Shinavia McKinney was approached by her friend who wanted to spread the natural hair movement, so they teamed up and started making hair tutorials to help educate the community through high quality natural hair and product tutorials. Read our interview with the lovely Shinavia below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always had a passion to become an entrepreneur from early on. Every job I had, I became really close with the owners to cultivate a relationship that would allow me to play a larger role in the direction of the company.
Tell us about your business.
I am currently a partner in a company called Hairpiq. We provide the natural hair community with an online platform for high quality instructional videos and product demos. For service providers, we provide a platform for them to monetize their knowledge. For product companies, we assist them with demonstrating their products online by creating videos to assist customers on how to optimize their results through the proper use of the product.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Hairpiq was established by my business partner years ago and he approached me about collaborating in 2015 to help him grow his business. My background in small business consulting made me interested in helping him and once I learned more about what he was trying to do for the hair industry by targeting natural hair businesses, I became more passionate about the mission.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
We did a lot of pro bono work to establish relationships and get our name out there. We are also attending events that our target market is attending to connect with them better.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Our biggest challenge so far was bouncing back from not receiving positive results from our original business approach. We spent a lot of money last year targeting educational institutions and realized that this market wasn’t a good target for us.
How did you overcome these challenges?
After we reflected on the previous 12 months, we decided to change our target and we haven’t looked back since. Our new market of natural hair stylists, hair enthusiasts, and hair product companies, has been very receptive to our services and we are excited for what the future holds.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I think through difficult times, my partner and I lean on each other for support and motivation. Whenever one of us is down, the other is there to lift you up.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We distinguish ourselves from our competitors by working very close with our clients making ourselves available to customize services on demand. We also offer a service that supports the growth of online personalities and stylists who are interested in monetizing their knowledge but cannot afford to invest in video production and want a quality product as they understand that impacts their brand.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
I recently attended an event where a blogger was speaking and she posted a quote that said, “A year from now you will wish you had started today” -Karen Lamb.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Success = Preparation + Opportunity. One of my teachers told me that a long time ago and it will always hold true. If you are prepared and the opportunity presents itself, you will always be successful. If you are not prepared and an opportunity comes, then you will not be able to take advantage of it.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
My favorite business tool right now is my hotspot. It allows us to be mobile and maintain our flexibility. Being connected to the internet anywhere allows for you to take advantage of every opportunity to get work done.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Emotional Intelligence 2.0.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Really looking more into the marketing aspects of social media.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
One of our goals for the new few months is to fill up our shooting schedule to push out more videos. We are also working on increasing our social media presence through Facebook and Instagram. We have recently added a new member to our team to help us achieve our goals.