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Meet Blessing Chitanda and Shawn Roberts of STUDIO 27 in South End

Today we’d like to introduce you to Blessing Chitanda and Shawn Roberts.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Blessing and Shawn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in Zimbabwe into a family of ten children. As the daughter of a hair salon owner, I showed great interest at an early age in hair, practicing my first “clients”, Barbie dolls. Growing up, my mother would allow me to assist at the family salon while on vacation from school. Following my dream of one day opening my own salon, I moved to Boston in 1998 and graduated in 2000 from Libbs Hair Academy.

After successful completion of my studies, I was fortunate enough to be hired by Boston’s famous Danny’s His and Her Salon under the superior guidance of the late master-stylist, Danny Toon. At Danny’s I honed my skills working with celebrities and politicians alike. In 2013, I opened STUDIO 27. My ultimate goal at STUDIO 27 has always been to help everyone embrace and love their hair in the most relaxing environment possible. In 2015, I was awarded as Improper Bostonian’s #1 stylist for Extensions in Boston!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As with any business based on passion, STUDIO 27 has faced some unique challenges along the way. Prior to opening, we struggled to secure financing, ultimately pushed to use our own personal resources. To run a top quality salon, I was and am dedicated not only to find and train a team but retain them as great staff members as well. I focus on boosting staff morale in order to keep my stylists happy and motivated. Another challenge has been maintaining our level of customer service while continuing to improve and grow the salon simultaneously. With all of these essential aspects of a business to consider, it’s expected that when you first start up, there will be times when it feels like you’re wearing too many hats.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the STUDIO 27 story. Tell us more about the business.
STUDIO 27 is a multi-cultural salon located in Boston’s South End specializing in African American hair styling. We are known for installing weaves, whether it be a full leave out, sew-in, or closure. My specialty is applying beautiful, natural looking weaves proven to be gentle and safe for natural hair. We pride ourselves on tape-in extensions for ethnicities that need to add length to their hair. All of our stylists are excellent at working with natural hair, especially thick textures that are often challenging. Specialty cuts-whether it’s a bob or pixie-we got you covered! I invite all clients, regardless of hair type, to stop in for a chat, a cup of coffee, and beautiful hair!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck has played an important role in my life because it brought me to my partner, Shawn. Shawn took a chance on me to pursue a career that he would never have considered on his own. Together, we’ve made many sacrifices, managing to overcome personal and financial obstacles so that my dream of owning a salon could become a reality. I guess that’s where luck comes in play!

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