Renee Callender


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In my Junior year of George Wingate High School, I got pregnant. I transferred to a school for unwed mothers so I would not miss any of my school credits because I had the dream of becoming a lawyer. At the age of sixteen I gave birth to a baby girl. She was a beautiful chocolate baby girl who was baldheaded. Everyone who would see her would ask me if she was a little boy.

I got her ears pierced and put pretty earrings on her but people still asked me if she was a boy. Finally I had had enough! I didn’t like that people thought she was a boy so every day I would sit her across my lap and proceed to twist her hair. Pretty soon, her started to grow. I then taught myself how to cornrow her hair.  My mother would watch and say “Wow!, Renee, that looks good. Maybe one day you will make a lot of money doing that.” I just laughed at her. I finished High School and attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After completing two years of college I got married and had five more children. I became a housewife and with my husbands help we raised our children to be independent, confident young men and women.

In 1985, I completed Robert Fiance School of Cosmetology and became a licensed Cosmetologist. I have worked in various legendary Hair Salons such as: Hair Weaving by Evelyn, O’Diane’s, Hairstyles by Joesph, Grace Monicia’s & Harold Melvins.  I now have my own business Renee’s Hair Designs with a multicultural clientele base. Renee’s Hair Designs cater to all hair textures. “When it comes to hair, there is no difference with what women want. African American, Latino, White American and Asian, etc. all want the same thing: FULLER hair.  I would like inspiring young people with my life experiences by letting them know that “YES, you can be what you want to be and if you make a

mistake, get over it, learn and get back up. As long set your goals and keep on dreaming to be something you can do it.