By: Richard Darryl Nichols, IVN
Fontana, CA — Do you want braids or Locs? If you answered Locs, I encourage you to begin your loc journey at the Locafella Loc Studio. Locafella Loc Studio is an all-inclusive all-natural hair salon with highly skilled locticians specializing in all things locs, twists, and braids.
Within one year, Jasmin Thomas is the proud, young, and beautiful owner of two salons, one at 7653 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles and another one is located at 7337 East Ave Suite H, Fontana, Ca 92336. Thomas started the Fontana salon on April 11, 2021. Less than a year later, she opened the salon in Los Angeles in January 2022.
Thomas has been in the hair business for over 14 years. She started in her father’s, Timothy Stansell, barbershop, Thee Latest II Hair and Barber Shop in Rancho Cucamonga. It was her father who inspired her to open her business. Thomas has a degree in psychology from Chico State University. She had to choose between a career in probation or social work or opening a business in the hair business. The clients at her father’s barber shop were overflowing. Her father told her, “It is about entrepreneurship. You go it. Go for it. It is a new time.” With that encouragement from her father, who has four businesses, she ventured out and her dream became her reality. She recruited a team of some of the best locticians in the city. Being a locticians doesn’t require a license but Thomas requires her employees to have outstanding skills, good character, and morals. They must fit “the brand.” “What they are about and how they represent the brand reflects me,” added Thomas. Thomas is not selfish. She stated, “People that I am unable to do, they can sit in someone’s else chair and get high quality services. “
Thomas’s father giving her space in his shop gave her an opportunity to learn the “game” Opening her salon made her aware of how to operate a business. She learned the dos and don’ts. She learned how to communicate with her stylist. She has learned how to be firm and fair.
Thomas lays down the rules of the salon. The employees know the rules and what Thomas expects of them. Thomas has a meeting, and she explains that she demands excellence and how she wants things to function. Thomas declares, “God is a God of excellence and cleanness” “If the employees are going to work there, they must bring their best. If they don’t, they can’t come there because my name is on that. They reflect me.” Hearing the concerns of employees is also important. The employees can express what they need.
Thomas did not face any challenges when she opened the salon in Fontana. She had the finances to do what she needed. She was able to pick out what she wanted and pay for it. She was working with her father and was able to save money. On the other hand, the building in Los Angeles was 31 years old and needed a lot of renovation. With careful consideration she acquired a business loan. She felt this was the hardest year of her life. She is thankful to God that she was able to pay the loan off in six months.
Thomas has 17 employees; seven in Fontana and ten in Los Angeles; and they are all women. Thomas said that can be an ordeal because the women can be caddy and petty. Thomas explained, “Keeping the ladies on the same page, not getting them on the same page, but keeping them on the same page is a challenge. Thomas wants you to feel happy. “It is an experience. It is the Locafella Way.” Thomas explained to her employees that “you never know who is going to walk through the door and who will be sitting in the chair until you start talking to them. Everyone goes through something whether you know it or not. It is our job to bridge between a good day or a bad day. We are the hair therapist. We become the therapist behind the chair. We have two jobs, doing hair and instilling positivity and energy while we are touching your hair.”
Thomas is very proud with the excellence in which she operates her businesses. It is her brand. She has products on Amazon and in Wal-Mart. She has commercials on BET, MTV, and VH-1. She is proud that her business is from a dream to where it is now.
Thomas started playing basketball when she was five years old. She played through high school and college. Her talents helped her obtain a basketball scholarship to Chico State University. This experience has taught her a discipline mindset. Thomas is a firm believer in the fact that if she starts something, she is going to finished it. She is not a quitter. Her mother and father instilled in her math and life skills which has helped her to be successful. Thomas is a lover of people. She declares, “I am successful, not because of money but because I am rich in spirit, rich in mind and rich with people around me. The community has found a home in Locafella Loc Studio. “It is not just me, because I can’t do this by myself. All 17 of us are making an impact in the communities we serve. We cover a lot of ground,” proudly stated.
Thomas is the granddaughter of funk legend Rick James. “I owe a lot to the Rick James legacy. He is a legend in his own right. “I want to be a legend in my own way,” said Thomas. Thomas is a mentor, a role model, and a young Black businesswoman. She is intelligent and beautiful.