A young woman who lost her mother at age 12 is now following in her mother’s footsteps. Alannah Frierson, 19, a University of Mississippi sophomore from Canton studying business administration and entrepreneurship, hopes to own multiple businesses one day. Right now, her specialty is creating wigs.
Growing up, people told Frierson she would eventually become a hair stylist like her mother, but she embraced her talent later in life. Today, she is known for creating natural looking wigs that she sells to clients in at least five different states.
Her mother was a beautician who worked in the salon while Frierson grew up. Frierson learned by watching and created her first wig during her senior year of high school. As she got better, requests from others followed.
“When she left, her body left, but her talent stayed with me, and it lives through me,” she said. “Every time I stop doing hair, I get the feeling that something isn’t right.”
Frierson is also known for her makeup skills. She has been asked to work as an artist on many photo shoots, and has regular clientele. However, at the beginning of her makeup journey, she said she wasn’t very good.
“I don’t like to be told I can’t do something,” she said, “and I don’t like to say, ‘No. I just can’t do it.'”
Every night before bed, she tried a different eye shadow style until she perfected applying it. In the last couple of years, Frierson has attended makeup classes at Sephora and with smaller vendors. She has also recorded tutorial videos of herself applying makeup and wigs.
Friend Shamerra Crowley, a UM sophomore studying communication sciences and disorders and nursing, said Frierson’s personality comes out in her work.
“She shows excitement about everything,” Crowley said, “and she has to get it perfect. That’s why I feel like her work is great.”
Frierson aspires to be a successful entrepreneur. Even though she is skilled in both wigs and makeup, she does not want to limit herself. She would like to have a variety of businesses.
But she said she wants to be happy in the end, working for herself. “My mom put in my head that you have to be your own boss,” she said. “She’s my inspiration.”
Malia Carothers is a Sophmore at The University of Mississippi. She is majoring in Journalism Broadcasting with a minor of Education.