Meet Houston entrepreneur and hairstylist Britney Winters

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Simone Biles. Mary J. Blige. Naomi Campbell. Taraji P. Henson. These celebs all have wigs rocked by Houston native Britney Winters.

HOUSTON — When the superstar Mary J. Blige took the stage at the Super Bowl, it was a defining moment for Houston entrepreneur Britney Winters.

During the halftime show, Blige sported long golden locks from Britney’s Upgrade boutique in Houston.

It was such an amazing opportunity,” Britney said recently. Rekha Muddaraj, anchor of KHOU 11 News. “I’m such a big fan of hers, so seeing her up there with something that was part of the company I started was just a dream come true.”

It was a looping moment for the Third Ward native who grew up listening to Blige with her aunt.

RELATED: Meet the Houston Woman Behind Mary J. Blige’s Long Golden Super Bowl Locks

I didn’t understand it at the time, but listening to Mary was therapy for her. But as I got older and went through my own trials and heartaches, Mary became therapy for me,” Winters posted on Instagram. “She’s my aunt in my head and I admire her so much! Being able to provide the wig for such an important moment in his career is a dream come true for me.”

His childhood was not easy.

“My great-grandmother raised me until I was about 12, until she died of breast cancer.”

Britney bounced around for years, living with different parents. But she excelled in school.

“Because sometimes my home life wasn’t so stable, I wanted that distraction.”

A favorite teacher at Booker T. Washington, the magnetic high school for the engineering professions, encouraged her to apply to Stanford University. She got a full scholarship.

“It’s not always the goal, but once I found it, it became the goal,” Britney said. “Once I’ve seen the palm trees, that’s where I need to be.”

She studied engineering at Stanford and returned to Houston for a job in finance after graduation.

A few years later, Britney was accepted into Harvard Business School.

While attending school in Boston and caring for her younger sister, she got the idea to start her business after trips to New York to get her hair done.

“I spent so much time and money doing my hair,” Britney said. “I was having trouble finding a stylist. Me and some of the other black students started going on day trips to New York to get our hair done. We were taking the bus.”

The time – and money – spent inspired her to design her own wigs.

His engineering background and business background led to Upgrade Boutique, the digital solution for those who want custom, high-quality wigs and extensions.

“We supply the wig and then we hand it over to the stylist, once you choose the stylist, they color it and customize it to your specifications,” she explained.

She opened her flagship store a few months ago, a few blocks from where she grew up.

“When mom’s guilt creeps in, I remind myself, I do this for my daughter, she’s my motivation,” Britney said. “I want her to have a head start in life. I don’t want her to work as hard as I do.”

She also encourages other girls to seek a STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) education.

With her online business, Britney has clients all over the world, including celebrities like Simone Biles. Naomi Campbell and Taraji P.Henson. That’s why she set her sights on Los Angeles for her next boutique.



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