by Terry Watson | July 14th, 2017
Carolyn Marshall Covington is a dedicated business professional with expertise in salon /ownership, management, and personal empowerment. She has passionately served the beauty industry for over 40 years, employing over 1500 people, many of which have achieved great success in their own right as entrepreneurs, celebrity stylists, and educators. Carolyn has always been considered a role model and polestar for success in the hair industry. She graduated from Bladensburg Vocational High School, studying Cosmetology, and blazed a trail from DC/ MD area to NC. She studied abroad and traveled frequently. On one of her many cross-country trips, she discovered the name and concept for her dream salon. The infamous INFLIGHT Hair Salon was created in 1982 in Maryland. She has been instrumental in many start up salons. A proprietor and co/owner of over 20 Salons & spas, her face was seen and known by stylist in hair salons across the globe. She graced the cover of the 1st Black Passion International Magazine, giving her an even greater notoriety. Carolyn competed and won the USA Black Hair Olympics under the mentorship of Mr. Floyd Kenyatta, the Global Ambassador for John Paul Mitchell Systems.
She has also directed several educational programs including Regal Academy of Cosmetic Arts, (VA), Kenyatta Higher Learning Academy, (Raleigh, N.C.), SSG Continuing Education CEU Provider NC State Board, FAME Academy Beauty & Barber Next Level Training NC. Additionally, she has led several Research and Product Development campaigns for major product lines such as Manufacturer DZIRE Professional Products, Salon 10 Products, Silky Smooth Products, Skin X Men’s Skincare Products.
Carolyn was awarded the prestigious (Hair –n- Motion) Living Legend award in 2015 and the BBU Leadership Legacy Award in 2016, for excellence and dedication to the Beauty industry. From salon owner, platform artist, and educator to new product development, utilizing innovative cutting edge technology, Carolyn’s self-driven highly motivated professionalism has propelled her to the top rankings in her craft.
Carolyn opened Jolie the Day Spa in Cameron Village in 2000, a dream that became a reality. This was also the year she came face to face with the biggest challenge of her life. Carolyn was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) a degenerative eye disease. Carolyn is legally blind but God has given her Vision without sight to continue to impact the Beauty Industry. “When you are blindsided in life you have to stand still and know that God has a bigger plan and purpose for your life.
“I have too much energy and too many dreams to fulfill before I think about sitting on the sidelines. I am still in it to win it. I believe that sharing my knowledge and experience through lectures and workshops is a perfect and fulfilling way to stay active in this amazing beauty industry that I have dedicated the majority of my life to. My Prayer is that God will continue to use me as a leader, a positive role model and mentor to many,” she says.
After closing her businesses and experiencing a deep dark depression, she became an advocate for the (BVI) Blind & Visually Impaired community and started a nonprofit Insightful Visionaries Inc, which includes a program called Beauty for Sight. Beauty for Sight is a coalition of beauty professionals helping to create awareness and provide training and services for the Blind & Visually Impaired. They sponsored the Beauty Icon event to raise money to provide beauty services to build confidence and self esteem in the community.
Carolyn states “When you help others live a better life and give back you take the focus off your challenges and it allows people to see God working through you to perform his purpose and plan.”
Visions Thrift Boutique is the newest addition to Insightful Visionaries. Visions Thrift Boutique is located at 5300 Atlantic Avenue in Raleigh, and is accepting slightly worn shoes and handbags for resale and the proceeds are used for training for the BVI community. They employ the Visually impaired to provide work experience and a start of an independent lifestyle.
Tabatha Moore with Heartfelt Alternatives donated $1000 in support of Insightful Visionaries mission to facilitate the independence of the blind and visually impaired community. Assisting with equal employment assistance, training, and counselling along with beauty, grooming and hygiene services to help build confidence.
The 3rd Annual National Blind Idol Semi-Finals singing competition was hosted by Insightful Visionaries and RLCB at the Raleigh Renaissance North Hills Hotel on June 3rd 2017. Over 400 supporters filled the ballroom as Insightful Visionaries amazing team and volunteers collaborated to raise awareness of the blind and visually impaired and encourage people to support an under-served community. It was an opportunity to help fulfill the dreams of the 15 courageous contestants and to strengthen their confidence and independence.
The Visionary Honors Dinner was moderated by the Coffee & Cream TV Hosts Richard and Crystal McCorkell, paying tribute to medical and technology professionals who have made notable contributions to the BVI (blind / visually impaired) community. The 2017 BVI Champion Visionary Honors Award (community member who is driving change and improvements for BVI individuals and/ or groups) was presented by Cynthia Speight, Director, Division of Services for The Blind to Honoree Diane B. Whitaker, OD, Duke Eye Center. The Keynote Speaker and Honoree, Ed Summers, Software Accessibility Specialist, SAS was the recipient of the 2017 BVI Leader Visionary Honors Award (Paving the way for the BVI community with tools and accessibility to compete on the mainstream employment circuit).
The Visionary Excellence Award was presented to 16-year-old Guest Artist Matthew Whitaker, for his musical talents and for being an inspiration to all. Carolyn says to Matthew “No matter what twists and turns life puts in your path, you are a shining star. Please continue to let your light shine so that others may follow.”
It was standing room only at 6:00 p.m. for The National Blind Idol Semi-finals, a production of McMillian Entertainment. Each contestant in the semi-finals was awarded a certificate of participation, and the five semi-finalists received a trophy for their achievement. Insightful Visionaries and Carolyn Covington congratulated the five finalists: D’Meri – Dover, Delaware, Deandre Kellyman – Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Jordan Scheffer – Asheville, North Carolina, Mary Mikels – Raleigh, North Carolina, Michael Kendall Harris – Salt Lake City, Utah. The winners will advance to Winston-Salem for the National Blind Idol Finale competition presented by IFB Solutions of Winston-Salem, on August 12, 2017. The winner will receive a Grand Prize package of $1,000 cash, eight hours of recording time at a recording studio in Winston-Salem, N.C., and a professional headshot. The total prize package is valued at $3,000.
While there have been many curves thrown at Carolyn, she has stood strong and continues to be a pillar in the community and an advocate for the blind and visually impaired. Her determination and positivity continue to influence the younger generation as she creates opportunities for them to grow individually and collectively.” The future has no boundaries when you are obedient in your purpose, the one God has chosen for you.”