From struggle street to working at the Playboy Mansion

Jaqui Summers from Xotic Hair in Browns Plains. Photo Inga Williams / The Reporter
Jaqui Summers from Xotic Hair in Browns Plains. Photo Inga Williams / The Reporter Inga Williams

JAQUELINE Summers knows what it's like to live rough.

Today she is the successful owner of Xotic Hair and Beauty. She regularly travels to the US, where she does hair and make-up at the Playboy Mansion.

She is the only authorised Australian hair and make-up artist to work at the mansion.

"I go to Los Angeles every four to six weeks," she said.

But Ms Summers hasn't always lived a glamorous life. As a teenager she spent some time living on the streets in Woodridge and Crestmead.

Though she doesn't regret any of it, Ms Summers said she wanted to share her story with the hope of inspiring other young people doing it tough in Logan.

"I want people in Logan to know they can do anything," she said.

"Anything is possible."

Ms Summers grew up in Crestmead, eventually falling in with the wrong crowd.

"I got in with the wrong crowd, I had friends that were murdered, do drugs - but I never did," she said.

"I ran away from home at the age of 15, a couple of times the police found me."

Ms Summers said she dropped out of school in Year 11 and bounced between friends' houses.

"I would sleep on people's back steps or on their verandas," she said.

"I was doing it tough but I would never admit that to my mother at the time."

At 17 Ms Summers fell pregnant and had a son.

When he turned four her son was diagnosed with leukemia and given just two weeks to live.

This, Ms Summers said, was a turning point for her.

"They gave him two weeks to live but he beat all the odds," she said.

Ms Summers also had another son, Tyrelle, who is now 15.

"I was on my own for years and I decided I had to do job after job to make it work," she said.

"I did online courses and went to TAFE, I studied law, business and beauty to keep me busy.

"I did hair extensions on many friends from home and then I got professionally trained in how to do it.

"I thought this would fit in around our hospital trips and the boys' school."

Ms Summers said she gradually built up her client base, working 18 hours a day, seven days a week, for several years.

"It was difficult being on a single parent pension, I couldn't afford to get certified, so my mum paid," she said.

"Every time I wanted to give up, I thought about how my mother had paid for the course, so I had to keep going so I didn't disappoint her."

Ms Summers said her message to teens in Logan who may have made some poor choices was no situation is so bad you can't come back from it.

Topics:  editors picks hairdressing playboy mansion success

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