CHICAGO (CBS) — Businesses forced to shut down, families looking for a paycheck; you’ve heard a lot about this lately. Here’s a comeback story for one business: a salon owner who has rebounded and is now opening a beauty school.
Bibi Hernandez has come a long way since she first met CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas last spring.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Showers By Daybreak
A beauty expert, she’s launching the One Stop Beauty School.
“It’s created to look like a salon,” she said.
But her road to success hasn’t always been pretty, and she admitted there was a time she lost hope that her beauty school would actually happen.
Hernandez bought vacant property in Portage Park in 2016. Since then, all of her profits from her Humboldt Park nail salon have gone toward the construction of her planned beauty school in Portage Park.
That dream was in jeopardy when McNicholas first met her in March 2020, as she braced for an imminent shut down.
“I am trying to gather as much income as I can until we’re mandated to close down,” she said at the time.READ MORE: Oak Lawn Woman Got Locked Out Of Her Facebook Business Account, And Even Facebook Can't Be Sure If The Email To Blame Was A Scam
She was able to reopen her salon last summer, and never gave up on her dream to open her beauty school. Hernandez said grants and loans from the city and state helped her bounce back and keep that dream alive; a dream to make her family proud after they migrated here from Vietnam when she was a child, following four years in a refugee camp in the Philippines.
Her family left Vietnam when she was 6 years old, spent four years in the refugee camp in the Philippines, and then arrived in the U.S. when she was 10 years old.
“This is definitely a goal for me: to make that sacrifice that my parents and my aunt and uncle made worthwhile; to kind of build this in honor of them, really,” she said.
Hernandez said her family came to Chicago with nothing, so she wants to help others build their careers from the ground up.
She’s also launching a non-profit to help people who otherwise can’t afford tuition.
“During this time, a lot of people are losing their jobs, and they lose motivation, they’ve at home cooped up; and I feel that opening up my business is going to cultivate entrepreneurship,” Hernandez said.MORE NEWS: They Had A Tough Year Of E-Learning, But Southland College Prep Seniors Have Now Racked Up More Than $50 Million In Combined Merit Scholarships
Hernandez said she will have the school blessed this Sunday, then she’s waiting on the state to do their final inspection before she launches and starts taking students.