June 21, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Najah Freeman A Multicultural Hair Care Product Line

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

There are ten products and virtually one for every member of the family regardless of what type of hair they have. I created these products after doing the big chop in 2017. I cut over 28 inches of my hair off one day on a whim.
After a few months dealing with the increased maintenance requirements of having short hair, I began to miss my hair. As I began to grow my hair back I was not satisfied with any product on the market at that time. I tried various products and nothing gave the results I was aiming for. So I began to experiment in my kitchen with my own ingredients. After months of research and development, I created Studeaux15. I used them and didn’t tell anyone.
People began to compliment how fast my hair was growing and the appearance of my hair. Coworkers, friends, family members, and most importantly my beautician. Once my beautician questioned what I was doing to my hair between visits I knew the products were working. I gave out 25 samples of my products to people with different textures of hair. Many were from different ethnic backgrounds. All I asked for was their honest opinion after two months of using them. Once they all gave rave reviews I decided to bottle it and sell it.

Describe the process of launching the business.

In December 2018 I created an ecommerce website and went live. I started with two products and slowly expanded the line to ten as of today. It works amazingly on men, women, and children. People from different hair types and ethnic backgrounds love our products. They are cruelty-free, not tested on animals, and are made from organic ingredients. They are free of harsh chemicals and are manufactured in Louisiana. Each product promotes healthy hair growth and helps in nurturing the hair from root to tip.
In August 2020 I began to sell these products on Walmart’s website. Earlier in 2021, I was featured on FORBES as a stand-out rising entrepreneur. I have since been featured on Stacy’s Pita Chips #FoundedByHer website as a female entrepreneur also. As of today I also sell my products on Afterpay’s website and USAStrong’s website. They are also sold in 17 select beauty supply stores in Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, California, and Nevada.
As of 2021, they have been shipped to 41 states in the US and 5 countries around the world!

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

I had to learn to increase my social media presence to attract potential customers in other states. That is what helped build brand awareness and recognition. Social Media is the largest free marketing tool available to entrepreneurs.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Currently I am in the scaling phase of my business. I recently was added to Afterpay’s website and USA Strong’s website as a small business their millions of customers can shop with. I am excited to see what the future holds.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Dont ever be afraid to market your products. I wear a shirt all the time with my business name on it. I am always asked what is it or what type of business I have. I keep a few of my products on me to give out to potential customers at any given moment.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Shopify.com, Afterpay.com, USAStrong.io, Walmart.com

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

The bible (it might sound cliche) but I continuously pray over my business and incorporate God in every move I make for Studeaux15.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

People fall in love with you before they learn to love your product so make sure your customer service is as good as the product or service you offer (if not better.) Always remember the industry is big enough for multiple companies who offer similar services or products to coexist. Stay consistent, no matter what type of day you have in regards to sales never give up. Success is not an overnight achievement.

Where can we go to learn more?