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Celebrating 40 Years With a Grateful Heart

Mount Juliet, Tennessee gave Lisia Tucker a life she never dreamed of

Lisia Tucker had a typical childhood growing up in NYC. She lived in a high-rise, played in the streets, and attended Catholic school while being raised with her two sisters by her father and grandmother. Tucker remembers playing with doll heads when they were young, never imagining it would later become her career. Her father was a brick-layer and didn’t particularly promote higher education. Instead, he encouraged his girls to focus on a trade, so Tucker began pursuing beauty school. What happened next changed everything.  

On New Year’s Eve, 1980, her father hit another motorist while under the influence of alcohol. The next day he left town and headed for Tennessee, hoping to avoid law enforcement. Tucker remembers crying the whole way to Nashville. Looking back, she says being here has been a blessing though it certainly didn’t feel like it at the time. The police eventually caught up to her dad, and at 17, she was placed into foster care. To this day, she is thankful that the state of Tennessee advocated for her to be able to continue in cosmetology school even after she aged out of the state custody program. Within a year, she received her GED in addition to completing her training and practice hours. Thus began a life-long career as a hairdresser. 

Even though higher education wasn’t encouraged in her family, Tucker knew she would own a salon one day. She often worked two jobs and attended school at night to get her accounting degree from Nashville Tech. In 1983 she started working at Just Hair on Murfreesboro Rd and later bought it as a co-owner in 1991. 

Before becoming a first-time business owner, she met and married her husband, and they made plans to purchase a home together. Having never owned a house and always eager to learn, Tucker added a real estate class to her school schedule, hoping it would help her better understand the home-buying process. One of her customers also pressed for her to sit for the real estate licensing exam, and she passed!

As a realtor, Tucker kept hearing about the Mount Juliet area and rumors of “Providence,” so she took a risk and opened a salon on Adams Lane in 2005. Tucker has seen an immense change from the location up on the hill. She’s had a bird’s eye view to see Providence Shopping Mall and the surrounding residential areas grow over the last 17 years. Tucker says she “loves every ounce of it” and is excited to see the new developments behind their building. She enjoys knowing people can live, work, shop, and play right here in Mount Juliet. 

The expansion of Providence has also meant significant growth for Aqua Bella Day Spa & Hair Studio. Tucker now has over 35 ladies on staff who offer a wide variety of services, including hair, nails, massage, skincare, waxing, makeup, and more! Almost half of the crew has been working with Tucker for 15 years or more. In an industry with frequent turnover, this is an unheard-of statistic! She shares how it warms her heart to see how beautifully they all get along. She says, “many of them are best friends who are in each other’s weddings and having kids together.” Beyond the friendships, she says they are incredible at what they do, which keeps her young! 

Tucker is also actively involved in the community. She has held several leadership positions and has served as a long-time member of various community and professional organizations. It’s evident how much pride she has in her town, stating, “Mount Juliet is like a modern Mayberry. It’s different. It’s special here. I love it!”

Lisia Tucker has come a long way from begging her dad not to bring her to Nashville. Today, even with the circumstances of her relocation, she’s incredibly thankful to live here. Tucker remarks that Tennessee has been good to her. Despite being in and out of foster homes, she recently celebrated 40 years as a hairstylist and has built a life with her husband of 34 years that she previously never knew existed. 

When Tucker isn’t behind the chair, she is often a speaker for women in business or cosmetology programs. She encourages her audience to put their mind to pursuing their dreams and not look in the rearview mirror. Tucker says she could have blamed many people for her situation, but once she forgave, everything opened up, and she’s never looked back.