Regina salon owner recognized for Indigenous business impact
- Rose Mansbridge-Goldie | December 27, 2021
Destinee Peter was only 22 when she bought Tangles Hair Salon in Regina and eight years later has been recognized for “excellence and outstanding impact in Indigenous entrepreneurship.”
Peter won the Up and Comer Award at the inaugural Indigenous Entrepreneurship Awards, sponsored by PowWow Pitch, an Indigenous entrepreneur-supporting organization based in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in Quebec.
“I kind of knew I always wanted to be a hairstylist,” Peter said.
As a kid Peter loved braiding and remembers all of the hair shenanigans that went on in her home growing up.
“When I think back, everything was braided: my blankets, my mom's curtains, my sister's hair was always cut, the floors and the tub were colored in hair dye.
“I was always in trouble,” she laughs.
Peter began working as a hairstylist at Tangles after finishing cosmetology at Avant-Garde Beauty College. Three years into working at Tangles, the owner asked Peter if she’d be interested in purchasing the salon.
“I was about to start another job somewhere else because the salon was closing,” she said.
“The owner approached me and asked if I wanted to purchase Tangles since I was the busiest stylist there at the time.”
“It was so nerve wracking. I was super hesitant and scared to take on that role because I didn’t know anything about owning a business or running a salon,” she said.
Despite her doubts, Peter purchased Tangles in October 2013 and has since expanded it to a full-service salon, offering hair, skin care, make-up, waxing, and lasering services.
Peter was supported by her parents, who are business owners, and the group Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK), taking classes to learn about business ownership.
Peter currently has six staff, four of whom are Indigenous.
“I had no staff at the start, so I built the team, I rebranded Tangles, I remodeled the whole salon and made it the way I wanted the salon to be,” Peter said.
Her pride and knowledge of her Indigenous culture are a backbone in the warm, thoughtful environment. The salon recognizes the sacredness of haircuts and clients have the option to take their hair home with them.
“To use my platform to share and teach my culture is important to me. Winning this award validates my hard work in overcoming obstacles, recognizes my team and their commitment and shows us that we are on the right track.”
Outside of the salon, Peter is an active member of her community, speaking at career fairs and giving haircuts to students.
Before the pandemic, Peter offered cosmetology classes in her home community of Carry the Kettle Nakota Nation and hopes that can continue in the future.