When you have made so many mistakes and have placed yourself in so many unnecessary, unfavorable positions and still come out ahead…it’s nothing but GOD! Charlotte shares her story of GRATITUDE!
Tell us about your business.
Locks4Ever® is a business that is always evolving and growing. We started out as strictly a Sisterlocks® Boutique, we then added a natural hair product line which includes our Trademark product “No More Tender Heads” (NMTH). NMTH is a revolutionary product which was created to provide relief for the “tender headed” client. We then added fashion accessories, and customized Logo earrings. As we continued to grow, we added a Coaching Division, a Panama City, Panama location and most recently a National Podcast Show, “Sistas Talking Natural Hair & Business.” This Podcast, which is produced by Elite Conversations Life Talk Radio, was created to speak directly to natural hair care professionals and enthusiasts. All of our products/services are designed for African American women, typically professionals, 40+ years of age.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Being a business owner is a great source of pride for me. To be in our eighth year of business and continuing to grow is like a dream come true. I became an entrepreneur because I have had great examples of entrepreneurs, like my Mother and Brother. My Brother gave me my FIRST job when I was around 14 or 15 years old. I believe, he was less than 18 years of age when he negotiated a cleaning contract with a local steel company in our small rural Southern New Jersey town. He hired me to help him clean on Wednesdays. I think he paid me $25. I remember figuring out that, based on how much time the “gig” took me, I was making “A LOT” of money per hour. Some 40+ years later, my Brother is STILL a successful entrepreneur. My other example was my Mother. I never really thought of Mommy as an entrepreneur. I probably didn’t know what an “entrepreneur” was when I was a child. What I DID know was, my Mother cleaned houses “on the side” and she straightened and curled hair in the kitchen. I later learned that she sold her famous fried chicken to white folks wanting to “impress” their guests with GOOD Soul food! (Mommy’s chicken always had a little too much black pepper on it for me . . . but, everybody else LOVED it!).
Before I began my Sisterlocks business, I had several other entrepreneurial ventures, Mary Kay, Legal Shield (formerly Pre-Paid Legal) (I’m still a Manager), Alexis Administrative Services and Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer, to name a few. Locks4Ever, was the venture that took off! My Tax Accountant asked me why I didn’t do this sooner . . . he said, “if you had started this business 12 years earlier, you’d be a MILLIONAIRE today!”
Building something up from the ground level has been super exciting, exhilarating and rewarding for me. I LOVE making my own hours, even if the days are long. It FEELS different putting hours in to build YOUR business compared to simply working for a paycheck.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Facebook and Instagram have been my most effective marketing tools. Word of mouth referrals and positive Reviews have been the greatest assets in building our client base.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Your Mission Statement is important and necessary. I spent the first few years doing good things, but things that did not add to or advance my “Mission.” If you stay connected to your Mission, you can easily discern when to say “yes” and, more importantly, when to say “NO.”
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I love going on dates with my husband. We enjoy live bands, Jazz, R&B and Salsa are our favorite genres. We also prioritize taking vacations to exotic places, where we can relax, eat good food, enjoy spa services and entertainment. I also enjoy kicking back with my girlfriends. Good friends can do everything and nothing and ALWAYS have a good time. I thank my good friends for keeping me grounded.
I also like to have massages on a regular basis. This is part relaxation and part necessary to keep my body healthy and limber enough to endure hours standing behind a chair.
What is the Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Over the next year, I will be focusing on growing our Coaching Divisions (in the US and Panama). I hope to have a completely virtual program to add to our current options:
- 90 -Day Intensive Coaching Program for Sisterlocks® Consultant Trainees
- Stylist-2-CEO Program for Consultants and Stylists looking to take their hair business to the next level
- A La Carte (By the Hour) Coaching Services
You want to write a book on “My Life Story.” Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I would write a book on “MY LIFE.” I have made so many mistakes and have placed myself in so many unnecessary, unfavorable positions . . . but GOD! I sometimes say “don’t let the smooth taste fool you” because many have NO idea how far I’ve come in my personal/professional journey. I’m no stranger to “them streets.” I think I can write a book that will encourage those who feel they can’t REBOUND by letting them KNOW that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH CHRIST! If you are willing to put the work in, you can turn your story around. Stay tuned . . .
What’s the best way for the readers of Sheen Magazine to connect with you?
Contributing Writer – Dr. Cozette M. White, Advisory Accountant and Tax Expert. Learn more about Dr. Cozette M. White at www.cozettemwhite.com.
All images provided by Charlotte Van Horn