New York City, NY — by Noor Maahin
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
At a time when it’s increasingly difficult to find affordable beauty services around Manhattan, students running small businesses from their dorms are filling that void for us. Here’s how three students transformed cramped quarters into beauty sanctuaries, offering budget-friendly alternatives and promoting creative expression in our residence halls.
Hair braiding has been a part of CAS junior Assiy Traore’s life for as long as she can remember. Growing up with her mother working as a hair braider, the practice is a way of connecting with her family and greater community. The influence of Malian and Senegalese culture in her life has also allowed her to build her practice naturally. Traore was able to hone her skills by both practicing the styles she observed growing up, and incorporating modern trends she learned from platforms like YouTube and TikTok.
Jewelry is more than a fashion statement for Steinhardt sophomore Aashi Shukla — it’s a way for her to stay connected to her Indian background wherever she goes.
“With every step I take, my culture is with me,” Shukla said.
Shukla took this connection with her culture and transformed it into her jewelry-making business, Pororo House. At first, it was no more than a hobby, but it gained momentum when her friends expressed interest in her work.
Nails by Brit
Tandon junior Britney Urrutia always had a passion for nail design. Growing up gawking over the delicate, polished nails of her family members, the art form came easily for Urrutia.
“Seeing my mom and my older cousins having their nails done was a way to demonstrate femininity,” Urrutia said. “It is a way to still feel and look cute and put together … it makes you feel feminine.”
Spurred by her interest in the beauty industry, Urrutia’s nail business journey began with curious exploration. With her first client, Urrutia was simply experimenting with design and color.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.