Have you ever felt a slight tinge or strong sensation that drew you near to someone or something? Perhaps a feeling deep inside that compelled you to act in some capacity? This very thing has happened not once, but twice to entrepreneur, blogger and author, Tonya Goff. “Just do what feels good to you, all the time, every time and more good will be drawn to you effortlessly,” says Goff about answering your life’s purpose and calling.
Tonya beams with sheer delight as she recalls how this mantra has led her to success. Indeed a double portion of success, as a pioneer in the ‘naturally curly’ movement with her multimillion-dollar grossing hair salon and boutique Uncle Funky’s Daughter, and now as a spiritual healer, advisor and author. With the mission behind her ventures aligning around empowerment and celebrating your own unique beauty – her newest path was a seamless evolution. But many don’t know the true story behind her success -- how her perseverance, headstrong nature in the midst of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and unwavering faith brought her through.
It was the year 2003, and Tonya received a meager severance package from Dynegy after the deal with Enron was abandoned. “I didn’t know what was my next step…all I knew was that I always had a desire to own a business of some sort – and I didn’t want to go back to a traditional job.” Not knowing which direction to go from there – she began to take a breather, think and meditate. While researching names for what she initially thought would become a boutique of some sort, she stumbled across the word “funky” during the search. As an ode to her father – she tacked on “Uncle” and “daughter." That same week on a whim, she did the “big chop” to commemorate her newfound freedom. “It was such a relief and a release.” A spirited compliment on her new ‘natural’ hairstyle from a stranger led to what was truly Tonya’s “aha” moment – “I should open a natural hair salon!”
Tonya set out to find a space, learn the trade, and invest in her business with only $1500 to her name. After receiving her cosmetology license and developing her business plan, she needed a place to hang her shingle. “I was looking for a space in River Oaks or West University and got turned away a few times – and I saw this spot that came to be Uncle Funky’s Daughter in the Village…a little space with a curtain and a small business card in the window that said 'For Lease' and a phone number with a missing digit!” Tonya was relentless in her pursuit. The landlord not only refused her several times, but subsequently became one of her naysayers. “She told me that the business would never work at that location, but something inside of me said to keep going.” She finally convinced the landlord to take a chance on her – which was a small but crucial victory.
Next obstacle -- build out the space on a shoestring budget. After receiving a series of high quotes from vendors who regularly contracted with high-end clients in the area, Goff was blessed to receive a referral to an electrician who took care of both electricity and plumbing for a mere $200. “This is how God works! It’s the law of attraction…I was then led to a mechanical contractor who did the next job for $800, and the landlord followed suit and gave me three months to lease the space [free of charge].” Goff hung in the window artwork of the infamous afro insignia which became synonymous with her brand, and the rest is history. “I spent a decade helping women to celebrate their natural outer beauty and embrace their uniqueness. It has been a great journey – meeting lots of women around the world and empowering them. So now, I want to take it to the next level.”
Tonya’s new calling is developing one’s inner beauty – to teach others how to recognize and respond to their inside voice as a reflection of their true self. On Monday, April 21, 2014, Goff will officially launch her website, YourInsideVoice.com – as a resource for those in need of direction in life. Tonya holds consultations dubbed ‘inspiration soul sessions’ to help people identify and outline whatever God has birthed in them to do.