Let’s Keep in Touch

keep in touch

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My Two Cents

black-woman

 

I am having a random deep thought moment!!! I just came back from a business conference so many, many things are running through my mind. Mainly my thoughts are on business. My current business, my new business  venture, businesses around me and businesses in general. I know that I am “called” to business, I have always zoomed in on businesses in my daily life. I know what catches my eye, what makes me frown up, what impresses me,what turns me off, and what is “suspect”. This particular conference was so thought provoking, and right on time. It not only made me think about where I want to be headed BUT mistakes that I have made in my own business and how I can improve them. We were given a lot of hypothetical situations that ALREADY boil my blood that causes glitches with small businesses. It pretty much floored me.

I am a black woman small business owner (with BIG DREAMS) and this is my two cents…….Those who know me knows what ticks me off in business … cluttered businesses of the same kind. Beauty salons, barber shops, and boutiques next door to each other just to name a few.Now, keep in mind we are talking about small businesses NOT corporations that are offering the exact same thing. We are going to also throw out the cliché  “What God has for you is for you” because I know this (blank stare).How does this build a community? What I usually see is businesses closing down and then a cycle of another hopeful opening up the same type of business because it is already set up. With boutiques I am always seeing the same leopard dress in the window. Where is the originality? One recent business I had been watching is THE WEAVE SHOP home of the $50 dollar weave. Even though I’m side eyeing the concept, It was a brilliant business plan that expanded. Not too long after, a whole bunch of replicas popped up and closed down within months. What sounds good and looks simple may not be for you. This person had a strategic business plan that was executed correctly. Whether they have good reviews or bad reviews, they are still growing. Business kudos to them (clapping my hands).

To the others that like to argue me down about how “I” feel and want to say  ” what about the liquor stores, the nail salons, and so on and so forth”. Well, did you know that a lot of times they are related or in a network together to sow that market up. Let me give you an example lets just say ummm… beauty supply stores (quick smile). They have that industry so sold up because they are the distributors to themselves .So it is on LOCK!!(we shall see about that)they have it mapped out, sign, sealed and delivered. Its kind of like being in the wizard of OZ and you find out who the wizard is, and realize you might not get home after all. As business owners we better click our heels (but really believing in Jesus to get our inheritance ). These monopolies are what we accept.We have done things the same way for so long that its unproductive. I’m tired of seeing small businesses close and dreams deferred. More importantly the age old question “Why” haven’t we built our own networks to build up healthy communities.I know that’s a deep question that can get even deeper.But it made me look at myself as a business owner, and those like me. Are we prepared ,are we executing our business plan or even have one. Are we teaching others how to succeed. Do we have the resources, or preparing for resources (credit lines).Are we going to make the same mistakes our entrepreneur families in the past made or will we do better.

Again this is MY TWO CENTS I simply want to see better. I want communities to THRIVE with small businesses with God given vision of different kinds .I want to see them expand and grow into empires. I want them to be US. More faith based businesses, Let this be OUR culture to uplift and encourage and lock down some markets on our own and create legacies for our children, grandchildren and many generations after that. I’m ready!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Low Iron Effect my Hair

iron

 

     This is a problem that is massive yet easily discounted.I have really taken notice of this issue in women over the last year. It is quite common for women to come into the salon and say the following.”My hair is SO DRY, shedding a lot,and I have bald spot up here from stress,or maybe it’s hereditary,Is there any oil I can use to put on it?” The answer is NO, not when it is coming from the inside.No hot oil treatments,No  protein conditioners,No changing of new stylist,No using a new satin pillow case is going to resolve this issue.

*Extremely  dry,brittle hair (from the root to the ends)

*Visible thinning balding spots

*Lots of shedding,uneven patches of hair throughout

*See through hair (if I see more shirt than hair,usually towards the ends)

*Stagnant hair growth

*Retaining little to no moisture

My first question would be  are you on high blood pressure medicines,have thyroids ,low blood or low iron. Some women answer truthfully.Some have not been to the doctor and have not had a thorough physical to answer the question.Some women simply don’t see how they connect. It totally does, and as a hairstylist I can truthfully tell you that when your hair is showing these signs there is only so much I can do to help you achieve total healthy hair.There is only so much I can cover up,curl tight,and smooth over.

