#BEYOUROWN MEETS MAHESHA WOOLRIDGE
How did you arrive to the point of wanting to launch LaBella Pearl?
In 2010, facing my own health issues from applying Brazilian Treatments and frustrated with products that were not healthy or high-quality enough, I began creating products for truly healthy hair.
You were previously an editorial and celebrity hairstylist, but what was the first steps you took to launch LaBella Pearl as a hair care brand?
My goal was to create products that got the results I desired without having to compromise my client’s health, and finding a great chemist with the same vision. I had a lot of long nights of research.
Like most entrepreneurs, you identified a gap in the market having experienced your own health related issues from applying Brazilian Treatments so what research did you do prior to launching LaBella Pearl?
Well, chemicals are a bit difficult to identify if you’re not a chemist, you have to research each and every one and try to understand what works well together without causing harm to yourself and your clients. A lot of trial and error happened in my kitchen as most importantly, the chemist you work alongside has to understand your vision as well.
Was there any thing unusual about your findings? For example demographics or audience?
Yes, there are places that have really difficult weather and sometimes the way the wind blows may affect the way the hair looks and feel. For example, we know humidity creates frizz and swelling of the hair-shaft so my Revive formula helps control frizz and smooth the cuticle to reduce the amount of frizz. I studied certain demographics and also asked women what they thought they were missing from their own hair, and what do they want as a consumer.
Since launching LaBella Pearl, where can you identify the strengths and weaknesses?
Good question, my strengths are knowing that I can continue to produce great products and feel the love I have when they are done right. I would say my own personal weakness is not having the ability of staying out of my own way, thus allowing things to prosper organically.
How are you currently competing with the likes of other similar brands out there at the moment?
The market is tough, because the popular brands have bigger marketing budgets. I’m a one woman army so I have to make sure I hit up all the trade shows that makes the most sense to my budget to get my name well-known. I believe everyone will catch on eventually and see the difference of great quality hair care. I’m not just selling a product, I’m selling love in a bottle.
What social media tools did you currently use to build the LaBella Pearl brand?
I used a few ad-campaigns with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Yelp.
Can you tell us a winning moment for you with LaBella Pearl so far?
Every moment is a winning moment, being recognized and loved by my clients is a winning moment.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
The best piece of advice I have received was from my mother; she said, “Love what you do and do it so well that you have no regrets “
What are you still learning about in business?
I’m learning to balance work and home. Also keeping up with stocks, profit margins and all the backend things of the brand that no one really sees.
What do you think the common misconceptions of a millennial entrepreneur are?
A lot of people think that Instagram and YouTube is the only marketing tool. You have to roll up your sleeves and do some old fashion door to door sales and make a true connection with your clients.
Have you at any point throughout your career trajectory had self-doubt?
If no one has ever felt self-doubt from time to time then they are not dreamers! Just a few months ago I thought about just giving up and getting a regular job.
How have you overcome that?
I overcame self-doubt by getting in my meditation corner and mediate for about 30 minutes a day. Then I have a Pep talk with myself on why I started this is the first place.
You currently reach a consumer base of not only the US, but London and Holland, where do you feel is next to reach?
I’m looking forward to targeting the African, Caribbean and Indian market.
What are your goals for the next 6 months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goal is to sell out Circle of Sisters in September at the Jacob Javit’s Center in NYC. Also QVC is another outlet I would love to sell out. I’m currently planning a 26 city tour in the US to bring the products to salons.
Any advice for our other great female leaders out there looking to launch their own hair care brand?
The best advice I could give is never compromise your brand, for no amount of money. Love it with all your heart, stay motivated, don’t give up, and do it for the love!
Lastly, what does it mean to you to truly #BEYOUROWN?
God continues to bless me every morning to allow me to continue on this journey. His spirit allows me help others.
When a woman have a bad hair day, it could ruin their self-esteem and we start to feel self-conscious and off-balance. I want to be the Fairy God Mother to sprinkle my love in a bottle over them and help them shine and be radiant.