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PYNK Girls

#PynkGirl of the Day: Yolanda Keels-Walker, Founder of Business Babes

Photos Courtesy of Instagram: @businessbabes
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Photo: @hailey_photography

Yolanda Keels-Walker is a true comeback kid! As a former employee for the CIA, she negotiated contracts on behalf of the federal government and served rotations with the National Reconnaissance Office and East Asia Division receiving six Exceptional Performance Awards. Continuing her career in Contract Negotiations and Procurement, Yolanda went on to work in management capacity at General Dynamics and ManTech managing several employees and handling sensitive government projects in excess of $980 million.

In 2010, Yolanda got married, and moved to Philadelphia, PA to start a family and pursue her first successful business, The Weave Bar hair salon. The first six months were brutal. Yolanda tirelessly worked six to seven days a week all while raising a toddler and nursing a newborn she had a week prior to opening. Two years, two locations and twenty employees later, Yolanda walked away from her first “business baby” as a result of a very messy divorce. With a new lease on life, Yolanda rebranded her previous interests into Suite Extensions Salons in order to build a company that reflected her values and commitment to service . Different Dream. Same Hustle.

Only six months into opening Suite Extensions, Yolanda learned that her ex-husband and ex-business partner was building a competing Weave Bar location across the street on the same block with a billboard on top of her building to match. Instead of allowing this to hinder her and break her spirit, Yolanda started Business Babes to build up and help other women that may have encountered business hardships. Yolanda lives by the creed “Your setback is a setup for a comeback,” and is committed to helping other women realize their dreams no matter the obstacles. Today, Business Babes boasts over 60,000 members.

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