PBA connects with Genia Church during #BlackHistoryMonth to explore her passion for pushing the beauty industry forward.
“My hope is that we have moved [in 5 years from now] the needle forward and see the beauty and value of the art and skill that each artist brings, no matter the skin color.”
Genia Church is a celebrity hairstylist and the owner of The Collective Epiphany. She’s an award-winning colorist and is on the Schwarzkopf USA Artist Team. A PBA member, a NAHA 2020 Haircolor Finalist, and an inspiration to the beauty industry – we’re thrilled to spotlight Genia this month!
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT EMBODYING AS A BLACK BEAUTY PROFESSIONAL?
I am most passionate about being a Black beauty professional who embodies the true meaning of being a Multi-faceted, Craft Hairstylist and Educator, that will inspire and empower the next generation of Black beauty professionals. I also want to be responsible with my voice, in the space or platform that I’m given, to showcase my talent and artistry as an artist- that happens to be Black.
“I am most passionate about being a Black beauty professional who embodies the true meaning of being a Multi-faceted, Craft Hairstylist and Educator, that will inspire and empower the next generation of Black beauty professionals.”
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’RE FACING AS A BLACK BEAUTY PROFESSIONAL RIGHT NOW?
Currently, the biggest challenge I’m facing as a Black beauty professional is navigating the requirements to enter the Union for TV/Film. There is a huge demand from Black Actors and Actresses, who have spoken out, about the need to add more Black beauty professionals to the Union. This is largely, in part, due to the limited number of current union beauty professionals experienced in working with textured hair and darker skin tones. There are very limited opportunities or access to gain hours to meet the requirements. As much as this can be a challenge for myself and others, it can also be discouraging for some to even try.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST NEEDED TO PUSH THE INDUSTRY INTO A MORE DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE SPACE?
I think incorporating intentional continuous education in diversity training is needed to help create a more inclusive space within our industry. Also, creating opportunities to highlight more diverse beauty professionals could bring a heightened awareness to a pool of talent that could enrich future industry initiatives. Lastly, creating focus groups to help identify the needs of minority beauty professionals will aid in keeping our industry relevant and inclusive.
IN YOUR IDEAL WORLD, WHAT DOES THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY LOOK LIKE IN 5 YEARS?
In my ideal world, I would love the reality, in our industry, where we are no longer having to say “the first Black ….” Within the next 5 years, my hope is that we have moved the needle forward and see the beauty and value of the art and skill that each artist brings, no matter the skin color.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF GIVEN WHAT YOU KNOW NOW?
I would say to my younger self, “Trust the process and timing in your life.” “Never stop learning.” “It’s never too late to evolve!” We live in a space of instant gratification. Sometimes we rush the process and get overwhelmed because we don’t have the skill set, bandwidth or life experience to handle our current position. This industry is a marathon and not a sprint. The skill sets (business systems) needed to build endurance (longevity) will carry you through any challenges you may face when building and sustaining your business.
“My hope is that we have moved the needle forward and see the beauty and value of the art and skill that each artist brings, no matter the skin color.”-GENIA CHURCH
Follow Genia Church on Instagram @geniachurch.