Even when a client remarks that they’ve been to the doctor and all of their numbers are good…but you are still showing these signs. According to an article on Joybuer.com

You might also want to go back to your doctor and ask for a more extensive test for iron levels. There are actually three main tests for iron: serum iron, which measures the amount of iron in blood; ferritin, which is a measure of the amount of iron stored in the body; and TIBC — Total Iron Binding Capacity — which is a measure of how much iron could be/should be in the body.

Many doctors will only test serum iron, but unless you have severe anemia, serum iron can appear normal even if ferritin and TIBC are low. The other two tests are more sensitive. Low ferritin means low iron stores, which means that you may need more iron. High TIBC means that your body has a big gap between how much iron the body has at its disposal and how much it needs. Both of these tests can be used to help diagnose iron-deficiency anemia or pre-anemia. Talk with your doctor about these additional tests. Your iron levels may yet be the problem. You may be a candidate for a supplemental dose, but don’t try self-diagnosing this problem — never take iron pills unless a medical professional confirms you need them.
Remember your hair,nails,and skin will give you hints if there may be something going on on the inside.Pay attention!!

Do Products Really Matter

When I first began doing hair 15 years+, I use to love spending time in the beauty supply store. I use to go up and down the aisle, looking  at eye catching bottles and boxes.Reading what the products were “suppose” to do.I had loads and loads of products, some worked and some didn’t. So, I usually went  with what was popular.I remember after I received my cosmetology license I accepted a position as a salon assistant to get my feet wet in a salon.One of the first questions that the salon owner/stylist asked me was “what type of products do you use”. I kind of stumbled over the answer and listed the “unprofessional products” that I proudly used. When I saw her wrinkle up her nose,I started looking around the salon to see what type of products were being used. There was mostly Nexxus and Barry Fletcher products that lined the back bar and stations.(keep in mind this was the later ’90’s)The main thing I noticed was the salon only used high end professional products and the clients all had really healthy hair.NONE of the products that I currently had been using were in that salon. I believe I did not have a lot of product knowledge because I had just finished school and did not have access to professional products.At that particular time beauty schools did not emphasize product knowledge.Being an assistant at a “professional” salon taught me alot about salon settings,products,healthy hair etc.

Later a few years down the road when I made the decision to be a stylist full time,I went to a corporate mall salon.Those salon’s permit their stylist to exclusively only use the products that were provided.Yes, the products were high end professional products,BUT, they weren’t marketed to the “black” community.I was a little nervous using some of the products ,but it was a requirement.So,I dug in,experimented,had a few trial and errors but overall really learned about products. Not to mention, corporate salons offer’s a lot of advanced classes from the different companies to ensure that we use and retail the products correctly.

Fast forward to when I became an independent operator in a private salon.I was now in a position where I could decide to use my own products.My deciding factor was #1. My clients were use to me using top notch products  that produced healthy results. and #2 I wanted to keep my clients and continue to produce healthy results.lol. So, it was my obligation to continue with any classes or updated information on products that I felt were best for my clients hair.

What’s the big hoopla…some may ask?Well, it makes a huge difference.A good analogy is the difference between  prescription drugs  and over the counter drugs.Just like OTC medicines,over the counter products are convenient,easy to obtain,inexpensive BUT watered down.High end products are more concentrated with the active ingredient,which mean they are going to be a little more pricier,BUT if used  correctly will last longer and produce the expected results.As a professional I can honestly tell when a client uses OTC products especially when they first began coming to me. A lot of my clients often comment on how softer and more manageable their hair is.Well,that first contributes to the type of products I use.It’s funny when people ask me what products can they get from the beauty supply store that they can use in between.I don’t and can’t recommend those products because I don’t use them.They are full of unhealthy ingredients that counteract with the quality products that I use.

