Tryon native works to empower women through beauty

Published 9:47 am Monday, July 22, 2013

Tanisha Twitty Akinloye became a confidant for women sitting in her salon in Connecticut.

Tanisha Twitty Akinloye

Tanisha Twitty Akinloye

As she wielded scissors they’d tell heartbreaking tales of life as single moms on the brink of economic ruin, wives of active soldiers stationed overseas and women battling addiction.

A budding entrepreneur, Akinloye said she felt she had to do more for these women.

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“I felt like there was more that I needed to be doing. I realized there was more that I needed to do to empower them and give back,” she said.

Akinloye (Twitty) graduated from Polk County High School in 1993. She attended  Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. before meeting her husband and moving to Connecticut for his job.

In 2008 she opened her own salon. She said she met a lot of women from different life situations and many of them needed help to rebuild their confidence.

At first, she made her way to shelters around Connecticut offering her services to the women there.

“People have their own idea of what homeless looks like – there are accountants who are homeless, there are women who look like me that are homeless,” Akinloye said. “But because they are homeless, they have no confidence and feel like they have no hope.”

Akinloye couldn’t stop with just the shelters, she needed to spread hope to as many women as she could, she said. So, in 2010 she closed her salon and began focusing on her organization, Empowering through Beauty, full-time.