We took away some great nuggets from this interview, especially with the part where our guest spoke about the importance of keeping virtual friends and the impact they could make in our business. Join us as we explore Sylvia’s journey as a Mom in Business in the past three years
1.Please tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Sylvia Naa Djanie. I am a married woman with two kids ( A girl and a boy) and I am a banker by profession.
2.What inspired you to take this path in entrepreneurship?
In 2017 when I decided to have my daughter, I realized I had hair issues and my hair started falling out during my pregnancy stage .
I had to cut my hair at a point and start natural hair. Through this journey I met a lady by name Abena who exposed me to a lot of things about hair and I realized Good hair care is expensive and required a lot of time. I decided to joined an academy where I learnt a lot of things about hair.
I had my daughter and she came with a lot of hair ,but her hair started depleting along the line so I decided to get products for her hair to sustain and grow it. It was very difficult getting products for kids hair as most of the shops I walked into either told me they didnt have kids products and rather gave me products meant for older people as a substitute.
I also realized there was only one hair type product on the market for kids and most of these shops had little or no experience on how to care for the hair. I came back home and looked at what I could do, that was when I decided to start a simple hair care routine for my daughter which included a hair regimen. Guess what, In a few months I began to see growth in my daughters hair.
After I realized that only one haircare brand for kids was trending, I hit the internet to do more research online and find out if there were products for kids.
And guess what there were tons of products online for kids hair care. There are so many products for adult hair but we forget babies are being born everday and that market also needs a lot of attention.
In our age , parents are looking for products that can help them grow their kids hair but they do not come acrross them easily. With time I started helping my friends to grow their kids hair .
My husband drew my attention to the fact that I was spending a lot of time researching, enrolling for haircare courses and the passion with which I was using in whatever I was doing and encouraged me to consider taking it up as a business. That was when I decided to launch Hair Bureau , my business.
3.How are you able to manage the family and your business?
Trust me managing a family a business at the same time is not chicken change. I have cried a few times because I virtually have no sleep. I am in a financial institution so you can imagine, I am at work at 7am till 5pm then from 5pm mummy duties begins. That means if mummy wants to nurture her business she has to still set out sometime to pay attention to it and give it all the support it needs. I had to make time to undertake some classes onine to help me manage the finances of my business.
Also my husband has been of great support. There were days that we will sit down to draw plans on how we will market for the week and how to even come up with our logo. Overtime we have been able to identify a niche and this has made it easier for us to run the business.
My kids have also become a part of the business. They are able to tell their friends what castor oil is used for and tell their friends how castor oil is used to grow the hair. It hasn’t been easy but with time we realize we are getting there.
4.Share with us one challenge you faced in your business and how you overcame it
One major challenge I faced in my business was how to manage my finances.Trust me, anyone I told said that but you work at the bank? But I am a marketer, I am not an accountant. Managing the finances of a business and home was a big issue for me and for two years straight I never declared profit.
It was impossible to identify what I had sold even though I was buying more goods than on a regular day, I couldnt tell my profit from my seed money and it was difficult until my husband taught me some simple accounting techniques. Now I am able to tell how much I have sold in a week, how much profit I have made, and how much stock I have left. I am proud that now through my husband I have been able to get far in the business.
5.What keeps you going as a mom in business
What keeps me going is the fact that I love what I do and the feeling I get when I see the results that people send to me. I have clients all over the world. People ask me, How come you are able to get clients from all over the world and I tell them that people have not found human face to haircare especially when it comes to kids. And I have been able to provide that for the past three years and counting.
Through consultations and one-on-one sessions, people are now taking haircare very serious and I am changing the minds of parents when it comes to haircare one parent at a time. I believe through my services, people are begining to have confidence in their own natural hair and are able to wear it very well. I am trying to instill that love for our african natural hair in our young girls. African hair is resilient to growth.
I am also very happy when people to come to me and say thank you , you have been able to change my mind about my natural hair and this is what I am going with.
6.Share with us some tips that have helped you to succeed.
Tips on what helped me to succeed. There are three things I keep in mind;
1. Always make friends with successul people, I am not saying go bootlikcing people. You need to create acquaintances with successful people so you learn one or two things from them that you can add to what you already have and sell it back to them and they will help to also propagate your message to others. On this point I would like to commend a baby shop called BabyBliss. This lady literally took me from the ground and helped me up and helped me put structure to my business.
She and my husband believed in me more than anyone else and saw a light in Hairbureau and if I ever get to stand anywhere I will never ever forget Babybliss.
2. Always make friends even if they are virtual friends. Ever since I joined IG as a business I have realized that entrepreneurs in your field or those around you sell you out better than some of the marketing strategies we use. There is nothing as good as a fellow instagram or virtual friend that you’ve met.
Keep them, and everywhere you meet people try to keep in touch with one or two people, that is how your network will grow. There have been referrals from people even my mind cannot comprehend because I striked them as an acquaintances and then wowed them with the x-factor of my business . That has helped my business to succeed.
3. Never ever despise small beginnings, my profits were between GHS30-GHS50 initially and some people thought it wasn’t worth the stress . With time everything I sell hits right back into my bottom line. Never despise small beginnings or small monies. Make your noise, network and it will work for you.
7. Message for WeMompreneurs on our 5th Anniversary
On your 5th Anniversary, I want to thank WeMompreneurs for all the wonderful tips you share with us. For the next generation WeMompreneurs is a great platform to network and build aquaintances for your business as a Mom . The information shared is spot on and there is this energy that hits you as soon as you come to the page and lets you believe that you can do it.
I am glad to be associated with you, because more often I take a lot of inspiration from your page. I pray that you grow, you impact more lives and in the years to come you become one of the big communities that have changed motherhood in a unique way.