KX News is Honoring Black History by sharing the stories of those who are building businesses, paying it forward and advocating personal advancement.
Today, we share the story of a woman who is doing just that. Building an empire, so to speak, all while remembering those who came before her.
“We actually get to learn and teach others more about the history behind what we know,” said Kenyatta McLeod-Tipke, owner of Kouture Beauty Bar.
For her, Black history isn’t just celebrated during the month of February but every day of the year.
Born and raised in Minot, Tipke says she loves to educate others about her history and culture but she first had to start with herself.
“I didn’t know any different. No one ever treated me differently. As I started to grow up in elementary school it was OK,” said McLeod-Tipke. “But as I started getting older, junior high and high school, it was less than pleasant. It was a learning curve.”
A learning curve that would eventually get her to where she is today.
She is the owner of two successful businesses in the Magic City: Kouture Beauty Bar, and Darling Doughnots, a feat that she says didn’t come easily.
She added, “People don’t realize that it takes a lot to A, run a business as a woman, even more so as a Black woman, and to keep it going.”
The wife and mom of two says the journey has been well worth it. She credits her family for helping her along the way, especially her father.
“Most people know my dad. My dad is Mac,” she said.
Mac McLeod that is. The executive director of the Minot Area Homeless Coalition.
Kenyatta is on that path too — a path dedicated to her community. She says not only is she living her ancestors’ wildest dreams, but she’s also making sure to carry it on for generations to come.
“My goal is to make sure that my girls continue on being like me and good human beings all around. I want them to be the most amazing predecessor for me. I want them to go out in the world and do all that they can,” she added.
Tipke says she often reads Dr. Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman to inspire her. A reminder of all she has accomplished and the path forward.