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Hialeah-area salon owner catches anxiety and then a break by securing $10,000 grant

As a young girl, Liberty City native LaDavia Harrell loved doing hair. Now the owner of Northwest Miami-Dade hair salon and boutique Glamour Girl Galore, she’s doing just that and inspiring people along the way.

At Glamour Girl Galore, Harrell cuts and styles customers’ hair, makes and sells wigs and apparel. She’s worked with clients like entertainer Amara La Negra, and many of her clients fly in from places like Georgia, California and the Bahamas thanks to word-of-mouth referrals.

“Don’t look down at small beginnings,” Harrell said. “Just because you’re in a certain place now doesn’t mean you will always be there. Just two years ago I didn’t see myself being here.”

A photo of LaDavia Harrell, 29, and her daughter, Barbie, 2, on the left, is hung over the rack of clothes for sale at Glamour Girl Galore, a Hialeah women’s hair salon and boutique.
A photo of LaDavia Harrell, 29, and her daughter, Barbie, 2, on the left, is hung over the rack of clothes for sale at Glamour Girl Galore, a Hialeah women’s hair salon and boutique.

It’s a far cry from Harrell’s beginnings as a young woman in cosmetology school and various beauty shops working hard to learn everything she could about the business. Her high school cosmetology teacher Ted McCrae spoke highly about the Bronner Brothers hair convention in Atlanta. When she turned 21, Harrell finally attended. The event gave her endless inspiration.

“I caught anxiety being in there,” she said of the event’s massive scale. “I never saw anything like that.”

Harrell, 29, is the recipient of a $10,000 Comcast Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment grant. In 2022, Harrell was on the brink of closing her business and even began buying boxes to store items from her shop. The stress put her into a depression and she took time off work. After a client asked why she didn’t respond to a business inquiry for a wedding during that time, Harrell explained her situation and the client recommended that she apply for two grants including the Comcast grant.

Comcast Business regional vice president Rich Rollins said that business owners like Harrell represent the communities the Philadelphia-based telecommunications company hopes to support.

“We’re deeply invested in the communities we serve and the small businesses like Glamour Girls Galore that shape them. We recognize that small businesses are the backbone of our economy and that is especially true here in South Florida,” Rollins said. “Entrepreneurs like LaDavia are at the heart of our local communities and Comcast is proud to be able to elevate and support them through programs like RISE.”

Harrell is a proponent of applying for grants and uses every opportunity possible to do so. She learned many business lessons on her own and found that grants can help provide the capital that is difficult to access for many small business owners of color.

“I apply for grants all the time, but this is the fourth I’ve received and the biggest,” she said of the grant from Comcast. “I was behind on rent, no inventory and this saved me. I never saw anyone receive grants until I was on YouTube and learned the key to it was to keep applying. Every time I get the chance I keep applying.”

Since receiving the grant in December 2022, Harrell has renovated the Hialeah-area shop to make it more aesthetically pleasing for clients that enjoy using Instagram and TikTok and bought more inventory.

As the mother of a 5-year-old daughter, Harrell is like many entrepreneurs managing a healthy work-life balance. Still, she enjoys her work immensely and is working on getting more than the four hours of sleep a night she has gotten for the last five years.

She stays in touch with teacher McCrae and at his urging began participating in the school’s Career Day activities. For the last seven months, Harrell has gone back to her alma mater once a week to mentor girls interested in her work.

“They see that if I can do it, then they can do it,” she said.