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Blessing in the beauty industry

Owner says she was led by God to open schools

Thalia Mejia practices on a wig as she learns the finer points of hairstyling at RItz Beauty Academy.

Thalia Mejia practices on a wig as she learns the finer points of hairstyling at RItz Beauty Academy.

— Rita Minta said she used the biblical principle of “sowing and reaping” to fulfill her dream of starting a business.

“I decided to open a school and I stepped out on faith,” Minta said. “I went to church and my pastor preached about sowing. I remember him saying, ‘You have to sow to get the amount of money you are believing God for.’ ”

Minta, a member of World Changers Church International, said as she listened to Creflo Dollar minister on seed time and harvest time, she began to believe God for money to open Ritz Beauty Academy in Morrow.

Minta said she went from selling make-up at a small kiosk in Shannon Mall to opening the beauty school Aug. 17, 2011.

“My business began to flourish in a short time,” she said. “I believe God gave me everything I needed. I had enough money to build my beauty school in Morrow debt free. That’s when the Holy Spirit told me to be a blessing.”

Minta said she allowed 25 students to attend the beauty school for free. She also lowered the beauty school tuition from $8,500 to $1,500 to allow more students to attend.

“Then, all of a sudden, everything began to dry up,” she said. “While I was going through my hardship, God gave me another vision to open up a barber school. I kept pushing and I didn’t give up. I finished the barber school by faith. Everything that I lost I got it back. God restored me!”

She opened her barber school Feb. 21, 2012, and it is adjacent to her beauty school.

“I gave a couple of the guys free tuition and lowered the tuition from $8,500 to $500 for the first six people so other students could attend,” she said.

Minta purchased Fayette Beauty Academy in Fayetteville last year in August.

“God gave me the money to purchase the school in Fayetteville,” she said. “It was His doing.”

Vanessa Lynn, an instructor at Ritz Beauty Academy, said she enjoys working with enthusiastic students. They are the ones who usually excel as trendsetters in the beauty industry, she said. She advises her students to never stop learning.

“When you stop learning in the beauty industry, it puts you in a box,” Lynn said. “Cosmetologists should be creative, like an artist working with a blank canvas.”

Lynn said Ritz Beauty Academy offers something different than other beauty schools. Instructors at the academy teach advanced skills to help prepare the students to become self sufficient in the beauty industry.

“We take learning to another level,” Lynn added. “We go far beyond what a student would learn in a book. The book is only about the basic skills. The advanced skills, techniques and experience we have in this industry is rare. Students who take advantage of that so rather well after they graduate.”

Minta said her students have a 100-percent passing rate for their state board exams.

Thalia Mejia, 23, is in her third month at the beauty academy. Mejia said she often imagines how she wants her hairstyles to look before she starts working on a mannequin. Sometimes, she said, she is surprised when the hair style turns out better than she had anticipated.

“I like to make people look pretty,” she said. “I have learned how to style, cut and roller set different hairstyles. I heard that this was a professional school and tuition here was a good price for me. I tried it and I like it.”

Anthony White is a fifth-month barber student at the academy. White said he is a third-generation barber. He said he is a “people person” and enjoys interacting with customers.

“Barbers have been in my family for a while,” he said. “My grandfather and uncles were barbers in Newark, N.J. This school has more product knowledge than any other school that checked into before I enrolled here.”