Shannon SmithShannon Smith co-owns Sha’Mari Hair Salon, which specializes in a variety of creative cuts and styling services.

With the motto “Difference and Experience for a More Natural and Healthier YOU,” she and her team specialize in customizing the most flattering looks for their loyal clients. Smith used assistance from ACE to expand her business, so she now operates from locations in Atlanta, Decatur and Lithonia.

“We want to become a franchise one day,” Smith said. “It is important to dream big and pursue your dream, and we also believe that ‘team work makes the dream work!’

Smith derives satisfaction not only from the shear beauty of her work, but also from helping her employees provide for themselves and their families.

“As a salon owner, you have the opportunity to create jobs and inspire stylists to go to the next level in business,” she said. “Working with ACE was a pleasure because our loan officer, Maria Peck, was wonderful and helpful. I would highly recommend ACE to other small business owners who want to expand or just need quick access to funds for cash flow.”

To pass along some of the lessons she has learned, Smith founded Rising Women Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission to provide, inspire, and invest in the lives of girls and women.

“We will provide them with godly principles, educational programs, workshops, health information, financial workshops, career assistance, and other tools to help them to be successful women,” she said. “We will also help build character and self esteem through the word of God.”