Sierra Gates, the owner of The Glam Shop in Atlanta, is known for being supportive of other women entrepreneurs. As a reality star on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, Gates is committed to using the platform to put black women entrepreneurs in the spotlight and inspire others who have had the odds stacked against them to level up. Now, as a businesswoman, Gates is helping other women leap into entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 pandemic by teaching them her micro-blading beauty techniques, offering access to vendors as they purchase products to sell items online, and a variety of courses.
In a recent interview with Gates, she shared her journey to ownership and why it is important to help others reach their dreams during the pandemic.
For those who don’t know you outside of reality TV, who is Sierra Gates the woman and entrepreneur?
Sierra Gates is a black girl, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, from the west side of Atlanta who just made the best out of her situation. I had my daughter at 15 and I was told by a white woman that I wasn’t going to be anything. She tried to get me to have an abortion. And I just made the best out of it. I was homeless. All types of odds were against me that I beat. So, that’s really who Sierra is; somebody that didn’t take no for an answer.
Tell me more about the classes and the work that you’re doing to uplift women during the pandemic?
People always ask me, ‘how did I get where I am’? For the last two months, I was able to sit down and get in touch with the people that have been trying to get in touch with me. That’s when I started my vendor’s list and webinars.
Over 500 women have started their companies outside of micro-blading during the pandemic. My mind has been blown away by how God is moving in the midst of this whole situation. Some women are making $5,000 and $6,000 a day. I hired over 100 customer service reps in China to communicate with women to help them understand the vendor’s list. So not only with the vendor list, I’m giving out the plugs. They don’t really know how to connect and talk to these vendors and understand how it works.
What made you decide to teach women your techniques as a businesswoman?
I found my purpose. A long time ago, I found my purpose when I was broken, and I didn’t have any money. And then I did my first client and I see how she got up and she cried, and she felt amazing and it made me feel better.
I always say the girl next to me is not my competition. She is my sister. I came from nothing. The projects. And now, all of those girls look up to me. So, me having a voice and pulling my sisters up is encouraging to them. If I can do it, and I have a 10th-grade education, you can do it.
What people really don’t know is the more that you are a blessing to other people the more that God will shed light on you and bless you. I can’t get all the money. The beauty industry is a trillion-dollar industry. So why not share it with my sisters?
What are some of the ways that you’ve been able to maintain staying power?
Just by being consistent. Every time I see someone, I always tell them to be consistent and that you have to believe in yourself. A lot of people you know don’t succeed in the beauty industry because they don’t have any faith.
As an entrepreneur, we all have ups and downs. I’ve been in business for 13 years. If I would have given up and said I can’t do this anymore when it was hard, or when my car was repossessed in front of my salon when I was 18 years old, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t have been able to make my first million when I was 27 years old.
You have to be consistent.
To learn more about Gates and the Glam Shop ATL, click here.