Being a small business owner is difficult, but having multiple businesses sounds nearly impossible. However, for Bowling Green local Kira Bolling, the challenges of owning two businesses are things she takes in stride. Bolling is a passionate hairstylist who now owns a bakery business.
“I think they go hand in hand,” Bolling said. “I don’t do as much hair as I used to. I try not to overlap them too much. If I know I have a packed day at the salon, I’ll try not to do much baking and vice versa. I think I balance them pretty well.”
Bolling co-owns Angel’s Salon in Bowling Green with Angel Lee. Bolling has styled hair as far back as high school.
“I did all my friend’s hair when I was in high school,” Bolling said. “Everybody would meet in the bathroom and the commons, and I would do hair on the way to school or during breaks.”
She then decided to go to beauty school where she went on the principle of making others feel beautiful. Since beauty school, Bolling has continued to make people feel beautiful through her work as a hairdresser. Her talents earned her both the position of shop manager and a loyal customer base.
“I’ve been going to Kira for 15 years,” customer Joda Freda Johnson said. “She just loves people. I watched how she worked with people.”
Johnson recalled the time when Bolling became more than just a hair- dresser to her.
“When I was in a very low point in my life and she saw that while doing my hair. She said, ‘I know what you’re going through, and I won’t charge you,’” Johnson said. “After that, I rocked with her. I knew she was down for life. Not because she didn’t let me pay, but because she understood what I was going through.”
Customer Neely Rhodes will only go to Bolling for her hair because she believes in Bolling’s talent.
“I’ve been knowing her for 30 plus years,” Rhodes said. “I can only say nothing but good things about her. Kira is the only one that does my hair professionally. She does wonders with the flat iron.”
In 2018, Bolling had a vision of a business with a different purpose: to be closer to her mother. A Taste of Sunshine, Bolling’s baking business, came from her mother when she was diagnosed with cancer.
“My sister was always calling her ‘sunshine,’” Bolling said.
“Whenever she passed away, when I felt sad or upset, I would bake and it would make me feel closer to her.”
A Taste of Sunshine came naturally to Bolling, as cooking and baking were some of her mother’s favorite past times.
“It’s just a small sample of what she would do all the time,” Bolling said.
In 2019, A Taste of Sunshine became more than an idea to honor her mother by becoming an official business.
Now, Bolling balances her role as a hairdresser and baker by splitting her time between working with hair clients and creating and baking a variety of customized treats for customers. Bolling has also found success and loyal customers in her newest business endeavor.
“I chose a Taste of Sunshine because her product and its presentation looked amazing, and I’m always delighted to try new businesses,” customer Ashlee Page said. “Kira was professional throughout the entire process of me ordering and delivering the cupcakes to me. She answered all my questions and even gave me a free sample of a new flavor she was trying out.”
With the success of both businesses also came lessons learned. Bolling continues to learn and improve herself and her businesses.
“I’m still learning,” Bolling said. “There is small stuff you don’t realize. I’m still a work in progress. I try to talk to people who have been there before.”
For those wanting to begin their own business, Bolling said you must have goals.
“My advice for somebody who wants to be an entrepreneur is to have goals and set them,” Bolling said. “You have to have discipline and be disciplined because if you’re not, you’re not going to make any money. Be able to get up and go. It’s another thing to start your business; it’s another to work your business.”
Bolling’s original and genuine intentions for her businesses are what help her stand apart from the rest.
“I do it from my heart,” Bolling said. “I love working with my hands, and I love making things beautiful, so I love making people walk out of here and feeling better than when they came. I love when people get their cupcakes and say they’re too pretty to eat. I just like making things beautiful.”