Baltimore is known for the hottest hair stylists and the best hair trends across the country.
It’s one thing to know a dope stylist but it’s another to know a chick who can put together some amazing hair products to help your crown stay looking beautiful and healthy.
DivaByCindy, owned and operated by Cindy Tawiah, is one woman in the hair care industry who has the passion to reach out to her community promoting a healthy lifestyle (for your hair, that is). She’s been featured in many magazines, blog sites and the most powerful method of communication…WORD OF MOUTH!
I use DivaByCindy products and I must say if it weren’t for Miss Cindy’s hair care products, I would be planting flowers at my edges’ gravesite (no joke).
How did Miss Cindy get started? Why did she choose the hair care industry to build her empire? Find out inside our one-on-one:
What is your occupation?
I am a manufacturer of a hair care brand which heals hair and hearts. I am an intuitive healer and an author. I am also a former Hair salon owner (7 years)
What made you want to get into this particular industry?
When I was 16years old, I was introduced to beauty product manufacturing . I was failing a Chemistry class and my teacher taught me how to make nail polish and lipstick. He inspired my love of the subject by teaching me a practical application. We had a science fair and he presented me as a Cosmetologist and a Chemist. My passion was born, but due to parental pressure, I decided to pursue a career as an RN. However, I left nursing after 13 years to become an entrepreneur.
What is it about you competitors that help your product stand out? Our focus has always been on healthy hair (whether natural or relaxed), women shed 100 -150 strands of hair per day and Diva by Cindy contains powerful healing ingredients such as, panthenol , chamomile ,horsetail, rosemary, peppermint , camphor, menthol to mention a few. Which help stop hair shedding and breakage and help stimulate hair growth.
Because of my background in health and science, our products were also designed to include women who experience hair loss as a result of chemotherapy, hypertension, thyroid issues etc. For those who have experienced traction and tension alopecia, we have a great product, the Super Gro Hair dress, which helps restore growth.
Our product is the only hair care brand which not only donates proceeds to help victims of domestic but also helps the homeless by providing a day of beauty and healing for the ladies from local shelters through The Diva Project.
How did you get started in your career? I finally had the courage to leave Nursing after 13 years. I was extremely disillusioned with my life and choice of career. I knew from day one as an RN that I didn’t belong ( I loved the patients , I loved caring for people). I belonged to something which could help me reach more people and touch lives in a more profound way and what I am doing is it.
Did you go to school for this? I have a strong science background and had a lot of experience running my hair salons for 7 years. Everything I did has prepared me for this.
Back in the day, could you see yourself doing this type of work? Yes, the products were always my passion, but I didn’t realize that the Social Entrepreneurship would be also be my vocation . I wanted to create beauty products when I was younger , but now my hearts desire and focus is to use the brand to help women in a more life changing and meaningful way.
When a women uses the products, her hair becomes healthier and she experiences growth, less shedding, breakage, and an overall transformation in her hair’s look and feel. What she doesn’t realize is that the products she has bought and are also opening the door to healing for another women, a victim of domestic violence who will experience a life transforming day from Diva by Cindy because of the actions of the initial purchaser. We are here on this earth to make a difference and everything we do affects another. So setting off a positive chain reaction and a cycle is what this brand does. We are about healing hair and hearts in the community.
What shocks you today about how far you’ve come in this industry?
The seven years have been wonderful and I am grateful to God for sustaining me this far, because the cliché is, “ Most businesses fail within their first 5 years”, mistakes may occur but failure is not an option. Because we are providing a service that is needed for those without a voice , we are genuine and sincere.
In the hair care industry there are so many who are motivated only by themselves and their companies profits. But we serve our consumers in a more compassionate and caring way. My hearts concern and desire for every woman who connects is the she find peace and healing and learns to love and embrace her hair whether its natural and relaxed.
What does or has your business done to help the community? (outreach, foundation, community service, free service, etc)
Our business is focused on helping and healing victims of domestic violence and have helped over 450 in MD, DC and VA via our programme( The Diva Project). Sunshine Promises is our Foundation and we have provide : FREE Hair services, manicures, massages and have had various speakers during events to help uplift and transform the ladies from shelters and transitional housing whom we service.
