Matee Freeman

Paynesville, Liberia

My name is Matee Freeman. I am 26 years old, and I cut hair and sell cosmetics.

I started braiding hair in Ivory Coast. I had to move there from Liberia to escape the war. When we returned to Liberia, I started to braid students’ hair, and I started to improve at it. From there, I started braiding in attachments [extensions] and weaving hair.

I had it in mind that I should make this skill my business in life, so I started asking customers for payment. I intend to open a salon. That is my goal. But for now, I have started the business right in my front yard. My mother helped me with this little establishment. “This will be your salon,” she said.

“The BTCA training taught me about customer service, business ethics and how to rise above your competitors. As I learnt all these lessons, I started to apply them to my business. Now I have more customers than ever before.”

"People say that they are impressed with my business, and it makes me feel good and encourages me to move forward. At the start, they thought I could not make it, but today, here I am, and I am improving every day."

It was not easy to start the business. There are many people who braid hair. It was hard to get started in my community because most people go to a different part of town get their hair done. Once I started to braid a few people’s hair, people would end up asking them where they got it done and would find out that it was me. They would say, “You mean that girl that is sitting on the porch there? Well, then she can really plait hair!” And that is how they started coming.

The BTCA training taught me about customer service, business ethics and how to rise above your competitors. As I learnt all these lessons, I started to apply them to my business. Now I have more customers than ever before.

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