From Barbering to Entrepreneurship

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The Congress Heights Com­munity Training and Development Corporation (CHCTDC) offers free barbering and cosmetology classes funded by the Community College of the District of Columbia (CCDC). One student has enrolled and ex­celled, opening his own full service barber and beauty salon.

Barber student, Toymaine Coley (Abdul Karim) has opened a new shop in Temple Hills, Maryland and he credits attending the barber school for his success. “The class has helped me tremen­dously. I have grown as a business man and I am proud to have my own shop now,” said Cooley.

His story is particularly interesting because he has made a complete 180 degrees from where he was this time last year. Coley was released from a Virginia penitentiary October 4, 2010 and almost immediately enrolled into the CHCTDC barbering class. He says he has always enjoyed cutting hair since he was 16 years old. After he was released he returned to the southeast community to live with his parents. His mother said she knew of a free barbering program and encouraged him to apply. He said she knew he had this talent that he had not tapped into and wanted to see him grow.

Coley says he enrolled in the class almost a month late because of the date he was released from prison. However, he spoke with head instructor Marco Price-Bey, who allowed him to jump right into the class without any hesitation. “The class really helped me grow as a person and as a man. The teachers not only teach us about barbering but they give us life skills and help us learn the aspect about the business,” Coley said.

His shop is a full service and of­fers not only barbers and hair stylists, but manicurist and massage therapists. He is part owner of the shop with his father and brother. They bought the shop from Col­ey’s aunt who previously used it as a salon only. “She would have me come in and cut hair from time to time and eventually she asked me if I wanted to buy it since she was moving to Atlanta,” Cooley said.

Coley will graduate from the bar­bering class this fall. He said he is thank­ful that he had supportive parents who really pushed him to excel and change the direction of his life. He said he enjoys barbering and that it has come as a natu­ral gift from God. “It’s like a hobby for me because I love it so much!”

Coley’s shop, Infinite Trudy’s: Barber and Beauty Salon is located at 4526 Beech Road in Temple Hills, Maryland. You can call (301) 899-5984 for pricing and hours of operation or email Cooley at t.coley978@ gmail.com.

To find out more about the barber­ing and cosmetology programs offered by CHCTDC please call (202) 563-5200.

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