Women in Business Profile: Tranquil Ratliff Crosby-Sophisticated Hair Design & Beauty Supplies
Love, love, love this lady! Tranquil has been my “next door neighbor” in DeRidder’s Downtown Historic District since we bought our buildings 6 years ago. She has always been a wonderful neighbor and I am proud to call this Survivor my friend! -Terri
Mrs. Tranquil Ratliff Crosby
Tranquil Crosby is a native of New Orleans, La, where she is the oldest of 3 children. Born on January 15, 1981, Tranquil is a 1998 graduate of L.B. Landry Senior High School and 1999 graduate of Stevenson Hair Academy, both in New Orleans. After graduation, Tranquil worked as a lead stylist at N-Style Barber and Beauty Salon, where she mastered her craft and developed a goal and dream of owning her own salon.
In Dec 2013, Tranquil was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer where she had to immediately begin chemotherapy and radiation within days of her notification. For 8 months, Tranquil traveled from Deridder, LA to New Orleans every week for treatments. However, through the grace of God, Tranquil is a survivor.
Currently, Tranquil is the owner of her own salon, Sophisticated Hair Design & Beauty Supplies in downtown Deridder. She specializes in all hair needs and care, to include hair products and treatment, clothing, esthetician, pedicures and manicures.
Tranquil Crosby was honored by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Iota Gamma Gamma Chapter #840 for committed and dedicated service in the field of Entreprenuership (2014), and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated Alpha Alpha Beta Zeta Chapter for Business in their Finer Womanhood Program Honoring Community Women (2015).
Tranquil has distinguished herself by standing up for small businesses in Louisiana, fighting for historic preservation of Louisiana’s cultural treasures, and promoting our area as a great place to live and work. She is a current member of the Ebonite Culture Unlimited Club (2010), a trustee on the Beauregard Parish Library Board (2012), a board member of Beauregard Christian Women’s Job Corps (2014), DeRidder Rotary Club member (2014), Vice President of the Louisiana Slow Rollers Car Club (2012), DeRidder Youth Football League cheer coach (2011). Was nominated for the Louisiana Legislative Woman Caucus (2010) and Small business of the year awards (2013). Tranquil’s business is an active member of the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce.
Finally, Tranquil’s goals are to continue supporting the community in volunteer work as well as to one day become an elected official in her community.
Tranquil Crosby is married to LTC Ronnie Crosby, US Army. She has two children, Ronnie Crosby III (Tre) (12) and Tyi’ Crosby (9).
Tranquil’s responses to the Women in Business, Women Helping Women Questionnaire:
How do you best describe your business?
Sophisticated Hair Design & Beauty Supply is focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction – we will do everything we can to meet your expectations. We strive to treat everyone as the unique individuals that they are. Our goal is to provide an exhilarating experience upon every visit.
What is the best and worst decision that you ever made about your business?
The best decision I made was to invest in the youth of Deridder. For years, Sophisticated provided High School Seniors college scholarships. We accomplished this, by reaching out to the community and getting involved with the local youth programs and activities.
The worst decision I made was expanding too quickly. As a business owner, working in the black your first 12-24 months may be natural due to business establishments and functions, however ensuring personal goals are not limited are affected by financial decisions.
What was the best and worst advice that you received from someone else about your business?
The best advice was to have faith in my craft, take the necessary risk to follow my dreams. Do not be afraid to reach out for support and help throughout the community. The success of my business is the success of the city.
The worst advice I received was that I would not be successful in this community because I’m an African American female. I was told by many times, upon my family relocation to Deridder that there is already an established salon market in Deridder, and many would not support you because I was not home grown. The challenges I would face from banks and clients would not be worth the risk of a new organization in Deridder.
What was the catalyst that led you to start your own business?
Being told I would not be successful and the limited opportunities amongst salons in the area, prompted me to dream and venture out as a business woman.
What was your hardest part about actually opening a business?
Development and expectations. My husband and I disagreed numerous times on the direction of the business, due to his military experience and my professional experiences. There were times professionally, I knew what products to stock, whereas my husband being a logistician in the Army focus was supply and demand. We had to find a happy median to not exceed our opening capabilities yet support the requirements of a new organization and not mirror existing establishments in the area.
What do you wish you had known before starting your business?
Relocating from a large city to a small city is a difficult task. Being from New Orleans, there are plenty of opportunities for failure, meaning if I failed at my business plan, I had opportunities to either teach at the local hair schools or rent from another business owner. In a small city, failure is not an option, due to the lack of resources. Daily, I find ways to reinvent the business to stay relevant in the community.
What is your best advice for someone considering opening their own business?
The best advice is to know your trade. Be an expert at whatever your business specialize in. Do not get complacent in your craft and endure continued education programs.
Did you have a mentor, or woman in business who inspired you?
Although I did not have a mentor in my field, both my step-farther and farther-in-law are both business owners. Additionally, during my high school years, I completed a project on Madam C.J Walker, who invented a line of African-American hair care products in 1905. The knowledge I learned, already with the love of doing hair, made me want to be like her, and become an entrepreneur.
What skills do you think it takes to become a successful business owner?
To be successful, I believe that a person must possess the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses within themselves, the ability to deal with failure because everything will not go according to plans and the ability to make entrepreneur friends.
What is your proudest business moment?
My proudest moment was becoming the first African American female to own a business and facilities in downtown Deridder
What are your plans for the future of your business?
I would like to continue growth and expansion. Currently, our focus is on hair design and products, however, I would like to include manicure and pedicure technicians, facial treatments, massage treatment and non-invasive body sculpting.
Do you have any recommended resources for women considering going into business?
Resources that assisted me included the Better Business Bureau, Deridder Rotary Club, nonprofit organizations and multiple on-line resources
What do you think has helped the most with the success of your business?
Besides my faith in God, my family and friends belief in me. As my clients became closer to me, they became my sounding board when I was making business decisions.
Do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share with other Female Entrepreneurs?
The closing thoughts would be not to allow anyone to steal your dreams. Do not let negativity get in the way of your success. Understand that your plan may not be God’s plan, yet have a second plan in place. Times will be difficult, whether its employees, finances or other issues, you must fight through.. Know your business inside and out. Finally, give back to the community, because it is those people that are supporting your dreams.
Tranquil can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting Sophisticated Hair Design & Beauty Supplies on S Washington Street in DeRidder, LA, or by calling 337-463-2859.