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Lakeland beauty bar owner elevates

Most small businesses struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic, with reports showing a third of them closed their doors for good during that time.


What You Need To Know

  •  Experts say up to a third of businesses closed their doors permanently because of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Shaquilla Williams, who opened Dior Beauty & Esthetics Lounge in 2020, was named a finalist for Businesswoman of the Year by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce
  • She said she opened her business to empower women through non-invasive alteration

“It was hard because of the timing — I had really just started,” said beautician, Shaquilla Williams, who opened Dior Beauty & Esthetics Lounge in Lakeland in 2020. “But after I got started, things took off.”

Shortly after she opened her doors, she was awarded a small minority business grant by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce to help with costs.

“The chamber has really helped a lot,” said Williams. “I actually was nominated as Businesswoman of the Year — that’s big, especially being a new business owner.”

While Williams did not ultimately win the award, she said that wasn’t the point of her business anyway — she opened Dior Beauty & Esthetics Lounge to empower women through non-invasive alteration.

“This is red light therapy,” she said, pointing one machine. “This one helps to melt the fat, and this one makes your butt bigger and rounder — a more lifted look.”

Williams said her business has doubled in the last year.

“Business has been great,” she said. “Honestly, I have built more clients than expected and they all come back. Seeing them feel good about their results makes me happy.”

Members of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce continue to express their support businesses and business owners who offer new and unique services to the city.