Rhonda Evette Smalls, member of the BCBCC, and February 2022 Member of the Month was born and raised in Walterboro, SC where she currently owns and operates Styles By Evette at 223 East Washington Street in downtown. One of six children, her father was a pastor, and mother worked in education. She attended Trident Technical College and obtained her license in Cosmetology, and she recently graduated from University of SC, Salkehatchie with a degree in Arts & Science. She is a WIFE, a MOTHER, a STYLIST, and an ENTREPRENEUR.
Styles By Evette LLC offers a range of services including haircuts, hair weaving, shaving, hair coloring, hair braiding, lash extensions, and specialize in custom wigs. Services are inclusive to all. Current clients are from NC, VA, Greenville, Beaufort, Hampton, Walterboro, and surrounding areas.
Evette Smalls always considered herself a strong-willed individual. She wants to be an inspiration to other young women and encourage them. Evette always enjoyed the cosmetology industry. The opportunity to make clients smile, give them confidence, and help them see their true beauty is her reward. Evette expressed “I believe that every woman is beautiful and sometimes you have to help them discover that confidence…including how to own it. Our job is not only to offer services, but also to educate clients about their different hair textures. We believe that if you enter our
establishment as strangers, you will definitely leave as family.”
Her BCBCC Success Story
”The Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce gave me an opportunity when no one else would.” The BCBCC was able to provide a loan, through their micro lending program to help in business ownership. Evette, now an owner of part of Downtown Walterboro, where few businesses are owned by African Americans. Being an African American woman and business owner in an area where people of color were once not allowed to own anything is a major accomplishment.
We asked Evette, “How did you get started?” Her answer: “I was a stylist in a salon for many years, but I always had hopes and dreams of becoming a business owner. In April of 2009, I made the
decision to step out on faith and I began my journey of being a business owner. I can honestly say, ‘I had no fear,’ and was confident/determined to succeed. Within a month I opened the doors of Styles By Evette LLC in May of 2009.”
Prior to ownership, Evette visited several financial institutions and was unable to get approved for a business loan. She was turned away, not because she didn’t qualify, but seemed like they simply were not willing to give her a chance/opportunity. This was a setback to Evette, but she did not give up. Evette met with the BCBCC team and sat down for an educational conversation on how we as a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institute) could help. Together, the BCBCC and Evette created a plan of action and how to execute it. Evette said, “the BCBCC ensured they were there and willing to help any way they could and for that I am still very thankful.”
In the next 5 years Evette plans to expand and open other salons in the south coast region. She would love to open more Black-owned beauty supply stores. On top of all that, the vision is also to give back to the community. Because her salon is such a great entrepreneurial experience for her, she wants to open a Cosmetology Institution to educate women both from an academic view, hands-on-training, and professionally allow students to master their trade.
Evette stated “success can mean many things for different people. I believe success is determined by the individual. Once you’ve reached a place in life and you feel at the moment a sense of completion and peace, that is success. Success does not have to end at that moment. I don’t believe that we are just blessed with one talent or gift. Discovering your gift, sharing it, mastering it, and putting it to use is also another step of success.” Her ultimate goal is to inspire other young men and women in the community. “I am proud of my ownership and I thank the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity, for the education, the courage, the belief, and for their empowerment of small businesses.”
Congratulations to Rhonda Evette Smalls on being the BCBCC Member of the Month for February 2022.