Profile of Susy Oludele
“All things are created twice. We create them first in our minds.” ─ Stephen Covey
By the age of 9, Susan Oludele already knew what she wanted to recreate and no, it wasn’t just hair; she craved to stand out and not just be another face in the crowd. Susan Oludele intent on becoming a celebrity.
To do this, she realised she needed to re-discover herself and by so doing, pin-point the gifts she had to showcase to the world. Though it’s not completely clear if she planned to one day venture into hair-styling, Susan or Susy as she’s more popularly known had always loved making hair. More than that, she loved people and loved helping them even more.
Yet, life doesn’t often pan out in accordance with one’s plans. Susan’s trajectory to her present state was far from smooth. Complicated most likely describes her odyssey into stardom.
She was born and raised in New York by Nigerian parents who were archetypal disciplinarians. Despite the comparably suitable Bronx setting, they kept a stern grip on her, ensuring she was in tune with her African background. Being high-spirited and acutely individualistic, Oludele got into a lot of trouble with them growing up. But the flipside of this was that it helped her develop into a confident and emotionally-balanced individual, quite early.
By the age of 17, she had parted ways with her parents to work at McDonald’s after they decided to move to Wisconsin. Working 9 to 5 at the time for her meant stability, independence and paying the bills. Her stint at the Mega Fast Food franchise lasted barely a week and she recalls not getting paid for it. Her love for people coupled with the primal thirst to survive propelled her into yet another service job as a home aid worker. Although the experience was gruelling, she describes the two years spent on the job as enlightening and at least served it served to strengthen her conviction that she loved helping people.
Getting laid off the job afterwards shook her deeply and she reencounter crying the pain out. Most importantly, it was at this period that she got her epiphany and decided her next step─ hairstyling. It was to be the decision that turned her life around. Although she admits the road was fraught with countless obstacles and sacrifices; her unshakeable self-confidence, drive and a desire to do a common thing differently have helped her succeed.
In her words, “I feel like the most important thing that you have to have is confidence, like being confident in your work. I know that I’m the best…”and, “If you’re coming in to do box braids, it’s not just gonna be any box braids. It’s gonna be box braids that fit you. It’s gonna be box braids for you. It’s gonna be neat. It’s gonna be clean. It’s gonna be the best box braids you’ve ever had ‘cause my energy, what I’m putting into your hair, I’m speaking life into what you’re doing…”
July 01, 2021