My name is Lana Boone and I'm the owner of Kurly Klips. Kurly Klips sells curly textured clip-in human hair extensions, made primarily for afro-textured hair.
What are the key factors that have helped your store be successful?
Formulating a business plan was absolutely essential in starting Kurly Klips. Was it tedious? Yes. Did I want to skip it and jump straight to the fun stuff? Absolutely. But I stuck with it and it forced me to confront a lot of technicalities I wouldn't have necessarily thought of as a first time business owner. It was an adjustable road map that helped me consider research, marketing, and finance all in the same document; and because of it, I haven’t been hit by trajectory killing challenges.
My business plan helped me critically look at my competitors, not just in the afro-textured hair market, but across the hair extension industry as a whole. In doing so, I found a company that sells a similar product but in a completely different hair texture. As a fellow Shopify business, they totally inspired my brand, along with my terms and conditions. They are like my fairy Shopify godmothers and I want to thank them.
The marketing aspect of my business plan was simple to formulate for one reason: I am serial hair extension user. I knew the words I typed into Google to find products similar to mine. I knew the language I liked to read on websites. I knew the value of clear pictures, reviews, and social media influencers. As a discerning consumer, I instinctively knew how to make the sale. I also developed a unique way to organize my product. Traditionally, hair extensions sell at two-inch length increments. By only selling three lengths and giving each length a brand name, the cost of my initial inventory was significantly lower than had I sold my product in the traditional manner.
Lastly, and most importantly, my business plan helped me stick to my budget. I had a set amount of my savings I wanted to invest, and because I wasn’t willing to take out a loan, it was important I stuck with that figure. I wanted my business to be self-sustaining within the first three months, and creating competitive price points helped me achieve that goal. And whatever I could get done for free, I got done for free. My home page was largely edited on PowerPoint. My boyfriend designed my logo and also helps with my photography. I use myself as a model. Does my site look super sleek and fancy? No. But it’s clean and there’s an aesthetic made popular by Urban Outfitters and Etsy that I tried to capitalize on. As I grow, I hope to chic it out.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Aside from formulating a business plan: 1) Make a weekly action plan of everything you need to accomplish for the week, including sales goals. 2) Social media is cheap marketing that can yield quantifiable sales results. Identify the top influencers in your industry on various platforms and hit them up. You may get No's, but just one Yes can expose your brand to thousands of new customers. 3) Only deal with honest suppliers. This is especially critical in the hair industry, where some vendors might try to sell you horsehair and call it human. If a supplier gives you any indication that he or she might lack integrity, it’s best to find someone else. Eventually, his or her actions will burn you and your bottom line. 4) Treat customer inquiries with endless compassion. Remember, at the end of the day you want to make your customer happy and hopefully persuade them to return.
Any Closing Remarks?
The niche is where it’s at! Especially when you don’t want to spend mega-money on your start-up.