapologetically fabulous.
Welcome to our latest editorial series, How I Made It, sponsored exclusively by Nissan.
Today, we spotlight one highly sought after celebrity hairstylist, whose humble, yet spirited nature continuously wows those who come across her creative path.
Meet Ursula Stephen – the fab Brooklynite with a gift to create magic when it comes to hair. Regarded as a leader in the hair world, this notable stylist was creating head-turning styles for music artists such as ‘All the Way Up’ rapper Remy Ma, before touching the hair of Barbados-born, R&B Queen, Rihanna. Although Ursula is recognized as the visionary behind Rihanna’s dynamic and edgy look, ‘Ursie’, as she is often addressed by her chic clients and fans, has an extensive portfolio that includes, but is not limited to talent like Queen Latifah, Zendaya, and Iggy Azalea.
Let’s take a look at Ursie’s history as a hairstylist. Did you know before you caught some of her best work on magazine covers such as the July 2016 edition of Glamour featuring tennis-goddess, Serena Williams, that Ursula was booking projects in high-end studios in Soho, New York, not even aware of the celebrity clients on hand? She went from working in numerous Brooklyn salons with a name that stylists admired to being a freelancer chasing slow checks while trying to build her brand. Like many entrepreneurs on the rise, Ursula went through the phases of being broke until she could pave her way. However, time does move forward, because the confident stylist who was buzzing throughout Brooklyn while trying to make ends meet was making a way for herself by being available for work. Her go-getter attitude and professional approach to her craft got her passport stamps around the world – just to do hair.
How motivational is that?
The Ursula Stephen, who many celebrities call on, is the definition of an entrepreneur. From the very beginning, she understood how to work with her natural-born skills as a stylist and then built her brand. Although the around the way girl from Brooklyn didn’t have a concrete business strategy in place at the upstart of her career, her raw ability to hustle until she “came up” is simply how she made it.
Kudos, Ursie recently opened up her own salon respectively called: Ursula Stephen the Salon in Brooklyn, New York.
Truth be told before her Instagram blew up to 73 K followers, Ursie was a hair maven. So when asked what valuable lesson she learned as a businesswoman, she noted rather frankly, “being able to share.” We commend and respect her sentiments. We advise our readers who are leaders in the beauty business to share their knowledge and share their wisdom with others on the same path. We think this is the power of womanhood matched with a boss mentality. We salute Ursula Stephen.