NEWBERRY — One lady has brought her talents from West Africa to Newberry.
Celine Diona and her husband, Hamane Diona, now reside in the small, southern town and have brought a new business with them as well.
The Dionas have opened Beautiful African Hair Braiding, LLC in the Bear Village shopping center and so far, Celine Diona is pleased with progress so far.
After all, she is the only African hair braiding place in the town as people had to travel to Columbia or the Upstate if they wanted the traditional African braids.
Celine Diona opened her new business Dec. 10 but this talent is something that she has been practicing all her life, she says.
Her native tongue is French and while her accent is heavy, she carries on conversations with English speakers well. Celine Diona knows three languages while her husband knows seven adding to their talent.
However, Celine Diona’s talent lies in hair braiding and a couple of customers are thrilled that she is in Newberry. Previously, they had to travel outside the county.
Celine Diona graduated from an African beauty school, Andrea Coiffure School in West Africa where she is certified in African hair braiding. The school is similar to someone attending a cosmetology school in the United States, her husband explains.
Celine’s husband helps out with the managing part of the business while Celine handles the hair part.
One of the popular options that Celine Diona does are the Senegalese Twists which also happens to be one of her favorites.
While she does accept walk-ins, it is recommended to make an appointment as someone may have to wait upon walking in while she is braiding someone’s hair.
Also, it takes at least an hour to do someone’s hair and the longer the hair, the more time. It also depends upon whether the person wants different colors or up-dos and twists.
As for being in Newberry, so far the couple are pleased with where they are.
Hamane Diona says that the people are “open minded and helpful.”
One person that they have met is Nancy Williamson from Newberry’s Small Business Development Center who has helped with their website and has also helped with small business matters.
Hamane Diona says that Williamson has “helped with business set up and counseled them (about business matters).”
Celine Diona’s store is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.