As a little girl in Jamaica, Peta-Gaye McCalla’s daydreams of America included streets paved with gold, the scent of Irish Spring soap wafting through the air, and a joyful reunion with her mother who had gone ahead of her to build a life for her and her brothers.
She was a Dreamer before there was a name for children brought to the United States by immigrant parents. And she was a dreamer in the visionary sense, as well. Her dreams would be the driving force in becoming the woman she is today.
Once in the States, Peta-Gaye learned quickly that faith, vision, and hard work would be her tools to get ahead. Though she had other plans, beauty school provided a means to a perfect life.
But no one knew that as a hairstylist, Peta-Gaye often motivated the women who sat in her chair to push through their life traumas with faith while she herself was secretly facing the expensive nightmare and trauma of immigration red tape. Or that while she fed them words of inspiration from behind the chair, her own life was falling apart behind-the-scenes. Or that she was running from her calling and from ICE.
Still, her passion for all-things-fashion and beauty and her desires of love and major success were her motivation in pursuing the life she envisioned for herself. With faith, perseverance, and a vision, the journey to live the American Dream became more real by the day.
Journey: My Life Behind the Chair is the story of a young immigrant girl who grows into a woman while learning that faith and family are more important than any material possession. And that the most wonderful relationships and opportunities can come out of the places from which you most desperately want to run.