We had the good fortune of connecting with Shani N. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shani, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As a young child my favorite words were “my own”. I’ve always been intrigued by hair products and hair styles. I would make frequent trips to the local beauty supply store in Omaha,NE and image owning my own store one day. When I moved to Atlanta I realized very fast that I wanted to start a handmade hair and beard business, but had no idea where to begin. I thought about all the skills my Granny Rachel had instilled in me as a child. I witnessed my Granny braid and press multiple peoples hair and also use specific hair products to achieve these looks. I was greatly influenced by her skills and work ethic. I knew then that my love for the hair industry and wanting to own my own business tied in together. I immediately began to research prices, turn around times, LLC cost etc. I then began to see what type of hair/beard products were in demand and how many people preferred that it be handmade. I knew it wouldn’t be a easy process,but I was willing to bet it all on my dream job.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my stuff. I love that I hand make all but one of my products and I believe that’s what sets me apart from others. Adding love to my products is very important because energy is real and I want people to feel good when using my creations. God and a positive attitude/approach are the foundation of my business. It took me about a year and a half to get where I am professionally. A lot of trials and tribulations,financial struggles,and late nights. The road to starting a business isn’t a easy one,but its definitely worth the risk. I’ve learned to be self efficient in all areas of my business because always depending on another person/company can and will cause set backs. One of the biggest things to remember is not to block your own blessings. Be mindful of the things you tell others about your business because they may be praying on your downfall. Starting organically without an inheritance or a famous family member is challenging. I wanted to throw the towel in, and got slightly depressed,but never gave up . I noticed that the more I focused on God and my purpose the more success came my way. My brand is my baby and I will always work hard and make sure I stay consistent, which is what I believe really puts you ahead of the game.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take my friend to Atlanta Breakfast Club for a fun brunch experience. After brunch I would hit up Cirque Daiquiri Bar and Grill to smoke hookah and listen to some good music. Next, visit Suite Lounge to dance and drink. Last but not least go to Magic City or Follies for a little entertainment. Sunday funday would consist of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens or the Georgia Aquarium. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out a black owned business by the name of Silk_Suds_Shop. I met Tamika at our corporate job and really got to know her in a training class we had together. She told me she made natural handmade soap and other products and my eyes immediately lit up. Tamika gave me lots of information on how to make my labels and also about shipping and the cost of shipping. She really made me believe in myself and also told me who to send my products to that could get me more sells. Tamika B. is an all around good person and has a great spirit.
Other: On Etsy : kingandqueencompany