Monday, March 28, 2016

BOSS Spotlight: Meet The "Hair-Loss Advocate" Tanya Barnett

Tanya Barnett, a Champion for Embracing Life, works tirelessly to inspire and motivate women and girls who have challenging life issues. She also founded Forever Free Books, a mobile nonprofit that delivers FREE books to children in need. She is a mother, wife, marathoner, triathlete and an aspiring author. 

TheBOSSNetwork:  What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?

Tanya Barnett: Fear! I was so fearful that no one would see the value in what I was doing. Our society focuses so much on beauty and hair-care; I’m bald. There are other women who are bald by choice who have t-shirt lines and such, so I felt like there was no need for my platform. I also did not want to be rejected, so I was very quiet about what I was doing. I thought if I failed, no one would know. My mentor challenged me to jump out there and reach out to bald women.I did it! I held the 1st Embracing My Baldness Conference in the DC area in 2015. There had never been any event for bald women in this area. We had over 25 women and vendors participate. Because it was such an emotional event for everyone, I knew I was walking in my purpose. When women saw the pictures on social media and in the newspaper, they contacted me from Chicago, Ohio and Georgia to ask me to bring my event to their areas. I am praying that I can do that as well as represent my hair-loss sisters by speaking at natural hair conventions and shows this year. 

BN: What inspired you to break into your particular industry?

TB: Losing my hair was devastating and very humbling. I let people assume I was bald by choice for 3 years before I told anyone. I could not say the word “alopecia” without getting choked up. I was attending a conference when Tanya’s Xchange was dropped in my spirit. I knew at that moment, I was to share my hair-loss story to help other women who were living with it. 

BN: How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?

TB: Honestly, I have yet to find balance. I simply chose to be okay with putting things on hold to be fully engaged with my family. I slowly learned how to say, “NO” to things that didn’t add value to my life. 

BN:  What is an inspirational quote that you live by?

TB: Love God! Love People! Do something about it! –Pastor Demond Taylor

BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way? 

TB: Julian B Kiganda, Christine St. Vil, Pastor Portia Taylor, My husband-Donald Barnett

BN:  What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong?

TB: Google Calendar is my best friend! I constantly set alarms in my phone to unplug, read, or go for a run.

BN:  What is your definition of a BOSS?

TB: A BOSS is a woman who is not only successful in her business but she intentionally helps other women build their businesses and gives back to her community.

To Connect with Tanya Barnett, follow her on Twitter @TanyasXchange and visit he website at 


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