**Exclusive Interview** Vh1’s Shekinah Jo Talks Weave Trip, Branding Herself & Not Riding Tiny’s Coattail

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We know her as the outspoken hairstylist on TI & Tiny Family Hustle. She is that friend that everyone wants to have on their team. Web Celeb Daily was able to speak exclusively to the one and only Shekinah Jo! The 30 year old reality star makes it clear she is not just another pretty face on our flat screen. Which is exactly why she coined the phrase “I Work Hard B*$*!”. She discusses reality tv, Weave Trip and the Shekinah Jo brand.

Shekinah thank you so much for speaking with Web Celeb Daily exclusively today. We do love you here. What I love most about you is that you are very outspoken with no filter. You don’t sugar coat things, not even with you good friend Tiny. I know a lot of people say you ride Tiny’s coattail, but you were a well established as a cosmetologist in Atlanta before the show right?

Shekinah Jo: Yes I was an established cosmetologist, I graduated from hair school. I can’t even sit here and say I came from nothing. My grandma owned the whole block. She owned her own daycare center. I wasn’t struggling. We were cool. But you know how it is when you are growing up, think you grown, think you know everything. I dropped out of high school, started dancing, but I realized that life wasn’t for me. I went back and got my GED. I knew I wanted to do hair so I graduated from cosmetology school.  I met Tamika and it allowed me to build my platform which I am thankful for this. See not all women make it out. Some women get stuck in that life and don’t make it out. I was blessed to be able to make it out you understand? See all I wanted to do what get my hair published in a magazine, God did that for me and turned around and allowed even more things to happen. I didn’t just want to be a backdoor stylist. I work hard. Which is why I have my own T-shirt line where I say “I Work Hard B*&#h”.  Which man made it ok to say the word B***h. Instead of using the exact word I used symbols, each symbol means something different to me. But I work for everything I have. I did Tameka’s hair for free just for people to see what I could do. I did the OMG Girlz hair, all the hairstyles you see in the beginning when they were starting off. I was up til 7:00 am doing that coloring. They went off now to different styles, but you get what I am saying.

WCD: Yes I definitely understand. We don’t get to see all of that on television. Now since you brought it up. What is a backdoor hairstylist?

Shekinah: A backdoor hairstylist is a person that does hair but doesn’t have their credentials. While someone is charging 50.00-60.00 for a sew in, because I didn’t have my credentials I couldn’t charge that.  So I made sure I got my credentials to get paid what I’m worth. So now, If you want a sew in it starts off at least 275.00, and if you want to fly me out, you got to pay for my airfare. It’s all about getting paid for your worth.

WCD: I believe it was last season on Tamar & Vince that I saw you do the lovely she/her Tamar Braxton’s hair. Has being on tv boosted your celebrity clientele?

Shekinah Jo: No. Not really, let me explain something to you. Hair stylists and make-up artists don’t really get recognition like that. Celebrities are cool, they are don’t get me wrong, but we are workers to them. We are workers, which is true,  we get paid for a service. These celebrities come to us for services and then after the fact sometimes act like they don’t even know you. Even stylists, they don’t always get the recognition. When I get my hair or make-up done I pay them well and I also shout them out because they are hard working people trying to make it. So I have no problem with shouting someone out.

WCD: Wow, I didn’t know that.  But if it wasn’t for you these celebrities wouldn’t even make it on the blogs with a  beat face.

Shekinah Jo: No they would be looking a mess.

WCD: Do you still book non-celebrity clients too?

Shekinah Jo: Everyone is a star/celebrity to me. It’s up to you how you put it out there to the world. You know I was Future’s hairstylist before he made it. He was just “meat head” to me. I always told him, you are gonna make it one day. Sure enough he did make it. I have gone on the road with him and even had my own security. I make sure I stay humble, because just as easy as someone can have it and be up, they can come down. I don’t even call my “fans” fans, I call them “friends” because of their support. They watch the show, they follow me on Twitter & Instagram, and they support me.

WCD: You are definitely a highlight of the show. I tune in really just to watch you and Tiny go back and forth. The chemistry between you two is so natural. So I wasn’t surprised to learn you guys had a spin off. How did that come about? 

Shekinah Jo: I actually came up with the idea of a hair bus, and it was Tiny who thought of the idea to take it outside of Atlanta. I pitched the idea to Christian of 51 Minds Entertainment 2 years ago. So it was my idea to do it.

WCD: How long were you on the road, and was that the longest time you spent with Tiny consistently? 

Shekinah Jo: 8 weeks….nah I’m lying…4 weeks, we spent 4 weeks on the road.  No we have spent longer than that together.

WCD: For those who may be living under a rock and have not seen Weave Trip, can you tell me what it is about? 

Shekinah Jo: We travel across the country with a mobile hair salon. It’s kind of like ‘Simple Life’.

WCD: You guys traveled to different cities and states. Which moment on the trip was your favorite?

Shekinah Jo: When we went to Sedona. I can’t tell you about that yet. It hasn’t aired. They will get in my ass about it [Laughs].

WCD: Shekinah I follow you on Instagram and you posted a heart felt message about Monday’s episode when you gave your testimony in church and how you were edited. Can you touch on that?

