Inspiration came early for Niki Johnson, owner of Confidence Beauty Lounge. As a little girl she would comb and style her baby dolls' hair for hours. As she grew, so did her passion for styling hair and her talent for fashioning unique styles to achieve different looks. Soon Niki realized that no one else, not even her mom, could create the style she envisioned for herself, so she began styling her own hair. Friends quickly recognized Niki's gift for styling hair and asked her to style theirs. Once she began styling hair for others Niki found that creating attractive styles that complemented each of her patrons made them feel more confident about themselves.

Over time, Niki's passion became her career path. She completed the accreditation process to become a licensed cosmetologist in 2015, and with the support and encouragement of friends and family, Niki launched her career as a professional hair stylist. With robust business and a growing clientele, Niki decided to expand her business in 2018. She knew she would need capital to purchase additional equipment for her rapidly growing business and contacted the local chapter of SCORE, which set her up with a two seasoned business mentors. Her mentors helped Niki firm up her business plan and develop the financial projections she would need to apply for a business loan. Jamie Williams, Director of the Kent County Department of Economic Development helped Niki secure funding through Maryland Capital Enterprises, which specializes in loans for small businesses. The loan enabled Niki to purchase additional equipment and launch her expanded business in it's new location at 819-D High Street in Chestertown. Niki is grateful for the support and encouragement she's received from her family and friends, her SCORE mentors, and her many happy customers. Niki feels blessed to be doing the work that she and her patrons love.

Photo shows Niki with a charming young patron who stopped in on opening day to get crowned for her 13th birthday.