Lylanda Edwards: A purpose bigger than hair

Lylanda Edwards, Owner of Gabrielle's Austin. Photo bt Michael Lewis
Lylanda Edwards worked at IBM for nine years and knew that she wanted more, so she looked to God to give her the vision.

She remained patient and created a plan to slowly transition into the hair industry. Today, she owns a full hair salon and nail spa, plus offers financial coaching classes to serve the community as a catalyst for the positive changes that we want to see in the world. 

“I was really patient because I trusted that God was going to give me the clear direction when it was time for me to move,” says Edwards. “I started this journey of transitioning into the hair industry in 2002, but I didn’t resign from IBM until 2008. For me, it wasn’t about jumping right into it. It was about allowing the process to work itself out, while I had the support and income.”

Learning about business and people management at IBM enabled Edwards to create a diverse team and clientele. “The defining moment was God saying in 2008, Now is time – which was crazy because it was during the recession,” recalls Edwards. “I didn’t question Him because I trusted Him and He’d been with me the whole time preparing me for this. It wasn’t about what I was going to do, it was about what He was going to do through me.” 

Take advantage of the learning phase, it comes before the earning phase.

soulciti: What beauty services does Gabrielle’s offer?
Lylanda Edwards: “We’re a full service hair and nail salon, plus a barbershop. Our hair specialty is hair extensions. We offer 14 different types of hair extension solutions, as well as non-surgical hair replacements. We cater to clients that have extremely thinning hair conditions, post-cancer patients, women with Alopecia and clients that come in for cosmetic purposes too. 

We also offer natural hair care services. We offer a process called Ceramic Fusion that allows clients that are natural to be able to wear their hair straight without chemicals. Then, we offer the Strengthening Therapy System which allows our clients to have a dual identity that allows our clients to wear their hair both curly and straight.”

We offer a process called Ceramic Fusion that allows clients that are natural to be able to wear their hair straight without chemicals.

sc: What is distinct about Gabrielle’s?
LE: “Community engagement is a big deal for us. We’ve done numerous projects in the community; collaborating with Ronald McDonald House, Safe Place, and Settlement Home. Our goal is to become even more focused on providing services that our community needs and can benefit from. 

One of the things we’re doing now is the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Program. I have a passion for teaching the financial principles that will help us transition from where we are now, to where God wants us to be – living an abundant life, being debt free, creating a budget and learning how to manage our money.”

sc: How did you get involved with Financial Peace University?
“My husband and I were going to Hill Country Bible church about four years ago and were introduced to the concept of Financial Peace. Growing up in a small town in Mississippi, the only financial component we ever discussed was tithes and offerings. So, when we saw this we wanted to know what else was a part of the formula that would allow us to make the same progress in our community that we saw in other communities.

Never be afraid to try something new!

Actual Gabrielle’s clients. Photos by Michael Lewis

We took the nine week class and it totally changed our lives, not just our personal lives, but how we were able to incorporate those financial principles into our business. Which I think was a part of our saving grace to recover from the recession. I know that God led us to that class, we then became coordinators for the church. We wanted to teach more people financial principles and see others benefit and build wealth.

We coordinated four classes through them and then built this conference room here at the salon to incorporate Financial Peace University. We currently have eight families that are taking the class here. Every week, we’re seeing God work through these families. Not just the financial dynamics, but the relational dynamics – seeing couples being drawn together and communicating about the No. 1 cause of divorce.”

sc: What does abundance look like to you?
“Being completely debt free. Being able to retire with an exit strategy where I can pass the baton off to my children to grow and expand in a greater way. To be in reserve where not only me and my family are protected and covered, but also bless others. Abundance is the ability to have an overflow of joy, peace, and gratitude.”

sc: How do you remain true to your purpose?
“Constantly seeking and asking God, What’s next? Truly allowing Him to order my steps and staying out of His way. My greatest inspiration is my two daughters, Faith Gabrielle and Hope Olivia. I want to leave a legacy that will give them an advantage in life and make their climb so much easier.”

Pray, plan, and push – in that order!  

sc: What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Stretch beyond the pain.”

That totally resonates with me because I have a 16-year-old daughter, Faith Gabrielle – which means, “Strength from God,”and which the business is named after. She is one of my biggest inspirations. She was our D.O.A. baby (Dead on Arrival) who was miraculously restored. Not only that, but she was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease and was in a coma for 6 days and fully recovered. She made the doctors talk about FAITH and acknowledged that there was a higher being in this little girl’s life.

I think for me, having a lot of painful moments in my life has allowed me to stretch past these points because it has become my greatest development. The toughest test ended up being my greatest motivation, because my ability to stretch to see the fruits of all the promises that God has made for me and my life. I was a young mother, recent grad and newlywed. I think once you’ve seen God do something in the way that I’ve seen Him do it, there’s no turning back from that. It allowed me to be a witness of His true miracles and powers.”

Gabrielle’s Austin is centrally located at 9012 Research Boulevard, in suite C7. Learn more about the salon and extensions boutique at their newly re-designed website.


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