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Rising from Makeup Artist to Boss Lady: Tina Knowles-Lawson’s Resilient Fortune Shines Despite Recent Divorce

Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles-Lawson has leveraged her ability to make people look good as a way to secure her a massive amount of wealth. At 69 years old, the Galveston-born beauty has an estimated net worth of $25 million, secured by her role as a stylist, designer, and the mother of one of the greatest performers the world has ever seen.

Tina Knowles-Lawson, photo via Instagram

The Early Days

Knowles-Lawson started her professional career in Los Angeles at the age of 19 as a makeup artist for Shiseido, a Japanese cosmetic company. After some time, she left this career and returned home to take care of her ailing parents. When it was appropriate, she took another job away from her Texas roots and worked as a dance choreographer at the University of Alabama and later as a job as an esthetician.

Beyonce (left), is seen here with her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson and Richard Lawson.Instagram/TinaKnowles-Lawson

However, it was not until she opened her hair salon Headliners in Houston’s Bissonnet district in 1990 that she stopped working for others and started to establish wealth as a business owner and independent contractor.

Headlining for Beyoncé

By then, Knowles had married Mathew Knowles and given birth to both Beyoncé Knowles and Solange Knowles. When she opened the salon, it was one of the biggest in Houston.

The eight-chair salon was quite successful and played an integral role in the formation of Destiny’s Child. According to Texas Monthly, it was “the girls’ unofficial stage, where they learned to be entertainers.”  In fact, the music video “Bills, Bills, Bills,” was shot in a salon in tribute to Miss Tina.

As the group got bigger and eventually got signed, Miss Tina started to distance herself from the salon and became the girl’s stylist and personal fashion designer. She started to design and make their clothes because big fashion houses would not dress or lend them clothes.

Venturing into Fashion

When Beyoncé’s personal imprint started to rise and she became a solo artist, the call for her to have merch grew as loud as a clarion call. Instead of just merch, the mother-daughter team launched the House of Dereon, named after Beyoncé’s grandmother and Miss Tina’s mom in 2006.

“She [Knowles] would make all of these beautiful clothes for myself and the other ladies of Destiny’s Child, and after so many years, my fans said we want to buy these clothes somewhere, so it was a natural thing for us to do this line,” Beyoncé shared. “And it’s so great for us to be able to do it together, number one because we get to spend time together, and two because we have such respect for each others’ taste.”

Despite their big push, HoD was shut down in 2012, after not doing as well as the duo had hoped, according to CNBC.

While HoD did not thrive, the Miss Tina by Tina Knowles clothing line debuted on the Home Shopping Network in 2007 and later in Walmart and Kmart in 2010.

A Return to Beauty and Art

Also, in 2010, she helped Beyoncé create the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center, “a seven-month cosmetology training course for adult men and women,” to which both Beyoncé and Miss Tina donate $100,000 every year, according to MTV News.

In addition to her work in fashion and beauty, Miss Tina is also an author, writing the book “Destiny’s Style: Bootylicious Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle Secrets From Destiny’s Child,” in 2002.

Miss Tina has also expanded her fortune by delving into real estate. When Beyonce bought a $1.6 million Houston house in 2004, she quickly transferred the deed to her mother. In 2011, Tina Knowles listed the house for $3.5 million. In 2005, Tina Knowles purchased a $3 million Manhattan apartment, selling it for $5.6 million in 2011. She also has a property in Hollywood Hills, which was robbed in July 2023. The thieves got away with $1 million of cash and jewelry.

They did not take any of her massive art collection.

According to Cultured Mag, Miss Tina has works by historic artists like Henry Ossawa Tanner, Elizabeth Catlett, and John Biggers. She also supports newer artists such as Toyin Ojih Odutola, Genevieve Gaignard, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, and Rob Pruitt.

Giving Back and Giving Up

Miss Tina’s passion for advocating art led her and husband Richard Lawson to establish WACO (Where Art Can Occur) Theater Center, where they currently serve as co-artistic directors.

The center aims to offer guidance and mentorship to underserved communities. Despite their creative endeavors, their marriage has hit rocky waters.

Miss Tina filed for divorce on July 25 from the 76-year-old actor, citing “irreconcilable differences” after an eight-year relationship. She seeks the termination of spousal support for both parties and requested her last name, Knowles, to be restored.

While going through divorce, Miss Tina is not skipping a beat. She was recently spotted out at her daughter’s MetLife Stadium tour, dancing the night away.

Prior to attending the significant event, the fashion designer decided to have a meal with her daughter Solange and her niece, Angie Beyince. She documented the lunch outing through an Instagram video, captioning it, “At Lunch with these two beauties @solangeknowles @angiebeyince in NYC.”

A little while later, she showed herself having a ball at the show with Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey, proving, no one can break her soul.

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