Keiya: becoming her own boss

Three questions to ask yourself in this time of uncertainty with COVID-19 causing so many people to stay in their homes.

Do I need some motivation in isolation?

How best can I spend my time in isolation to better myself? 

Will you let your circumstances stop you?


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One girl who has let nothing stop her even when all the odds were stacked against her is Keiya! She is not only a girl boss who has mastered the art of a side hustle but has also found ways to give back to her community using her entrepreneurship to smash the limiting glass ceiling.

Her journey is nowhere near the end but only the beginning of something great. 23-year old Keiya nail technician and a recent digital marketing graduate. She firstly studied English at the  University of Nottingham in the hopes of doing a law conversion and later on took on a Masters at BCU. 

 “I had this idea to become a lawyer or barrister to fight for people” 

It seems like that fighting spirit was always going to come out one way or another. 

Her plans situation changed and couldn’t carry out the conversion course she desired but that didn’t stop her from working to fight those who are in need. It was during her undergrad course she learned how to do nails and practice of friends and family. 

She wanted to start something of her own and wasted no time doing so. She then decided to stay in Nottingham to learn how to be a nail technician. The course paid off as she got clients.


“ By this point, I was really kickstarting my nail business. I thought I may as well start my master’s in something that will benefit my company. I thought marketing, you need to know how to market yourself as a business and since everything is online now so that’s what brought me to digital marketing. I applied for it, unsure of whether I’d get it or not; literally a month before the deadline”.

Why Nails?

“From a young age, I’d always wanted to start my own business. I also really wanted to do law so I thought I ‘d have my own law firm. I’ve always been very entrepreneurial and I’d go get my nails done after school a lot when I was young”.


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She didn’t know how to run a proper business until she enrolled in a week-long enterprise program that helped her understand the basics of business. This girl didn’t let anything stop her from being the best and getting the information she needed to be the best she can be. 

“I decided to take my business seriously, I began branding, creating social accounts and really engaging with other accounts and customers and building the business properly.

Throughout her Masters’ postgraduate degree Keiya faced a major struggle…

She revealed how “A lot of people may be embarrassed to say this but whilst I did my masters for a period of time I was homeless”.

Keiya sofa surfed constantly and at times she wouldn’t know where she’d sleep that night. “My mentality throughout has just been you have to do this because I have to make a change. You want your future, your family to have a different life. I’ve lived in so many different areas in Birmingham, it’s crazy.” 


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Regardless of your circumstances, Keiya’s story just goes to show what being strong-willed and having the ambition to achieve your goal can produce. Currently the world is under such uncertainty but how can we use this time in isolation due to COVID-19 to better ourselves as young people and improve on our skill-set the way Keiya did? 

Become unstoppable.

Keiya’s experience being homeless sparked the start of her next project, she was vocal about not wanting to do nails forever though having her own salons is part of her dream. Keiya wants to help other young girls in the same position who are homeless and become a positive role model. Her plan is to create a social enterprise business that will train young girls to become fully qualified nail technicians to drive awareness to youth homelessness which is underrepresented in the media.  

“It won’t put a roof over their heads” she says, but it will provide them with a qualification that will get them a job, help their mental wellbeing and give them something to look forward to and also connects them with other people.

Her journey is inspiring and it’s nowhere near the end.

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