Just recently, Veronica Taylor-Lanehart took the time to assess and recall her inspiring, memorable upbringing in Memphis.
“I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee,” Taylor-Lanehart told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during an exclusive interview. “We moved from North Memphis, to Frayser to Raleigh to Bartlett.”
There is a distinctly amazing reason why, of course.
“My mom wasn’t a quitter,” Taylor-Lanehart said while exhibiting her customary smile.
Fortunately for Taylor-Lanehart, with God, her Helper, leading the way, coupled with the life-enhancing values and lessons she was taught during her days of growing up in her native hometown, her signature smile has become nothing short of bigger nowadays.
Amongst the grandest reasons for her spirited, joyful disposition is that despite the array of adversities she’s endured over the years, Taylor-Lanehart stayed focused on the vision by which her Creator had instilled in her, a vision whereby she would become greatly empowered and resourceful, all while fortifying her divine purpose in the process.
A flourishing, Memphis-based business owner for 12 years and counting, Taylor-Lanehart, 45, is owner and chief operating officer of Nappy Hair Is Happy Hair Salon, located at 5840 Stage Road in Bartlett, Tennessee, just minutes from her the community in which she grew up.
Talk about homegrown and demonstrating love and admiration for the Bluff City, all while persevering her way past life’s toughest of hurdles en route to establishing a solid, stable business venture as a result.
In addition, Taylor-Lanehart’s salon caters only to natural clients a chemical-free all products, including the hair and body butter she makes called “Trinity Butter-All.”
“I have been in business since 2004 with no breaks,” Taylor-Lanehart explained. “I raised four children alone after my divorce while growing my business. I am very happy with what I do and the love pride and support from my. My children and my family keep me motivated. (And) now that I have a husband that never stops me when I have a vision or have to work late…Well that’s just the icing on the cake.”
As she tells it, her past history through athletics also played a vital role in her ability to shift her focus toward entrepreneurship.
“Sports taught me to always think of how to stay in the game,” said Taylor-Lanehart, sounding a lot like someone who’s armed with wisdom, yet she knows all the right things to say. “(Sports taught me to) never give up…like when I took that direct hit to the chest in soccer, (from) stopping the other team from getting their ball back in the game. It took the breath (out of) me, but I quickly got it back together.”
And because of her keen desire not to allow her faith to waver, she, in turn, has evolved as a stellar business owner in the greater Memphis-metropolitan area.
“The thing I like most about my business is the fact that I have met some wonderful people,” Taylor-Lanehart said. “We laugh, pray, cry…we are family.”
Speaking of family, according to Taylor-Lanehart, no one has had a monumental impact on her rise as a progressive entrepreneur than her grandmother who, along with her mother and prior to her demise, encouraged her granddaughter to spread her wings and broaden her horizon unlike anyone else.
“My grandmother was my inspiration for the theme of the salon,” Taylor-Lanehart said. “God has since called her home. However, she had the chance to walk the salon and smile at her grandbabies’ accomplishment.
Interesting enough, grandma was one who had jokes — literally.
“One of my happiest moments was when she tried to bribe me out of my antique radio,” Taylor-Lanehart said with a grin. “My mother had a more direct approach when she said, ‘Baby girl, your blessing is in your hands.’ I was stubborn so it took a while to catch on.”
Today, unlike never before, Taylor-Lanehart is not only living out her grandmother’s legacy through her successful business, but she’s steadfastly fortifying her vision and divine purpose.
With God, her Helper, leading the way.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for Memphis port. A 2000 graduate of the University Of Memphis School Of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.