A summer camp that teaches braiding skills

Photo courtesy: Thamar William’s Instagram @phenomenaltressesllc

Phenomenal Tresses Hair Salon offers a summer camp that teaches girls valuable braiding skills while also learning about Black history, entrepreneurship, and culture. The owner, Florida A&M University alumna Thamar Williams, has hosted the beauty summer camp for the past three years.

Phenomenal Tresses Beauty Summer Camp will host girls in sixth through 12th grades. The camp teaches girls the essentials of braiding hair and provides an opportunity for kids in the Big Bend to learn a valuable skill while getting an education in Black history and culture.

The camp broadened its scope this year by adding makeup, nails, and skincare components.

“I want to expose the girls to more areas in the beauty industry. We will have professional cosmetologists and estheticians pour into them, and I will coordinate the braiding segments,” Williams said.

Williams started her passion for beauty as a little girl growing up in the 90s and figured out her path on her journey. In 2006 she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary teaching at FAMU.

Williams pivoted into the beauty industry because of the flexible schedule, allowing her the freedom to live a life she loves.

“I use core skills I was taught at FAMU. Those skills taught me how to teach haircare, build a curriculum, and create an experience the girls look forward to while learning,” she said.

Williams started the camp because she didn’t want this generation to have to figure things out like she did. “Girls today have so many resources with social media, YouTube, and the internet; I also want to be a resource so they don’t have to learn things on their own, and if they use the resources available, life will be better,” she said.

In an interview with WCTV, the salon owner stated, “We are reaching out to local businesses to educate the girls in financial literacy and money management just in case if the girls want to continue in the beauty industry, they know how to budget, manage their money and how to run their business.”

When asked why financial literacy is essential, Williams replied, “We teach the girls how to market to clientele and advertise their business. Financial literacy can apply to any industry. It educates them and gives them a head start in life.”

The camp attendees are learning skills that will help them throughout their lives for personal use and monetize in the future if they want to enter the beauty business.

Many people don’t know the history and culture of the Black community and braiding.

“Nails, makeup, and hair were here before we were born. We do the same thing and have the same pattern as the ones before us,” Williams said. “It’s important to know where it comes from. “

“There was a hierarchy of styles in African ancestry. Hairstyles signaled if someone was royalty or military and what class status they were in society. I use this as an icebreaker at the beginning of camp so girls can see where styles come from,” she added.

Phenomenal Tresses Beauty Summer Camp will host two-week sessions in June and July. The session dates are as follows:

Session 1: June 3-6; June 10-13

Session 2: June 17-20; June 24-27

Session 3: July 8-11; July 15-18

Session 4: July 22-25; July 29-August 1

“It is divided into two sections because it’s a lot of information for the girls to learn in one session. Each girl will receive a notebook with all the information they learned at the end of camp,” Williams said.

The registration costs include the kit with hair, nail, and makeup tools that the girls can use long after camp along with breakfast and lunch. People interested in the camp should contact Phenomenal Tresses at 850-332-3434.

Phenomenal Tresses will also host a similar event for college students.

“The college edition will allow women to get in the stylist’s chair and teach them how to get through. COVID taught us that it’s valuable to have that skill set,” Williams said.

The college edition will be announced before the fall semester begins.