Shekinah Jo: You know that was no one’s  fault. It is not the production’s fault, it wasn’t the networks fault. We only had a certain amount of time for the episode, and I get it.  You know we did the wigs for cancer which was very important, we had to see Mr. Lucas for Tiny’s product, you know I get it. But when it comes to the Lord, I take that very serious. You know I deleted the comment because it was disrespectful to the network, but I was in my feelings about it. I am naturally funny on my own, I don’t need any additions to that. You said it yourself, I am a highlight of the show. I didn’t ask you for that. People see that. Everything does not have to be taken for a joke. Giving my testimony in front of all those people was important for me. I am not afraid to speak in front of people. I talk fast, and it’s not because I’m uneducated or anything cause that’s not the case. I just like to get it all out in one second you know what I’m saying? But I do not fault anyone for it.

WCD: I do, and I saw a lot of the comments under the picture, you inspired a lot of people. Whether they are going through that or have gone through that. Now is editing usually an issue with reality tv or is what we see on tv “Shekinah’?

Shekinah Jo:  Let me explain something to you, I was brought on to play Tiny’s sidekick. That’s it. So that’s the role I play. People don’t get to see the other side of Shekinah. The part that inspires women. You know I used to take a step back when people see me in the store and recognize me from the show. But now when people see me, and they tell me how I inspire them, I’m okay with that now. Whether its let me sign an autograph, or take a picture with them. You know? Whatever I can do. But people will get to see that side of me real soon.

WCD: Does that mean we will see more of you soon?

Shekinah Jo: I believe God has something in the works.  He sees everything.

WCD: You have come a long way. You started your own beauty product line. Can you tell me about it?

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Shekinah Jo:  I created a product called Beautiful Edges. It’s for when you have fly aways. It won’t make your edges grow or anything like that [Laughs]. I also have my shampoo and conditioner for moisture which is really important. But I have some other products I am working on that I will be releasing.

WCD: Your website also says you will be going on a beauty tour. What will you be doing? Will you be doing hair? 

Yes maam, I will also be teaching how to do things such as a proper sew in. That’s always been what I’m most good at. I see people going on tours and people pay to hear them talk but…what are you taking from that? What are you getting from them just talking? I have certain techniques that I use that really work.

WCD: Have you decided which cities you are going to go to yet?

Shekinah Jo: I am going to cities in all of our 50 states. I am waiting for one last city and then I will make my decision.  I am going all over, but I want to make sure that city has an interest. I don’t want to go to a city that doesn’t have an interest in what I am trying to do.

WCD: Let me put a plug in for my hometown Detroit, MI. We are all about hair there. 

Shekinah Jo: [Laughs] Oh yea I will definitely come to Detroit, we will have me teaching, we can eat, take pictures and they can put them at their stations, and everyone can graduate with a certificate from Shekinah Jo’s Hair School.

WCD: So what is next for Shekinah Jo? Any babies in the near future?
Shekinah Jo: I can tell you this for sure. Shekinah Jo. will not be having any babies before I get married. I was brought into this world that way, so I want to do the same thing.

WCD: Yea I can understand that. I see you have a lot of men on Instagram trying to get at you.

Shekinah Jo: Girl please, I am not trying to take serious no man trying to talk to me on Instagram. If you are a man then you will be about grown man business and do what needs to be done off Instagram to date me. Feel me?

WCD: I feel like the world is ready for a Shekinah Jo show, whether it be tv or radio. I could definitely hear you on satellite radio.

Shekinah Jo: You know whatever God see’s fit will happen. As long as my friends keep requesting me I will show up.

WCD: We will definitely be requesting more of Shekinah Jo. Before we wrap this up,  I have to tell you your number 1 fan says hello. My Grandmother.

Shekinah Jo: Your grandma watch my show?  [Laughs]

WCD: She does. I told her I was interviewing you and she was like I know Shekinah, she cuss a lot but that’s her trademark. So Eula Mae of Detroit, MI says Hello!

Shekinah Jo: Aww hey! You know my grandmother watches the show every week and calls me and tells me what she like and what she don’t like. She used to cuss all the time. She even called me a bitch when I was younger and knew I was in trouble. Not to be disrespectful, and when I use it its not to be disrespectful. See I actually got my name from my grandmother, cuz my middle name is actually Jo-Ida. I was sitting asking the Lord how I could brand myself. See when the show first started I was just going by Shekinah. Which means glory to God,  and that’s cute, but I wanted something different. So I used my middle name and I became “Shekinah Jo” and started my brand.

WCD: Kind of like Janet Jackson’s “Damita Jo”.

Shekinah Jo: Right. Exactly.

WCD: Now for those who want to buy your products or a T Shirt, where can they go to purchase?

Shekinah Jo: www.shekinahjo.com

WCD: What about the non celebrities that want to book hair appointments?

Shekinah Jo:  Like I said they are all celebrities and stars in my eyes. I’m on tv and I get my check but I still work. When I have my hair appointments I am working. They call and my assistant answers the phone, and schedules the appointment.

WCD: Well I ordered my Beautiful Edges, I can’t wait to use it. I definitely need it for when my edges grow under my sew in.

Shekinah Jo: Don’t let that sew-in sit in more than 2 months and only put heat to your hair no more than 2x a week.

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Make sure you guys tune in every Monday on Vh1 for Weave Trip. Check your local listings for times.

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