Today we’d like to introduce you to Takeyona Rainey.
Takeyona, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
At the age of 13, Takeyona M. Rainey had started to build a name for herself. Braiding out of her mom’s house, even sometimes her grandparent’s house. Takeyona is a child of two. She has a brother who is four years older than her. Also, she is now the mother of her son, “DJ.” At the age of 4 years old, her older brother taught her how to braid. As she got older, she would watch her mom through a hand held mirror, looking at how she braided her hair. She also would take her mirror when she went to African braid shops to get scalp braids with extensions as well as sewins. It’s funny to her now because she always mentions, “maybe one day shell have to teach her brother how to re-braid if he forgets his daughter.” Within the age of 13, Takeyona would see this twist style that was trending “kinky twist, Senegalese, Havana twist.” And she saw that to her the way they started at the root wasn’t only non-protective and too much tension but didn’t last that long. So she studied brainstorming on this project for years. She finally came up with her style. She started practicing with her mother and close friends.
She is now at the age of 25 and has become a brand for herself and a salon owner. known as “Cake, The Stylist.”Well known now as the #workantwerk stylist. The cake went viral on February 22, 2019 on Instagram sharing 239,240 views on Instagram an over 1,000,000 views on Facebook. She even got particular shoutouts/reposts from Hot stylists and hair companies from all over the world. She is very thankful for each and everyone’s support. For those that do not know or did not see it, she was twerking while doing her most famous style, called “sweetz twist.” In the event of completing the style in good perfection, she was still killing her dance moves. After going viral, it gave cake great exposure for her style “sweetz twist. “
Takeyona had her son at the age of 16. Life moved fast for her at a young age. Not only was she a high school student at the time, but she was also able to graduate with honors a year earlier. After being out of school for a year, she took that time to `mom” and nurtured her son. Takeyona, then begin to get back into hair as a side hustle. She got her first job at 17 at Joe’s Crab Shack. She worked there no more than six months before she felt like that just wasn’t the job for her. She then got hired one month later at Kroger. She lasted there no longer than seven months.
After working those jobs, she focused on hair. Her childhood best friend put a buzz in her ear about maybe we should start dancing. I was like a girl. Our parents would kill us. She had the idea, and I had the car. After trying it, the money comes at ease, feeling like I should have never had a job to begin with. She first started being a GO-Go dancer, and she met a new crew. They introduced her to adult entertainment and her new friends gave her the name “Yung cake.” Becoming yung cake now opens Takeyona to a lifestyle. After making thousands of dollars and being robbed, going home nights without any money. After making all this money, Takeyona realizes after four years of dancing she wasnt getting nowhere. She didn’t want to do hair anymore but always took the few clients she could. After so long, Takeyona had one of her club sisters ask her to do some twist. She asked her friend “Ellie sweetz” did she mind if she did her own twist on her. She agreed. At the time, Ellie worked at one of the hottest strip clubs in Atlanta, “Magic City.” After completing the install for her, she went to work the next day. Everybody wanted the style wanted to know who did it. Remind you I had been telling this b ****** I have been doing hair since I was a young girl. They had to see it for themselves, not only did I get clients from “magic city” I got them from all the strip clubs. Once my style started to trend, I honored Ellie by naming her after my “twist.” “SWEETZ TWIST” Cake worked at blue flame, tease, live, the office, doa, kod. In town and out of town, that’s all she knew was to get it.
Cake woke up one day and said I deserve more my son deserves more than just things money can buy. He needed time she needed his mom to tuck him in at night. I have a talent, and people need me my gift. I thought hair was my hustle on dancing was my job. I had the game backward. I woke up one day and realize today is the day I take control. I had just paid my rent for my apartment and paid my car note. I had no money to my name and never went back. I posted every day I spoke with my mentor “Kimberraell” & “Waltdonumbers” for mental help she was an adult entertainer who made it out the game. She would tell me to focus on the twist post every day, reach out to people, and you’re going to win. And before you know it, it wasn’t even a year, and I went viral, and the whole world knew about the sweet twist. Coming in the game, I always said I would be done by 25 and look at me a year earlier I retired I am now almost two years of stripping. Its a real true scary feeling thinking that God gave up on you or forgot about you and bounce back when you put in the work.
Has it been a smooth road?
My struggle was supported. I had all the people in the world around me to help me, and nobody would until I proved myself an showed my talent. Even after showing my ability, I still didn’t receive the recognition that was needed rather. I should say wanted at the time. My closes friends wouldn’t even support me even when service was free of charge. Another thing was finances. I didn’t know how to save so that I couldn’t invest back into myself or my business.
Tell us more about the business.
I started my own business at the age of 13. Most find there gift or craft at a late age. I was blessed to find an know an understand mines early on. I am a hairstylist who specializes in natural hair. I am different from most because I created my hairstyle at a very young age, an the older I got, I perfected it. Now my style is well known a misunderstood compared too most. It may look the same, but it’s not!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see my business being one of the largest, most franchised businesses within the next few years. I plan to teach younger women what I taught myself to put them in position to do what I do an be able to give them a job, so they won’t make the wrong turns that I did an make sure they can do for themselves, I also plan to have my product in all main stores an on every platform an billboard, which is called “Tiki Effect.”