The concepts of beauty and family have always been linked for Natasha Uneeda Pickett.
As a young girl, she helped her mother do hair and sometimes served as her Guinea pig, dreaming of the day she’d start her own salon. Today, she and her daughter co-own Enhancements by Shae — a cosmetics and personal care brand.
“Even though I have been an entrepreneur for many years, my family has always been my first ministry,” says the Gulfport resident. “I think I’ve done well.”
Pickett’s clan, which includes her husband, the Rev. Jakavious Pickett, and their children, Shae and Jaquille (JT), lends purpose to her many pursuits. Aside from her joint venture with Shae, the South Dakota native is a licensed cosmetologist, certified massage therapist, owner and CEO of TaSha Spa The Beauty Bar and co-pastor and chief operations officer for Praise Temple of Biloxi. She’s also a senior consultant with Beautycounter, which strives to get safer products into the public’s hands.
Pickett bills TaSha Spa The Beauty Bar as a place where “pampering meets beauty, and self-care is made a priority.” Her handcrafted line of natural remedies for healthier hair and skin includes products like honey and oats shampoo, turmeric face and body scrub, aloe vera face and body oil and lemongrass shower steamer.
“We sell those products online via Etsy and have rave reviews,” she says. “Beautycounter is an additional way to advocate for safer beauty and provide safer products, because all beauty should be good for you.”
Women may trust that their favorite beauty buys have strong government oversight, but Pickett notes that the last time Congress passed a law regulating cosmetics was 1938.
“Many of us are using beauty and personal care products that contain harmful ingredients every single day, not knowing the damage that these products are causing because of this myth … ,” she adds. “Choose clean beauty, ladies, because you’re too pretty to poison.”
Spiritual and inner beauty are of primary importance to Pickett, and faith is a huge part of her life.
“It’s what has gotten me … all of the many blessings I’ve received,” she says. “I believe that without God, none of this would be possible.”
In her role with Praise Temple of Biloxi, Pickett oversees the church’s day-to-day administrative activities and maintains the integrity of the ministry. She also enjoys working in her community and has been recognized for her service, earning the Biloxi NAACP’s Dorothy Lashley Religious Award for her contributions in the area of religious affairs. She also is co-founder of the F.R.E.E. Foundation, an active member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, a two-term member of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors and a 2017 Leadership Gulf Coast graduate.
She considers founding Praise Temple Biloxi’s Community Empowerment Festival, held annually at John Henry Beck Park, one of her greatest accomplishments. But what truly makes her proud is the success she facilitated as a devoted wife and mother — putting her own ambitions on hold to support her family, whether that meant attending school programs or sporting events.
Shae, aside from being an entrepreneur, is a 2020 University of Southern Mississippi graduate with a degree in therapeutic recreation. Jaquille, a senior at Alcorn State University, is majoring in biochemistry.
“To say that we are proud of our children would be an understatement,” she says. “We are tremendously blessed.”
To any woman who has delayed following her dreams, Pickett says, “starting is a start,” and it’s never too late.
“I believe that it is now my time to shine doing those things that make me happy doing,” she says, “and all the while making others feel and look beautiful from the inside out.”