In and Outside the Chair
There are many talented, black creatives on Hampton’s campus ranging from hairstylists, fashion designers, content creators are more. The diversity and creativity among these individuals inspire others to share their craft and contribute their ideas on Hampton’s campus and beyond.
Ariana Greene is a multifaceted young woman: A businesswoman, scholar, thinker, doer and much more. She started Ariana’s Canvas two years ago, her self-titled business that offers protective styles. Not only does she do hair, but she also has a holistic approach as well; Ariana combines her love for art and hair to create Ariana’s Canvas.
She has been featured on-campus panels, podcasts and has even been shown her work at hair shows. I sat down with Ariana to not only talk about her business, but also being in school while running a business, her holistic approach with art and hair, and how she remains positive.
HC: What does your business mean to you?
AG: It allows me to be creative and express myself, which used to be one of my major insecurities.
HC: How do you juggle being a student and running Ariana’s Canvas? Does it get tricky?
AG: It gets tricky all the time. *laughs* I like to stay busy so it’s a good thing having the business but also, senior year is approaching so that’s something I’m currently dealing with. As opposed to other years, it was easy but now I’m trying not to have a mini-breakdown. So that’s something that I’m currently maintaining but trying to tackle.
HC: How has it changed you as a person from when you first started?
AG: Wow, that’s a good question. In the beginning, I was very giving and open when it came to pricing and time. I was also very judgmental and insecure about my work. Through the process, I’ve grown great communication skills to the point where most of my clients are good friends now and made meaningful relationships in and outside the chair. In the beginning, this was just something to do for fun, but the support from others has made me think that it could become something bigger.
HC: Have you always had a passion for braiding? AG: Yes! When I was little I’d play with dolls, braiding cornrows on their hair. I was doing French braids on my friends. I don’t remember when I started exactly, but I’ve always had a passion for it.HC: You refer to yourself as a “holistic” braider, what do you mean by that?
AG: So, “holistic braider” stems from holistic healing and focusing on the energy and connection with the client. You know, you’re close to somebody for 5+ hours at a time, so making sure we’re not draining each other and that the dialogue around your crown is positive. It’s not just braiding, it’s the overall wellbeing of the space we’re in.
HC: You’re such a positive person with an optimistic view on life. How do you do it?
AG: I had a hard time in middle school and high school, dealing with bullying, depression and immense stress in me being hospitalized. I just wasn’t in a good place. In my freshman year in college, I had to get down to why I was still feeling this way; being admitted to the hospital and seeing a neurologist was my wake-up call. I also wanted to be that positive person for other people; the person that I needed when I was in a rough spot.
HC: Do you have any tips for remaining positive?
AG: I recommend daily positive affirmations, vision boards with goals, journaling, and having faith in the higher power which helped me along my journey.
HC: Your second anniversary just happened? How do you feel about the improvements you’ve made and the clientele you’ve built up over time?
AG: OMG! It was shocking. With it already being two years, I can see how I can let time go by and I’m excited about the growth. I’ve gotten the chance to work in realms that I never thought I would. Ariana’s Canvas was started on accident; there was no intention for what it is now. I’m appreciative of the growth and support I’ve received. Seeing where I was two years ago compared to now really gave me a perspective of everything.
AG: Not currently, but I’m open to it.
HC: Having said that, can you describe your dream guy?
AG: My dream guy would be supportive, have humility, passionate, open-minded, respectful (of course), and lastly, I just really admire a guy that is good on his own; someone who doesn’t need anything else, any accolades to him.
HC: Do people recognize you?
AG: No, I don’t think of myself as famous or anything. It happens sometimes though!
HC: Where do you see yourself after college?
AG: For me, this is a form of manifestation. After college, I see myself working in the beauty or hair industry; whether in be applying my major (marketing) or my side business. I want to look into owning a beauty supply store or a beauty salon suite. I just really want to start working and partnering with brands, hair shows, etc. I see myself meeting more great people and possibly a change of scenery. It’s important for me to be happy in whatever I end up doing and living out my passion.
If you’re interested in seeing more of Ariana’s work, Click here to watch her official commercial