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Checking in with Dolly: How one Black woman's business is thriving, expanding

When we spoke with Dolly Monroe last year, she had a five-year plan to expand her beauty academy across Florida. But one year later, it's already happening!

TAMPA, Fla. — August is Black Business Month. It's a chance to highlight Black-owned businesses and support them in your community.

We have an update on a young woman who opened a beauty academy in Tampa four years ago with big goals in mind.

When we first met Dolly Monroe last year, she was already celebrating a successful small business in Tampa, grossing more than a million dollars in revenue within a couple of years of opening the Dolly Monroe Beauty Academy. When I talked to her then, her five-year plan was to expand across Florida, but things have gone so well that it became a one-year plan!

"We are actually expanding into the Orlando market!" Dolly has a hard time containing her excitement when talking about her business. "I'm hoping to have everything set up in the next few months here for that location. We're currently doing the build-out. Getting everything fabulous and ready for our students to be enrolled in our Orlando classes."

But this didn't just happen overnight, Dolly had to overcome some personal struggles and keep fighting for what she wanted. 

"I was a mother at 19 years old and I was in poverty and I just wanted better for my life. I wanted better for myself. At first, it was challenging just to get a facility. I heard so many 'nos' that I had just gotten familiarized with the term no."

But it only took one "yes" to seal her future. Now she hopes she's a role model to other young women of color who dream of becoming a success. 

"I'm not an outlier, I'm not an exception to the rule. It's possible for all of us and again you can simply turn your passion into your paycheck simply by doing what you love and following that and staying true to it."

And she's not stopping there, she now has a 3-year plan to open several more locations across Florida.  In addition to that, the Dolly Monroe Beauty Academy is now offering new program studies in massage therapy and laser hair removal. 

RELATED: Tampa woman shatters stereotypes with successful beauty business

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