Yes, I have seen the youtube videos that list tons of products that you can grab from your local drug store.I even see the pride in the clients eyes when they bring up a name of a product that has popular commercials or catchy slogans and promises.I have to admit I have to catch myself in giving the same wrinkling up the nose reaction that was given to me when I lacked product knowledge. So, I really try to consciously educate my clients on products . Whether it be high end products,specialty products,natural products,and even old school products that they swore worked when there grandmothers used it in there hair (but are banned from THIS salon).So, do products really matter…They Really do.They will determine the short term AND long term results of your hair.

I’m Celebrating my 4th Year as a Salon Owner

All this week I have been reminiscent of the fact that this week marks the 4th year as a salon owner! Alot of times, people assume that this success has been somewhat instant. Absolutely NOT!! This journey really began as a child, because God gave me the passion and “gift” of doing hair at a VERY young age. Being brought up with parents that were “trailblazers” in their own right, they kind of ushered me in other career areas that they thought would be more “appropriate”. Well, I have never really conformed to alot of things (which can be good or bad),so I had to “fight”  my way  to be a hairstylist first. Eventually, they gave in (told ‘ya).But, even with “words” that were spoken to convince me that this was not a stable career, I started out part time,trying to somewhat but with out success conform to society.Sometimes, You just have to do what God has “called” you to do!!

When I went full time in the hair industry I never once looked back. I thought the procrastination was time wasted , but realize it was a necessary process.It makes me appreciate where I am even more.When I worked as an independent stylist in salons,  I observed and learned from others. And then it was my turn to step on out and open my own! I remember when I had contacted a salon owner that I had been reading up on.I emailed her and wanted to meet with her (she lived in another state) and visit this fabulous salon!! She emailed me back and it said……in short “write a business plan and put God first” . BALANK STARE at the computer for 20 minutes!! At first I didnt get it, One year after I opened up my salon I totally “got” it, and I emailed her back to let her know (didnt know whether she cared or not but I did anyway).Putting God First had everything to do with it! I honestly can say that  being a”spirit led” business owner IS important point, blank, PERIOD!My Journey the last 4 years have been……exciting.I say that word because I’ve learned to trust God more than ever.I’ve learned to “be still”.I’ve learned that its all in “God’s timing” and not mine.God has given me peace in the midst of storms,He has fought battle after battle.I’ve learned to deal with people through prayer.I have had to cancel out “words” that have been spoken against myself,my business, and my stylist because they were NOT from God,and therefore NOT true.I’ve had to cast down and renounce “pride” AND right some wrongs on my part. But, I just Thank GOD, because ” He never left Me nor forsake me” and “with God for me who can be against me”

Believe me there were times I wanted to pack up,slam the door and scream KICK ROCKS!!!! All the times when things broke down, hot water tank going out,floods, IPOD man coming (inside joke),but all in all I keep “hearing” to keep going because HIS plan is bigger than this. So, I have to Trust what I hear from God and keep going!!

But I thank God for who HE has sent in my life. First my husband, sometimes I look at him and think ,”he had no idea what he was in for, when he married me.” But I love how he is such an amazing father,and holds it down at home while I pursue my dreams. and I say to him, Thank you babe,you have made our  life easier and your humility is not overlooked.I embrace your quiet spirit and listening ear.When I needed you,you were there.When I win ,we both win,and God has a plan for us beyond anything we could ever imagine.**wink,wink**.

I thank my parents and sister (brother in law)for encouraging and being there for me.Especially my mom who is my greatest inspiration growing up watching her take the world on taught me I could do anything. I gotta thank my (step) father who when I just cant… he steps in like a father does,no words can express my gratitude towards a “real” man.

