NEW TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A local Black-owned beauty school is celebrating Black Business Month with a big accomplishment and by giving back to its students.
The Dolly Monroe Beauty Academy was founded in 2018 by licensed esthetician, Dolly Monroe. The academy is located in New Tampa and gives students an opportunity to earn their esthetician and make-up artistry licenses.
Over the course of this past year, the academy earned more than $1 million in revenue. The owner says she has used and continues to use that money to invest back into the students’ education through renovations, enhanced curriculums, and eventually scholarships.
“As a minority woman, I cannot tell you the message that sends to our young estheticians across the world,” Monroe says. “The fact that we’re able to provide our students with all of these improvements and amenities during National Black Business Month makes this all the more special.”
As a Black business owner, she’s hoping to serve as an example to her students and the community.
“I’ve had my own challenges and experiences breaking into the industry, but what I want to encourage young Black women is if I can do it, you can do it too,” she said.
The academy offers three different programs: 300-hour track, 600-hour track, or online courses. Students can earn their esthetician and make-up artistry licenses in as little as seven weeks but can go up to 18 weeks. Monroe’s program was designed with a hands-on curriculum in mind, which is contrary to Monroe’s personal school experience.
“They pretty much put me in a back office and told me to watch VHS videos of my entire esthetics education,” Monroe said. “No books, nothing of value. I couldn’t fathom someone else going through that experience.”
Now in her 5,000 square-foot space, students learn everything from anatomy, to waxing, facials, make-up, and eyelashes.
“I’ve always been interested in health overall, so I found this to be a great way to help people feel their best and treat themselves,” Naomi Sincere, a student at DMBA, said.
So far the academy has graduated 266 out of 267 students. To learn more about the program, click here.