The end of 2019 was a whirlwind period for Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star Sierra Gates. Between court cases, diminishing friendships, relationship troubles and a traumatic school incident involving one of her children, she had her fair share of drama. But if you’re only watching the current season of the show to get a glimpse into what her life is like, you’re only getting a really small part of her story.
The Atlanta-based salon owner is an eternal optimist who will find a way to push forward no matter what, and she’ll always have a good word for those around her. And right now, during this pandemic, she is working on one of her biggest and most rewarding ventures, one she holds near and dear to her heart—making moguls out of Black women.
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Where many others see being in quarantine due to COVID-19 as a detriment to their livelihood and everything they’ve been working toward, Gates has decided to see it as a sign to slow down, take a breath and refocus her energy into giving back to her sisters.
“We really have to come together more as a unit to just figure this all out,” Gates tells ESSENCE. “What I’ve been doing, and what God laid on my heart, is just encouraging women to start their own. And I feel like my assignment during these times is to use my platform to pour into other women. What can I do to help my sister or the girl next to me?”
Gates knows all too well what it is to struggle and go without. At just 15 years old she became a mother and dropped out of high school as a result. She also revealed on the show that she had a tough journey with her weight loss and body image, and has to work on her own insecurities daily. And it’s only been four years since The Glam Shop and her other business ventures really took off.
In just eight weeks she’s seen women go from being laid off from their jobs and fraught with worry to making their first sales due to her online courses. She’s proud that she’s able to share the secrets to her success as well as all the mistakes that she made so that they can avoid them.
She’s up late most nights just answering DMs from women who have questions about everything from how she glowed up to where she gets her hair and makeup. And she’s happy to engage with them. It’s a refreshing change from her typical schedule, which sees her touring with her microblading courses every weekend most months out of the year, then filming and only taking one month off.
“I wasn’t connecting with the people because I really didn’t have a chance. I would have never really had time to do that,” she says. “But I’ve been really just trying to focus on all of the good stuff that I’ve been getting out of being home and having time to think and asking God how He needs to use me.
“In the beauty industry our talent is to help people, so this is the time to really test to see where your heart really is—if you were really in this just for the money or if you were really a beauty person,” she continues. “So in tough times, are you really willing to help somebody for real like our job titles say we do?”
The entrepreneur also has a new book out titled Make A Million, Maintain A Million, in which she details how she frivolously spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on clothes, shoes and cars when she made her first million because she thought she was rich.
As the money diminished, she found out that she needed good credit and a plan, and that’s when Gates realized that there was more to being a businesswoman. Now she’s known for the saying “mind the business that pays you,” and she’s passing on the foundation of that quote to women who look just like her.
A quick scroll through her Instagram account will make you laugh and inspire you to boss up. It will also help you understand exactly why her webinars are so popular.
Ja’Mecca Davenport, who owns The Royal Brow in Atlanta, has been taking Sierra’s webinars and immediately saw the difference it made in her business. The 39-year-old business owner remembers how excited Gates was for her when she made her first $30K in 30 days.
“During these trying times, honestly, it is webinars like Sierra’s that give you that much-needed encouragement and drive that’s so hard to get a grasp on during a pandemic,” Davenport says. “Prior to Sierra’s recent webinar, I was actually at a mental block [in my] business because I was only offering brow services. Since the [program] I’ve decided to give my service menu a makeover. Every experience I’ve encountered with Sierra has been inspiring. She is truly a girl boss who wants to see other girl bosses win!”
And Gates wouldn’t have it any other way. While she’s grateful for the platform that Love & Hip Hop Atlanta has given her, she’s certain that helping these women is her true calling and the key to real success.
“I just love what I do and I just thank God that he is allowing me to live out my true dreams,” she finishes.Share :