As you all know I started SupportaSista.com as a response to a negative experience I had with an Asian owned hair vendor. I wanted to create a space to encourage, inspire and support both Black consumers and business owners alike. Of course because it started with hair I received tons of recommendations on Black owned hair vendors and VirginHairQueen.com was one of the ones that was recommended time and time again from loyal and happy customers. I got the chance to catch up with owner Lynette to learn a little about her and her business.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself/background/how you got started with your business?
A: I am the product of my environment which simply means that I grew up needing more than was provided for me so I learned how to survive and maintain my life and an image of myself that made me feel good. I’ve always had a gift of creativity and I can do anything from graphics/ website design, hair, couponing to financial management, I’m considered to be a jack of all trades. Everyone tell me that I’m an old soul because I’m 35 and my wisdom is beyond my years (not my words, but the words of others). I’ve always had the mindset that I cannot depend solely on a 9-5 job for my stability because I believe in multiple streams of income. My professional background is in banking & brokerage and i have 15 years under my belt as well as a degree in business administration. Most people expect me to say that I have a background in cosmetology but I do not, I actually HATE doing hair but I’m naturally good at it and that stems from me being that little girl that took pride in herself and having the create the look for less. I would always read the articles in hair magazines and would experiment on myself until I mastered the hairstyles and then I became the kitchen beautician for my school, neighborhood, family and everyone in between. I became addicted to hair extensions at the age of 12 after the jeri curl phase ran its course (yes I had one) and the only way to revert your hair from it was to cut all of your hair off and start over. Well that wasn’t going to work for me so I begged my mom to take me to a beauty supply store and I discovered wet and wavy extensions and it was like the holy grail because it was a smooth transition from having to cut my hair completely off to looking like I never skipped a beat. I continued and still continue to wear extensions out of prefereance & conveience. I mastered making wigs that looked like sew-ins because I changed my hair so often and sew-ins took more time than I had and then I began making them for others, people with health issues & including other virgin hair companies. When I began to have medical problems with my back I realized I couldn’t continue to make wigs and do hair at the pace that I was before and began researching the virgin hair market. I rearched the market for one year before settling on a manufacturer. I tested the quality of the hair with several purhases as a customer and never as a potential vendor because I wanted to make sure the quality stayed consistent. I also realized that I was losing ground during my research phase because while I was researching to make sure my product was solid other virgin hair companies were opening and dominating the market but I couldn’t rush my business. I needed to know for sure that by product was solid and that hard earned money that people would be using as an investment for hair wouldn’t go to waste because I didn’t do my part. My integrity is everything to me. I launched my business while in recovery from back surgery from my bed and in a back brace. When others would have laid up and relaxed, I seized the moment and created my brand from my sick bed.
Q: What led you to get into the hair industry?
A:I made custom wigs using beauty supply store hair for many years and then the demand for virgin hair came along & it allowed me to become exposed to the quality of raw & steam processed virgin hair & I began to make custom wigs using virgin hair for myself and others.
Q: There does seem to be more and more hair vendors popping up these days, what do you think sets your business apart?
A: I ask myself this question all the time because lets face it, everyone is selling virgin hair because most people see this as easy money. What really sets me apart is my knowledge, my experience, my customer service. I listen to my customers, I value them and their hard earned money. This isn’t about a quick dollar for me, its about giving people what they desire without hesitation that they are receiving exactly what they are paying for.
Q: Do you have any words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: My aspiring words to anyone that is interested in opening a business is to do your research, know who your target audience is, be where they are, learn all the social media platforms, get to know everything about analytics and content relevancy because you are only as good as the timing you are in. You can have something great but miss the timing so learn how to track and estimate trends. Lastly, do not use your business social media platforms to tear other businesses down, to engage in negativity, to blast other people or companies because ultimately it makes your brand look poorly.
Q: Do you have any tips or recommendations for first time visitors to your site/hair extension virgins?
A: My recommendations are to read. I know that sounds point blank but I promise you that everything you need to know is there on the website. I get many virgin hair virgins on my website & they tend to ask alot of questions and I do not hesitate to them but do not go by my word alone. Youtube is a great resource to learn more about virgin hair, virgin hair care and what to expect.
For more information you can visit VirginHairQueen online:
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