Cindy Tawiah, a native of Ghana, opened Diva Day Spa and Healing Center in the fall of 2020, the first of its kind in Upperco, Maryland. (Courtesy Photo)

By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
msayles@afro.com

Cindy Tawiah was 16-years-old when she discovered what she wanted to do with her life. While living in Ghana and attending high school, she was failing her chemistry class. 

Rather than reprimand or penalize her for bad grades, Tawiah’s teacher taught her how to make her own nail polish and lipstick. Then, when she entered the high school science fair, he introduced Tawiah as a chemist and cosmetologist to attendees and judges. 

It dawned on her that that’s what she wanted to be when she grew up. However, her father had a different plan in mind. He wanted her to become a doctor, and the fear of his disownment prevented her from following her passion for some time. 

Tawiah attended nursing school in England, and upon her graduation, she was recruited to work at a hospital in Baltimore. For 13 years, she worked directly with women in postpartum and gynecology units, but her desire to work in the business of beauty remained. 

In 2007, Tawiah embarked on an entrepreneurial journey with her brand Diva by Cindy. She started with a line of hair care products that promote the growth of longer, healthier hair. Over the years, her business grew and eventually, Diva by Cindy became the first natural hair care brand to release her products in vending machines at BWI Airport. 

While Tawiah was satisfied with how her products made women feel on the outside, she also wanted to cater to the inside. 

“I looked really deep in my heart and realized that my heart’s desire was to have a place of healing and restoration and transformation for women,” said Tawiah. “I needed a place where all  women could come to be healed.” 

With the support of her business partner and husband, Samuel, Tawiah opened Diva Day Spa and Healing Center in October 2020, the first Black-owned day spa in Upperco, Md. 

Since its opening, the spa, located near Reisterstown Road, has had customers travel from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. to enjoy its services. 

Diva Day Spa and Healing Center offers healing and intuitive counseling; marriage and relationship counseling; massages; body scrubs; foot detox and foot scrubs; and an infrared sauna to boost patrons’ immune systems. 

It also hosts various workshops that feature sip and paints and candle and soap making. 

“ leave feeling like a load has been lifted. I’ve had a lot of women cry or weep because this was the first time they felt this way,” said Tawiah. “Finally, you’re realizing that you matter, that you’re important that you need healing.” 

With her business, Tawiah hopes to inspire other women to discover and pursue their purpose. According to her, a passion is what you love to do, while a purpose is not using what you love but what you’ve been given to make a difference in the lives of others.

In time, Tawiah would like to open a second location for Diva Day Spa and Healing Center in D.C. to serve more women in the Washington Metropolitan area. 

“It’s my desire that every woman finds a place where they can experience soul-healing or soul care, and we talk about self-care, but this is more than self-care,” said Tawiah. “Self-care is I got my nails done and I got my hair done, but soul care is when I nurtured myself from within and healed from the inside out.”

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