“Raising capital was a challenge, but transforming women brings me so much joy.”
We at BoxHuman take time to celebrate founders behind the businesses. Especially the ones who are inspiring, helping and bringing light within the world. We do this in order to rebalance some of the negative messages we often hear, see and receive on a daily basis. We met up with one of these amazing individuals…
Hi Ayanda, its so great to meet you. Shall we dive straight into your business inspire interview…Can you please tell us a little bit about you and what you do?
Hi Well who is Ayanda? I’m a mother of twin toddlers, a wife and the owner of House of Hair UK a luxury hair extensions and beauty salon.
What a great start to this interview, thank you! Can you please tell us in your own words about your inspiring business.
House of hair uk is a one stop beauty haven for ladies. What originally was just my small hair extensions salon based in Ealing is now the ultimate lady cave. In our new location we provide everything from hair extensions, nails, lashes, facials, waxing and brows all under one roof.
We have collaborated with some amazingly talented beauty professionals to give our clients one single location for all services.
House of Hair UK continues to focus on mainly hair extensions service and remains one of the only salons in UK to offer over nine different hair extensions solutions for added length, volume, colour etc. We also offer affordable but still great quality hair in five different textures from straight to wavy to tight curls.
Wow, that’s such a great concept and business. Can you tell us why you decided to start your own hair business in the first place? What inspired you to do this and why?
I have always had a passion for hair and beauty from a young age. However I came from a family who felt that it was not a career. So after studying hair, I went on to become a social worker, but I didn’t give up on my passion. I continued doing hair as a side interest/hobby.
In my mid 20s a friend had hair extensions and told me the high-price she paid for it. I was instantly interested as it would be such a good side income, but also because I felt I could offer the same service at a more affordable price.
I was right. I started with being trained in two methods and after advertising my business it continued to grow. It was in 2012 just before my wedding that I decided to make this into an actual company not just a side-business.
I started by doing a rebrand, a business and marketing plan. After I began putting the marketing plan to practice I was amazed by the increase in clients. When I became pregnant with my twins five years ago. I decided to take a new direction by turning my mobile hair extensions brand, into a high street salon specialising in a number of extensions.
I knew I wanted to create a brand that could be found on every high street something that my children could one day work in or inherit.
My children motivated the opening of my first salon. They inspire me daily. I also follow a lot of salons and hair brands online and I get so inspired by them too. I know now that the salon industry is a career to aspire to and be proud of.
“A thousand mile journey begins with a single step. Just start.”
Thank you Ayanda for sharing that! It just shows that you must follow your passion and be true to your own dreams. So what has been your biggest achievement and proudest moment so far in your business and why?
I would say that my biggest achievement so far as been successful opening the new House Of Hair salon. I talk with my customers and hear the request for a place to have most if not all beauty treatments and I didn’t believe it was something I could do. I didn’t think I would be able to get the finances or find a space large enough for such services. It’s been very emotional looking around for this new salon space. It’s been a great achievement to be able to get seven hairdressing stations, nails and three beauty rooms and seeing all of your hard work come true.
Congratulations Ayanda, that is such an amazing achievement! I don’t want to completely change the mood but starting a business can have it’s challenges. Can I ask what’s been your biggest challenge that you’ve had to go through since starting and running your business and how did you overcome it?
Every week I’m faced with a new surprise or challenge from staffing, to surprise changes in music licensing, to difficult customers.
It looks easy form the outside but it’s a difficult job. My biggest challenge was raising capital to fund my new salon opening.
I first tried to raise the funds though the support of friends, family, funding pages and my personal bank. I did this because I did not realise that my business bank would see the business growth and would actually support my new venture.
Thank you Ayanda. It’s so good to hear that there are people even banks that are willing to support new businesses. Okay…Lifting the mood back to 100% positive again. Can you tell me what do you do to empower or motivate yourself on a daily basis and what inspires you?
I’m a goal writer. I write down what I want to achieve for the week, month, year etc and then plan steps to complete my goals. This always helps me to stay motivated, but if I’m honest I am like everyone else. I have up and down days where I sometimes feel so overwhelmed I hide in the bathroom for some space from it all Lol.
My twin sister is my biggest cheerleader who often picks me up. I follow a number of self-help pages on social media and believe it or not I listen to a motivation podcast that helps to keep me motivated in my business. I love soooo many quotes but one of my favourite is a thousand mile journey begins with a single step. Just start.
What future goals do you want to achieve with your business and why? And if there was one thing you would have done differently what would it have been and why?
I would love to build a hair extensions training academy with work experience opportunities. It would be great to be able to offer students the chance to get ‘hands-on’ experience. I would also like to open a second location in midlands. I have a lot of long distance clients who spend all day travelling down to London. They often express that I need more locations. I also plan to spend more time in front of the camera on my YouTube and Instagram page. Since showing a little more about me on my these platforms, my business has grown so much. The constant support about my journey has boosted my confidence. If I had known this would have happened I would of done this sooner.
What would you say to inspire and empower someone who was going to start a business?
In simple terms I would say just start. Do not be scared to fail, learn from mistakes and make changes for the next time.
One of the most important skills all business owners must have or work on is the ‘figure out ability’. You must be able to find solutions for every problem big or small.
A lot of people I talk to who have a business idea or want to start a business often find a problem for every solution as a reason to give up. However if you truly want to build something of your own, want to help provide jobs or see your dream become a reality. You must, must, must be able to work over, around, through any problems you face.
Brainstorm, meditate, write down solutions, remember your reason ‘why’ and keep going.
Such brilliant advice, thank you! And last but not least… A BoxHuman is an empowered individual. They will not be defined by society’s labels. They show the better qualities of humankind, such as strength, kindness and inspiration. Can you please tell us what makes you a BoxHuman?
I am a BoxHuman for my ability to offer a warm nurturing welcome to anyone I come across. I get this from being raised by a woman with the kindest heart.
I naturally love and appreciate all my customers and people in general. A woman’s hair is externally important to her. Having the ability to transform a woman’s hair also transforms her confidence and self esteem/self love and this brings me so much joy.