It’s not unusual for a small-business to achieve extraordinary success. However, it isn’t everyday an accomplished business owner gives countless hours of her time, money and marketing acumen to help struggling entrepreneurs become millionaires.
Holyfield-Parker initially made a name for herself by using Groupon to quickly grow her Memphis start-up from a one-person massage therapy outfit to a six-figure generating enterprise.
When she realized she’d discovered the recipe for success, the “Six Figure Spa Chick” didn’t use her knowledge to bake the competition. Instead, she embraced the opportunity to educate and empower other Black-owned spa and wellness businesses.
Leveling the Playing Field
“When I started out, Black spa owners didn’t have spa coaches. And when I did find communities, they were Caucasian. They did things differently and had a different vantage point,” Holyfield-Parker points out.
She remembers when she was first featured in American Spa, the leading spa industry magazine. She noticed her photo — unlike the others — was small and had been placed at the bottom of the page.
“I called them out on their lack of inclusion of women of color in their magazine. They increased the size and placement of the picture but the next year they didn’t include my photo,“ Holyfield-Parker recalls.
Confronted with industry bias, she began focusing on how white and Asian spa owners operated their businesses. She saw how Black-owned spas were being overlooked and realized there wasn’t a setting for owners to learn how to compete. Holyfield-Parker knew the solution was rooted in education.
“Black people make up a very small percentage of the spa industry. I entered this field and saw a lack of leadership. Helping other businesses became my passion,” she says.
To date, she credits her marketing ingenuity for bolstering the revenue of countless businesses — with many earning six-figures and nearly two dozen garnering millions.
Journey from Waitress to Millionaire CEO
While Holyfield-Parker enjoys success as an author, social-media influencer and CEO of a multi-million dollar conglomerate, life hasn’t always been a day at the spa for the Memphis, TN native. The mom of three tells of her humble beginnings.
“I grew up in [public] housing. After high school I waitressed for over 13 years. I never thought of going into business for myself,” says Holyfield-Parker.
However, in 2010 when her employer pressured her to quit by making her job difficult, it turned out to be one of the best things to happen for her.
“I always had a strong work ethic. The first thing I thought was, I gotta get me a skill. I considered becoming a medical assistant but decided to enroll in massage school because it would take just nine months to complete,” Holyfield-Parker explains.
Upon graduating, Holyfield-Parker joined Massage Envy but still found herself struggling to make ends meet. That’s when she decided to strike out on her own.
“I got a room, did a Groupon promotion, earned $6k in three days and then went on to make six figures. From there, I got a big storefront, brought on four or five other businesses and helped them make six-figures,” she says.
Building an Empire in Atlanta
In 2015, Holyfield-Parker moved to Atlanta. That’s when things really took off for her.
“I started offering chair massages for every event I could. I began building up my celebrity clientele and blowing up my business in Atlanta,” says Holyfield-Parker.
Navigating her business in wealthy social-circles, she felt inspired to achieve more for herself and her family. “It occurred to me that I only make money when I touch somebody with my hands. Therefore, I needed to start making money with my head,” explains Holyfield-Parker.
Espousing her penchant for marketing, Holyfield-Parker launched Spa Boss Tribe. The not-for-profit supports, educates and empowers spa and beauty pros. The organization hosts retreats for professionals and offers an array of services including complimentary marketing classes, free certifications, and access to earning CEU credits. The Spa Boss Tribe Facebook Group is free to join.
The Best is Yet to Come
In 2019, Holyfield-Parker established the Black Spa Expo, followed by the Spa Queen Expo, The Spa Awards, and the Spa Hall of Fame.
Today, Holyfield-Parker’s joy is palpable when she talks about her latest endeavor: Spa Tank. The show provides a platform for spa professionals to pitch their business to get investors and funding.
“I’m super-excited! I independently filmed Spa Tank. This is just another extension of me being a servant leader,” Holyfield-Parker adds. Spa Tank premiers on Monday, July 3rd, on YouTube TV.
Be sure to stay tuned for more!