and I LOOOVVE and appreciate my talented,anointed team that only GOD could have brought together.(it was all divine connection) My Kathy (my bff ,I cant even tell you why I love you so much without crying,eventhough you  are simply who you are ) Keeley( my tell it like it is encourager),Shonda (it is funny how God works, u came in like a true team player and keeps me laughing all day) Kelly C ( I already love you for what you have brought to the salon, you came in and added too, never taking away from). My Kadija ,girl you have such an anointing on your life, but you have provided stability in an important part of the salon.Your loyalty has not been over looked,you are a blessing to me and the salon, and you will be blessed 100 fold!! Cierra ,my care bear, I just LOOOVVE my assistant and thank God for her in this season. (prayer works and this WAS a divine connection). I’m grateful for all past employees (assistants) and pray that God continue to guide you and keeps you.Tarrah, you are my O.G. I miss you and soo proud of you for stepping out with your own salon. You really were there for me when I had to learn to depend on the strength of others.Success is all over you!! and AYANA I have not forgotten about you, she is my invisible partner, she keeps it ALL together behind the scenes. I cant imagine you not being apart of the bigger picture.Thank you. and thank you to all my friends who have supported my funky attitude and didnt care and loved me anyway. I love ALL of you!!

I’m going to keep praying and trusting God,thank you for another year of “HIS” great works!!  -Kelli

Aside

So,you sit and look through all the hair books, and magazines,watch all the reality shows,stare at the ladies hair in front of you in the grocery line,And decide “I WANT THAT  HAIRSTYLE”.You immediately make a hair appt. your excitement is rising.You get to your stylist,explain the style,then Boom,your stylist gets to work.Now, it’s time for the reveal…….you look in the mirror….blank stare…you say the infamous”maybe I just gotta get use to it”.

Yes, we have all been there! So how do you avoid this mishap? One thing you can do is consult with your stylist, Let them know you are looking to get a new look and if you can add a few more minutes to your appt to discuss it.Then bring a photo of a similar look.(please dont bring a million pictures of different haircuts in 100 angles,it happens all the time,thats too much).Next ask your hairstylist their honest opinion. This is who YOU trust with your hair,and this is THEIR specialty.Make sure you are comfortable with what you BOTH have decided together. Allow me to give you an example of something that ALWAYS happens with me. When clients come to me new or old,and ask for a short cut,tapered on back and sides,and show me a picture of Halle Berry,Rihanna,etc. alot of times the biggest request is they want the shortest part not very low.Ok,I totally understand not wanting it shaved,but a feminine taper is usually best.But they grab this picture and say,” but I want it just to lay softly against my nape”. Well, this is where I step in as a professional and as someone who usually wheres my hair short.Certain style require certain textures,”IF” you want the best long term results. You have to remember Halle Berry and Rihanna have a fine texture of hair,so their hair naturally lays “softly against their nape”. Now that doesn’t mean this style cannot be accomplished , because I can relax and mold the shorter parts and it WILL be what you want….But, that next week the hair will began to lift up like a duck tail and the style will begin to lose its shape.9 1/2 times out of ten when the client returns they ask me to cut it down.(Told you so,lol).

My point is when choosing a new look,consider YOUR texture, YOUR  lifestyle, the current condition of YOUR hair, and even your maintenance routine.Trust your stylist and embrace what looks good on you and what works FOR you. HAPPY HEALTHY HAIR!!!  http://www.hairbykelli.com

What you put in your body will come out PERIOD!

It is SO important even VITAL to talk to your stylist about ALL medication,illness,surgeries,stress,anything that will effect your hair and skin. It is important to know these things.Because everything that you put in your body will come out including in your hair and skin.Your Hair and skin will also show signs of illness and leave residue displaying medication.Medication and illness will also cause hair to become excessively dry,brittle,and split.Most often as a stylist I can often pinpoint when clients are on High Blood Pressure,Thyroid,and anti-biotic medicines.Keeping this in mind, it CAN effect your chemical services and there are certain shampoos and conditioners that are designed to work with these conditions.I see it so many times where clients hair begins to break or split when it could have all been avoided if clients would truly come clean about their medical history without embarrassment.This also avoids the “blame the stylist” theory.(just sayin’) .

If you are having chronic symptoms dealing with your hair it its NOT relating to hairstyling abuse.You definitely want to mention it to your doctor and ask for a blood test.Often, we get our yearly physical and get a clean bill of health.But,nowadays you have to ask  specifically for blood test.These illnesses can include lupus,thyroids,anemia,hormonal imbalance, or it may be something that you can more so control like a deficiency in nutrition,iron,protein,zinc,or biotin.Something to think about ….