Plan, Prepare , Execute
Khat and I were up one night venting about our everyday hustles/ jobs. We were both looking for something new and it wasn't until we put our passion for hair together and came up with a bright idea to sell hair extensions. With Khat being a licensed hairstylist and myself always being her muse it only made sense. Please keep in mind that at the time this was not popular as it is today. In 2020 it seems like everyone from my mamma to the man at the car wash is "slanging bundles". The year was 2011 and with $2,000 dollars we started Hair Are Us .
We Took So Many L's
From the idea of selling hair, we quickly started out testing various vendors. Boy ol boy we got duped so many times with vendors who would send us great product then as soon as we order a larger amount they would ship us pure trash. We would test the hair and if it didn't pass, we would have to throw everything away and start over, it was hell. After finally finding several reputable vendors we quickly started to sell to our family and friends. At the time Facebook was big and that's how we were spreading the word so fast. The hair industry was nothing like it is now and we were in high demand very quickly! There were so many people calling our personal lines, we had to go get a metro pcs phone overnight because by then, people were passing along our numbers to their co-workers, etc and it got crazy. In a span of 3 weeks, we were riding around the city of Atlanta meeting up with people we didn't even know.
Trapping Ain't Easy
Once we had a good product to sell and the word spread like wildfire, we knew we couldn't continue to ride around and ship random people their hair order. So we transitioned over to a designated area at specific Target and Walmart parking lots (Atlantic Station). We had certain times that we would tell everyone to meet us ( 2x throughout the day). We would pull up take their money and serve them right up! Eventually, the lines got too long and the security guards told us we had to move it! But by then we were super popping and had enough clientele to get our own salon suites. We thought we had made it. We were excited about decorating a 200 sq ft space with AC / Heat. Khat was styling clients and I was there taking cash and consulting. But that quickly came to an end when our customers couldn't even fit in that small space after only 2-3 months! By then we had a little website because we couldn't continue to take orders via Facebook messages. (Don't judge us lol)
Looking Back - Story of Hair Are Us
We were truly blessed to start our company when we did, it afforded us the opportunity to grow at a rapid rate and learn a lot about entrepreneurship. Granted we were both born hustlers but the grind was real. We ate Popeyes chicken nuggets every day and when we weren't selling hair we were at every school, strip club and major event in Atlanta passing out flyers! Fast-forward to years later, we look back at how everything transitioned from a simple idea to a parking lot, to a salon suite, to our own stores.
The Game has Changed
In the year 2020 the game has changed, not only is the hair industry overly saturated but funny enough people rather order online than go to any retail stores. What we have both learned is that you have to be able to navigate and elevate with the times. The business motto you start off with will not always stay the same. Also in order to grow your company you need a strong team! In the beginning, we did it all and it literally almost burnt us out the first year. However, we have been able to hire an amazing team that is still with us to this day! #The story of Hair Are Us
Myself & Khat are currently working on a publishing a bookso that we can continue to share more of our story and insight on becoming an entrepreneur. From working in a partnership with your best friend to navigating a business through the age of social media, honey we got stories for days that will truly blow your mind. From sending hair in on the plane in suitcases to almost getting robbed and not to mention the crazy customers we have encountered along the way. We couldn't make these stories up if we tried! In reality, the story of Hair Are Us is so much more than this mini summary, so stay tuned!