Sharnise McMichael from Graduation to Entrepreneurship

Sharnise McMichael graduated from Claflin University with a degree in business May of 2015, and six months later opened up her nail salon in downtown Orangeburg.

McMichael at the age of 22 opened up her salon, Lush Nail Salon, at 1154 Russell Street. She saved her money while doing nails in college and used her credit cards to help open the building in November last year.

McMichael currently has two employees who work for her in the nail salon. She had to seek help because of the rapid growth in clients after the media she received from the local newspaper and Claflin University.

McMichael business adds to the plan of the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association (DORA) that was created in 1993 and tasked with developing and redeveloping the downtown area of Orangeburg. DORA wants to attract more businesses in an area where buildings are condemned and in need of renovation. Not only will bringing more companies and fixing the existing ones make downtown more aesthetically pleasing, but will also assist with economic growth in Orangeburg.

Unfortunately, when McMichael went to the DORA for financial assistance before opening her business, she was denied. The denial did not keep McMichael from following through on her dreams nor left her with hard feelings towards the DORA.

After opening, the DORA reached out to McMichael to work together with a shared vision to improve downtown Orangeburg. McMichael has plans of opening more businesses in the downtown area.

McMichael believes anyone with hard work and dedication can be an entrepreneur despite the age of the individual.

McMichael said, “The best advice I can give someone who graduates out of college and wants to open a business is to save your money and stay dedicated even when times get rough.”

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