Because your brand serves a particular genre, do you feel that sometimes people take advantage of you or your service? If so, how do you deal with that? No, the victims of domestic violence have not taken advantage of our services because they truly need them.
What is the scariest part about working in this field?
I have not had any fears with my products its more so my Healing Gift . When people find out the uniqueness of what I possess they require more of me and sometimes I am a bit overwhelmed by that .
Have you ever had a terrible learning experience while working in this industry?
Yes, there have been many. There was a gentleman in the industry who promised to get my products out there if I paid him certain amount of money. Against my better judgment I did and he never produced and he took off. I have paid PR companies (owners of PR and marketing companies) who have scammed me and delivered no results. Stores and people who ask for FREE products and state they will help and they receive the items and reveal the true intentions. Because I am passionate about what the products do ( restore hair to it optimal health, growth) and who it also helps I find that there have been a lot of trickery out there . Even though I have a strong sense of intuition my love for wanting the products to grow exponentially ( Nationally ) has blinded me to some of the dishonest dealings of those seeking to “ Rape a sister “ who is only trying to help another sister who may have been violated.
What was the best advice given to you?
Watch your transactions with people. Money is not the only form of currency, “ Spirit is a currency” there have been key people in my life this year who have made a huge difference in my life my helping me in a very profound way and I will not let them forget how there kind words actions and belief in what I am has meant so much.
(Check out this old video footage of Radio Chicks Rock alum LaDawn Black! WOW)
Would you say that you understand the difference between gifts and talents? What are your gifts and talents? Yes I do “Your talents” are incorporated into your skills at work and in your career you can develop . Your gifts are what you are born to do. Operating in your gift is effortless.
Were you ever on the receiving end of a customer or client’s reaction that surprised you so much it made you think about why you do what you do? Describe. When doing in-store promotions you approach people and share product knowledge etc, some people may appear angry and abrupt. But I always know in my heart that they me be reacting not to me but something internally (within themselves).
Who do you admire in this industry? Why?
Paul Mitchell ( John Paul Degoria) I would love to meet him he is hard working , kind and philanthropic their company also helps the needy and make a difference. Love his philosophy.
Does it ever become too much for you? How do you remain focused and positive? Not at all , Changing the world “ One day and one Diva at a time “ I meditate and try and spend Sundays clearing my mind by watching Lifetime. I learn to forgive and move on each day is a new day filled with opportunities.
I believe I saw your product in a major magazine. If true, what was that experience like for you? (if this does not apply, please leave it blank) We were featured in Essence Holiday gift guide a few years back . We have been in industry magazines like Beauty Store Business, and I am a contributing writer for OTC . WE would love to share our journey and mission with O and Essence etc so women can realize their true potential. The title of my book is “Metamorphosis: Finding Your Passion , Finding Your Purpose, Finding U” It is my journey from Hair care to health care and it chronicles my experience with domestic violence. I believe a major magazine feature would help inspire more women to “ Change their focus and change their future”
Have you had your “mama I made it” moment yet? If not, what would that be for you?Not yet, I am so hard on myself and always feel there is more to do. More lives to change. I believe it will happen soon though .
Where do you see your business going in the next 10-15 years? International (yes we have received orders from England and shipped products to Ghana West Africa ( where I was born ) I see more women with hair and life transformational stories. Using my gift and my products to reach all who desire : Healing Change and Transformation. Distribution in chain retail stores where women can have access to the Diva by Cindy products.
If there was something you’ve never done before but you were given the opportunity to do it today, what would it be? I would have loved to do what I am doing now earlier, timing is everything . And all my experiences have led me to this point .I may love and care too much , and that’s alright because the secret ingredient in the Diva Products is LOVE
What is your favorite quote and why? Spirit is a currency (Cindys Quote) and you can’t receive with a clenched fist.
How can people reach out to you?
Call : 1800-929-4057