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Meet Minyshu Tafesse, Ethiopian - American and a business woman since 2000. She runs her own beauty salons, Abyssinia Hair Salon in Renton - Washington and Nairobi-Kenya!
Immigrant's salon caters to every kind of hair.
The name “Abyssinia” refers the Ethiopian empire that covered the northern half of Ethiopia till 1974. Even though Taffese is a Kenyan native, she named her salon in honor of her Ethiopian roots.
Miny Tafesse might greet you with a hug and warm sentiments. She might lead you into her salon with a gracious smile and a sincere interest in how you’re doing. It’s her soft, welcoming nature that can make her salon, Abyssinia Hair & Beauty Clinic, feel like home.
But there is nothing soft about how Tafesse runs her business.This entrepreneur still remembers her meek beginnings in Kenya where she opened her first salon with barely enough cash and a fiery passion for her craft.“I started the salon in Kenya with only $50,” she said. That salon, since its opening in 2000, has grown into a “high-end” hair and beauty clinic and has been Tafesse’s pride and joy.
When she moved to Renton in 2013 to be stay with her brother for a while, Tafesse couldn’t help but feel restless. So she worked to get her cosmetology license.
“I didn’t plan to be here forever,” she said. “But after I finished my training and got my license, I thought it was a good idea to start the business.”
Taffese prides herself in being able to start this salon all on her own and that too, without a loan. The salon doors opened in May 2015 and business has been booming since.
“The whole year I was testing the water,” said Taffese. “I saw potential for a promising and amazing place. I’m still hiring people and there’s a chance to expand.”
“The place caters to everyone,” she said. “Why? Because I’ve trained in different countries. So that eliminates discrimination. It’s 2016; it’s all about diversity!”
The salon also provides beauty therapy, styling sessions and a wide range of cosmetics and skin care products.Taffese credits her success to her ability to work hard and pass along her business values and ethics to her trainees.
“Me being here helps… immigrants,” she said. “Hard work can pay. Living in the United States, you have a huge opportunity. You have to do your part. Miracles cannot just fall from nowhere.”
“When I give [my] story to people, when I mentor young girls, I tell them, ‘If you have something to offer, you are an asset. Don’t start a business because you have money. Go into business with integrity. Ask yourself if I can do this without anybody backing me up. If the answer is yes, then you’re successful.’”
Taffese plans on opening other locations, preferably on a global scale, but isn’t in a hurry.
“I don’t believe in spreading your wings too much too fast,” she said. Currently, she is focused on training her staff to perfect their craft and teach them the ropes of the business.
For Taffese, money has never been the motivating factor to expand her salon kingdom. Rather, it’s been her genuine love for the craft.
“It’s all about passion,” she said. “I never even considered myself to be money-minded. I don’t prioritize money. I don’t have that kind of mindset. Am I creating a good atmosphere for my clients? Do I have all the necessary things for my clients? Those are my priorities.”
Taffese also helps less-advantaged students get education and training for free.
“If I see potential, I help them get placed,” she said.
With an empire that is slowly growing, Taffese isn’t about sit back and relax anytime soon.
“When things become challenging… when you give me a hard time and I can’t give you what you’re looking for, that’s my favorite part,” she said. “Because it makes me work harder. If everything is smooth, then I sleep. And I don’t like sleep. I work seven days a week.”
Abyssinia Hair & Beauty Clinic is located in 203 S. 2nd St.
We are pretty flexible.
I love the customer service, clean work station, and great hair cut from Abyssinia.
Owner Miny is very polite and took pride in her work.
I highly recommend to visit Abyssinia. You will not be disappointed.
I wanted more than my usual "summer trim" so I knew I had to choose wisely... thanks to the reviews and a gut feeling I did just that.
Such fantastic work, joy, and care applied to my summer transformation. Thank- you so much! I will return again and again!
I went to Abyssinia on a whim for an all over color while I was in Renton for my daughter's cheer camp. Mini was wonderful. She was polite and sweet. She explained how the color isn't harsh or damaging...I normally use semi-permanent color because I have long hair. I live about 2 hours from the salon but I would totally make that drive every time to get my hair done with Mini again.
Miny is the best!!!! I chose a complex hair color and she went and got all she needed and took her time with my hair!!!! Her work is flawless, I tell you. Got many compliments at work....will definitely be going back!!!!
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