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Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

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Destinee Peter 2019-20

Destinee Peter (Saulteaux) was born to be a hair stylist.

Once she got her hands on a pair of scissors, she ran with them and did not turn back.

Of course, her mother experienced a few agonizing moments along the way. Destinee was still in her pre-teen years when she used her younger sisters as practice models, cutting and styling their hair to the point where her youngest sister needed to wear a bandana for weeks to cover up Destinee’s latest attempt at a haircut.

But those days are in the past. Destinee has ascended from hair stylist and esthetician to proud business owner of Tangles Hair and Beauty Salon.

She is the recipient of the Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation (SIEF) Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for 2019.

“It’s hard being a business owner,” Destinee said. “I feel I have so much more room to grow.”

Destinee, 28, is from Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation. After she graduated high school, she immediately enrolled in cosmetology at Avant-Garde Beauty College.

She eventually earned a full-time job at Tangles and after three years of growing her clientele, and at the ripe age of 22, the owner approached her and asked if she would be interested in purchasing the salon.

She eventually said yes and immediately went to work in upgrading the salon’s appearance and expanding the services it offered.

The salon’s interior was renovated, and a new esthetics room was built. The signage on the front of the building also was given a new look.

All of this while she was pregnant. Her son Theo, who is 16 months old, has practically been raised at the salon. Destinee was not able to take maternity leave, so Theo became fast friends with salon staff.

“Being a woman entrepreneur and a working mom is very difficult during the first year of your child being born,” Destinee said. “I wasn’t there for every first and I felt like I spent so much time away from him during his first year. But I wouldn’t change it for the world because to see the continuous growth in my salon makes me feel super proud of how far I have come…”

Destinee knew more work was needed in order to be competitive with other salons. After a business plan and marketing strategy was completed, she approached SIEF and asked for assistance in bringing her plan to fruition.

SIEF and Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan (WESK) worked together to provide a loan for Destinee. She put the money toward a laser machine.

“I am now able to offer more services,” she said.

As the list of services grew, so did her staff. She has seven employees – three are full-time, two are part-time and two are casual.

“With the help from SIEF, I was also able to rebrand and get together a beautiful website and new logo to match the interior of my salon,” Destinee said. “This definitely hasn’t been an easy six years of owning Tangles, but it is so rewarding and satisfying to see all the progress made.”

Destinee is an excellent example of a First Nation individual working to create sustainability. The work Destinee has done to improve this business is very important in furthering the First Nation business community. SIEF congratulates the 2019 winner of the SIEF Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, Destinee Peter.

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