Wednesday, May 22, 2024

In the Cards: Walcott clogs lanes, styles braids

Imani Walcott faces a Weselyan defender in the post. Walcott led the team in rebounds and total blocks last season and is a force in the paint.

By Mikai Bruce

Student-athletes often have to balance an immense schedule between their academic and athletic obligations and this can leave them feeling overwhelmed and overextended. To add running a business on top of all of that seems like a daunting task, but Imani Walcott has made this a reality for herself. She has managed to thrive as a student, a basketball player and as a business owner. Her business is one of an important niche here at Plattsburgh. 

Walcott is a second-year accounting student at SUNY Plattsburgh and her story is as fascinating as any you’ll find on campus. Walcott came to SUNY Plattsburgh last year after finding out about its strong business program that aligned with the goals she had set for herself in life: to be a successful business owner. 


Jayne Smith

Imani Walcott styles her client, Ashley Barrett. Walcott has plenty of customers, including Plattsburgh State athletes.


It wasn’t just the business program that drew her to this school. It was also basketball that led her here.

Walcott was recruited to be a center for the women’s basketball team at SUNY Plattsburgh and she has impressed during her time on the team. She led the team in rebounds and total blocks with averages of 6.5 rebounds per game and 30 blocks on the year. 

Her dominance on the court is wonderful, but her impact off the court is even more important. 

At SUNY Plattsburgh, there are not a bevy of hairdressers who can give people of color the hairstyles that they desire. Walcott’s business, “Ebony Locs,” specializes in people of color’s hair. 

Walcott provides a much needed service to people of color in the Plattsburgh community and this is something that means a lot to her.

“I decided to continue doing hair in college because this is something that I love to do and I believe I will be in this business for life. Knowing there isn’t a lot of opportunity to get our hair done locally and affordable, and being able to help with that, is a blessing,” Walcott said.

Walcott’s business was years in the making. She grew up aiding her family by doing her sister’s hair as a young child and this led to her getting her first hairdressing gig in a salon at the age of 16. Getting experience this young enabled her to start her own business.

Walcott has many customers all over campus and the reviews about her hairstyling expertise are stellar. 

“Her business is efficient and affordable, gets the job done and never disappoints,” Mussa Kone, Plattsburgh State track and field athlete, said.

Most college students have a busy life and for Walcott’s business to be so readily available and have reasonable prices is important.

“Her business provides quick, high-quality and affordable hair styling and it’s easy to book appointments,” frequent customer Nathan Holder said.

The convenience of her business plays a large role in its success as well, and for her to always have slots available around her academic and athletic schedule is no easy task.

“I require a deposit to solidify appointments so that I can write out all of my hair appointments on my calendar that are just for hair. At the beginning of the season, we get a schedule for basketball with practices and games on it. I schedule appointments around practice and classes,” Walcott said.

It takes a lot of careful planning for her to run her business and she has succeeded in doing so. Walcott is a student, basketball player and a business owner and thriving in all of those roles. She is the embodiment of perseverance and is showing no signs of slowing down. 


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