Being an entrepreneur and a mother has never been an easy feat but my passion for helping other women and girls (including my daughter) love themselves through their hair fuels my soul. My company, SwirlyCurly was born out of frustration with my hair and not having the tool I needed to keep my hair out of my face.
In 2013, I went on a hunt in the fashion district in Los Angeles to figure out how to mass produce a one of a kind hair tie. Through this journey, I’ve learned a lot about being a businesswoman.
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Giving birth to my now 18-month-old daughter, Satori; it gave life and my business a whole new meaning.
Here are the 4 tips every supermom in business should know:
Start by doing your research
Find out who’s already doing it and a company to model after. Find out what is going to make your business different from the rest. Find a mentor, someone who can help you with the process and this will help cut down on making mistakes and wasting money.
After figuring out how to do it, find who to sell it to
Early on I knew that if I was dealing with this issue, other women with naturally curly hair were too. I knew my market hung out on Youtube. I reached out to influencers for them to share the product with their audience. This proved to be true when I broke even on the first paid video from a YouTuber. My company’s growth in its beginning years was through word of mouth of natural hair influencers.
Set up a schedule
As a momtrepreneur, I had new priorities and my schedule had to reflect that. Pick a launch date and figure out how you’re going to market your business on a budget. Make sure you have dedicated time to work on your business without any distractions. Inform your support system about your schedule so they are aware and won’t be a distraction during your working hours. Stay committed and don’t give up! You will see the rewards within time. When it comes to guilt or reservations around dedicating your time to something other than your family, start small by allowing yourself a few hours a week to work on the business and gradually build up to an amount that works for you and your lifestyle. I had to work through sleep deprivation in order to get things moving for the business. Learning to work in smaller blocks of time helped me propel through the sleepless nights. I had to let go of in-person networking events and learn to network through social media. What helped my family and my business the most was integrating a household schedule. Mark and I work for six hours a day, four days a week. We have a personal day allocated and Sundays are strictly for family and leisure.
I treat my business the way I treat my daughter; with love and respect while remaining firm and authentic in my stance. As a mother, you realize you don’t have time for it all. That makes you level up to a new standard that only has room for your authentic self. With this said, I am able to look pass criticism of raising children and starting a company. I think it’s the best thing a mother can do for herself, her kids, and her family. By never giving up on her dreams despite how long it may take her, the mother sets the example for the rest of her family to follow. I am a firm believer in that our dreams, our passions, and our callings are what truly keep us alive; physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our passions can very well be to raise a family and start a business.
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Having a child and simultaneously running a business meant taking on two full-time jobs. I had to come to terms with the fact that I cannot do as much as I used to in a day and that things are going to take a bit longer to get done. I had to do less and grow accustomed to it. Since my time was divided between the business and Satori, I could not be on call all the time. The business could be going up in flames, and I had no time to help. After experiencing this so many times you’ll start to notice two things:
- 1. The fires will put themselves out if you leave them long enough
- 2. Your team will handle it.
This also shifted my time management skills.
My ultimate goal in my business is to have curly haired women feel comfortable in their crown. I want my daughter to grow up embracing her hair and feeling beautiful in it. I truly believe Satori will have a different relationship with her hair and self-image with my guidance and knowledge and that’s truly what I want for all women of color, especially those who choose to wear their hair natural.
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