South Florida stylist Jo Ann ‘Silky’ Rolle and daughter Shynice Ashley share insights after their Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show experience
South Florida stylist Jo Ann “Silky” Rolle and daughter Shynice Ashley, an aspiring stylist, during the recent Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show, in Atlanta, Ga.
By Charles Moseley
Ever since she was a little girl around the age of 10, Jo Ann “Silky” Rolle enjoyed doing hair for her family and friends. Eventually she became known as one of South Florida’s top hairstylists, specializing in natural hair styles. During a stint with the Trendsetters Natural Hair Beauty Salon, Rolle along with her daughter Shynice Ashley, recently took part in the annual Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show held in Atlanta, Ga. on Feb. 20-22, 2016.
The mother and daughter team now have set their sights on creating a new business venture aptly named Silk and Honey Glam Co., aimed at taking styling to the next level. The new company will provide hairstyling, nails and makeup services and also offer Silk & Honey Virgin Hair and other retail hair and beauty products in the near future. Rolle has been in the hair care profession for 21 years.
Rolle originally hails from Boston, Mass. but grew up right in the heart of Fort Lauderdale’s African American Community in the Parkway neighborhood. She also spent a brief stint in Alamogordo, N.M. as a teenager along with her younger brother, Thomas.
Rolle credits her mother for instilling in her a strong work ethic and independent nature. Those assets helped Rolle professionally and personally. Rolle, a single mom, raised her three children- Ashley, James, and Tyson – while building a career as a hair stylist.
“My mother was the late Cobretha Belle Rolle of Fort Lauderdale. She had nine children and I am the seventh child out of seven girls and two boys. She raised us all as a single parent but always instilled God first, love for others next and to never give up on our goals and dreams. She worked very hard to provide for us and always made a way. I remember my mother pressing our hair as a kid and telling us about how she did all the hair pressing in Dixie Court when she was a young girl. And she was my very first inspiration to be a professional hairstylist some-day,” said Rolle.
The Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show is at the top of the list when it comes to showcasing every aspect of the health and beauty industry relating to women of color, in the world. People from across the globe come to participate in hair styling competitions which include: Andis Total Look Barbering Competition; Nail Art Competition; Student Rising Star Competition; Grab Bag Competition & Dare To Inspire Competition.
Virtually everyone who’s at the top of their game in the hair care industry participates annually, making for a Who’s Who of well-known artists. This year proved to be no exception. Among those industry leaders on hand for this year’s show included the likes of: celebrity hair stylist Andre Walker-personal stylist for Oprah Winfrey; Johnny Wright-personal stylist for First Lady Michelle Obama; Neal Farinah-personal stylist for Beyonce and Mary J. Blige; Sam-P Fine-celebrity make-up Artist for Tyra Banks, Vanessa Williams, Patti Labelle, and Iman; and Takisha Sturdivant-Drew-celebrity hair stylist for Kerry Washington, Iman, Sanaa Latham, and Amber Riley.
Silky took advantage of every opportunity to pick up tips from some of the top professional stylists in the industry.
“I attended a cutting class by one of my favorite well known hairstylists and excellent instructors, Micheline Barber of Impact Beauty, in Tampa, Fla.
“I enjoyed attending a class taught by highly acclaimed stylist Charles Gregory. He taught a class called Fab Finishes in which he taught students how to do hairstyles like Up Dos on the set or in the salon,” added Rolle.
The mother and daughter tandem took some time to share some of their insights on family, the health and beauty industry, and their plans for the future with the Westside Gazette newspaper during a recent interview.
Westside Gazette (WG)-When did you first become interested in doing hair?
Rolle: I first became interested in hair care as a young girl, maybe around the age of 10.I really started doing hairstyles on my sisters, cousins and friends in the neighborhood. I knew from then that I wanted that to be my profession when I got older. I knew it was my passion.
WG: Share how you went from doing hair as a young girl to becoming a stylist?
Rolle: While a senior at Dillard High I decided to go on to cosmetology school after graduation. So I went to a counselor at school who helped me find a scholarship to attend the vocational School of my choice. And I chose Sheridan Voc. Tech,. which turned out to be a great decision due to the very versatile, and knowledgeable instructors, which wasn’t the case at some of the private schools around town.
While in Cosmo School I started seeking out a job as a shampoo assistant in hopes to learn more about the business while I was training. After searching through the yellow pages, ‘cause there was no internet back then (lol), I called all the popular salons to see who was hiring. Most wanted licensed professionals to rent a booth and I wasn’t ready for that yet. Finally I got a woman on the phone, Miss Shirley Davis, from A New You Salon who was hiring. So after agreeing to interview me I got the job as her personal assistant in her salon. I worked with her doing a lot more than shampoos, like consultations, relaxers, Jeri curls, finger waves, etc. which prepared me to be a professional hairstylist. I worked with her for two years.
WG: You formally were with Natural Trend Setters a very well known beauty salon. What was that experience like?
Rolle: Working with Natural Trendsetters was a tremendous opportunity for me. I worked with the company when natural hair was becoming popular and Black women were beginning to realize they needed or wanted to go back to their “natural roots”. A lot of them were dealing with hair and scalp conditions like alopecia, psoriasis, and allergies to chemicals but was too afraid to make the transition based on the fact natural hair wasn’t as acceptable socially or professionally.
As a matter of fact, I was not even comfortable with the thought of being a natural hairstylist when I first started with them. I was cool with just being the chemical stylist there. But Simone and Yanique Hylton, owners of the salon, encouraged me to get out of my own way and learn natural styling and hair care. And thank God they did because I can say being a natural hair care stylist has been very rewarding over the years. We convinced a lot of people that natural hair is good, and they should do whatever was needed to make them happy and beautiful.
WG: You recently took your daughter to one of the leading hair shows in the industry, The Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show. That was a new experience for both of you. Share some of the things that you did during the show and how you plan to take your career to the next level.
Rolle: I’m ecstatic that Shynice decided to be a part of this industry. She’s always been a very artsy person so I knew that the beauty business would be a great match for her. It wasn’t easy convincing her hair was for her at first. Nails was her first love. But she quickly realized after high school and nail school, she had the natural gift of hairstyling. And figured she can simply do both. And you know that made me happy!!! So I thought who better to team up with, to keep growing in the industry, than my baby girl!!
We’ve always been pretty close and I knew this would be a great opportunity to train her for success in the industry. So now I feel I have my partner in crime with me on my journey!! And I look forward to seeing her help as many people as possible and I know she will be very successful in this business!!
WG: You grew up watching your mom working in the health & beauty profession what was that like and what made you decide to follow in your mom’s footsteps.
Shynice Ashley: Ever since I was a baby, my mom would do my hair and dress me up for pictures. Being in the salon my whole life, I grew a passion for beauty. I enjoyed watching my mom do hair and seeing the clients happy in the end. She made it more than just getting your hair done but it was also hair therapy. She always did what was best for the clients. To me, the beauty industry is about helping people feel good about themselves on the outside and my mom would do just that every single time. That’s my passion. I feel I was destined to help people in that way. It’s a plus that I have been blessed to know how to do hair, nails and makeup.”
WG: How was your first experience at the Bronner Brothers Hair Show? And what did you take away from sharing that experience with your mom?
Ashley: The Bronner Brothers Convention in Atlanta was a great experience. They had tons of vendors with great products and deals but my favorite part was the classes they had for licensed professionals. I am a licensed nail technician so I attended a nail class which was very informative. My mom and I networked with great people. Overall it was a very productive