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FunTimes Magazine

Shakiera Johnson: From Cosmetology to Mixology

Nov 02, 2021 11:00AM ● By Candice Stewart
self photo of Shakiera Johnson, a Black lady in blue and gold shirt

Seafarer, and Owner & CEO of M’yxed Cocktails JA, Shakiera Johnson

It’s not often that you hear about a childhood dream of being a singer which later morphs into a career in cosmetology and then changes to seafaring by way of bartending and mixology. That has been Shakiera Johnson’s journey. 

Johnson, who is a trained and certified cosmetologist with a specialization in haircare, is now a bartender and mixologist who currently works with the Carnival Cruise line and has done so for the past 9 years.

“I’ve been doing hair since about 2003-2004, and over time, the industry got saturated with a lot of hairdressers and it became a little watered down for me. So, I wanted to try something new but wasn’t sure about the new direction,” Johnson shares with FunTimes Magazine.

“One day I was at work and saw a TV advertisement about becoming a bartender. The ad stated that participants would get certified by the local certification body and I decided to check it out,” she continues. 

“I called and they asked me to complete and submit my application, and wait for a call back for an interview and assessment. I missed the first call and was devastated,” she says. “However, I made it my duty to be ready and present to accept a call in the event that the opportunity would come again. It did,” she tells FunTimes Magazine.

It was an international program for Diageo Learning For Life Project Bartender

After the second call, she went in and participated in the training which was executed by the Bars 2 Go Group. They were an event company responsible for major parties, corporate events, and private events in Jamaica. The course was done at the Red Stripe Headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica and it lasted for approximately 4-8 weeks. 

Fascinated with this new journey, Shakeira was doe-eyed and bushy-tailed ready for anything and soaked up everything taught and demonstrated like a sponge. 

At the end of the course, she came out on top as the valedictorian from a group of roughly 500 participants. She was also awarded the Trailblazer Award for Excellence.

Seafarer, and Owner & CEO of M’yxed Cocktails JA, Shakiera Johnson 

“After the Diageo program was complete, we were told that an opportunity to work on cruise ships was possible and I was a ball of excitement. That came to fruition, and shortly after, I was being interviewed by Carnival Cruise Line representatives,” Shakiera shares. 

It took time and patience for Johnson and other persons in a similar situation to her. She knew that she did well, but as the days passed with no affirmative feedback, there was no end in sight for the anxiety that filled her. However, it eventually paid off and she got word that she was successful. After a lengthy preparation process, Shakiera made it onboard and has worked assiduously to serve her customers, as well as represent the company and hone her skills. She has done this all while visiting quite a few countries and making friends along the way.

Since then, this ball of fun and vivacious personality has worked in numerous private, corporate, and party events across Jamaica, onboard the Carnival Cruise Lines, and insists that her life has been changed for the better.

Little does she know that she is also changing the lives of others when she interacts with them. Shakiera is the epitome of positive energy and it comes from a place of not wanting to stay negative because life is no fun that way. 

The power of manifestation: 

Shakiera is a believer in manifesting goals, dreams, and desires while being purposeful about the steps that she takes. One such example is the very journey to her being successful as a candidate to work on the Carnival Cruise Lines. 

During her anxiety-filled wait to learn of her fate, she attended a beach party in the resort town of Ocho Rios in the parish of St. Ann in Jamaica. Not too far offshore was a ship part of the same fleet she hoped to work on one day. As a step for posterity and good measure, she took a photo with the ship in the background. It turns out that she would work on that same ship a few months later. 

Shakiera posing for a photo opportunity with a Carnival Cruise ship in the background.

Additionally, Shakiera has worked and trained to become a mixologist! This was after being successful in the course that kick-started this journey for her. She is now proud to say that she is an EBS Certified Mixologist. After coming back home to Jamaica for a short break (right before COVID-19) shut the world down, she put measures in place to start her own mixology company called M’yxed Cocktails JA. Through her company, she operates as a private mixologist being an expert in the creation of cocktails for her client’s needs. 

As a way to showcase her dedication to the craft, her mission through M’yxed Cocktails JA is to “provide beautiful cocktail moments and create visual stimulation of the crafted cocktails”. 

Since creating a name for herself through M’yxed Cocktails JA, Shakiera has gained some great attention. This includes being featured in the Nyam and Trod Home Bar Series season 3 where we see her mixing up some delicious-looking cocktails that leave you wanting more. 

Shakiera on the job as a private mixologist!

The future for this go-getter is bright as she sets her sights on owning her own restaurant and lounge that will feature her signature mixes. 

“It’s important for me to become a restaurateur with a lounge added to that because we don’t see many Black women holding that torch high in Jamaica. Even if they start their journey to getting to that point, they come to a halt at one stage or the other for various reasons. I want to be among the names you hear when you talk about well-known and world-class mixologists who just happen to own a restaurant and lounge. It can be done and it will be done,” she says. 

Cheers, Shakiera. We’re excited to see what comes next!

 Candice Stewart is a Jamaican content writer specializing in human interest feature stories. She is a web content writer, blogger, and budding podcaster. 

She holds an MA in Communication for Social and Behaviour Change and a BSc. in Psychology from the University of the West Indies (UWI, Mona).

Follow her blog at, where she shares stories and life lessons through real-life experiences.

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