Sometimes a brilliant idea comes around, and you find yourself thinking, “How did I not think of that?” For example, those wallets which attach to your phone…brilliantly simple right? However, sometimes the opposite occurs, as in suddenly an idea strikes you, and you find yourself in a particular state of mind, asking, “How has no one thought of this?”
This eureka moment happened to Ecouia Harrison in the most unlikely of places. Her father had grown sick and needed to remain in ICU, and so Ecouia, being a loving daughter, decided to remain with him, as a means of support and encouragement. After a month of sleeping in chairs, her hair became a mess, and so she decided to put in a new weave. But the wefted hair was all dried out and matted, having sat in a plastic bag for so long.
She explains, “I remembered I had an aunt who slept on a silk pillow. She told me it was always good for your skin and hair to sleep on a silk pillow. And then growing up my mom would brush our hair and make sure we wore satin bonnets to bed. I was just so mad that this – I think I had spent $500 on this particular hair set – that it was ruined. I thought you know all I need is a satin or silk lined bag, and so I googled it, but everything was pretty much plastic. You can find a thousand articles about the benefits of silk for your hair and skin online, and it just shocked me that no one had thought to line a bag before.”
In that moment, Silky Saks was conceptualized – a brand based around the statement, “Better Care Equals Better Wear.” Ecouia’s occupation, for years (and still part-time), was that of a flight attendant, traveling the nation and world, racking up those sky miles like no other. But entrepreneurship ran in her blood. Her grandmother had owned a deli and her aforementioned father had a carpentry/construction business, both of which had made a lasting impression on her.
“I grew up seeing the freedom that an entrepreneur has and have witnessed the benefits first hand. They are able to help people by providing jobs, and then there’s the time part of it, where your time is actually your time. You can work as little or as much as you want to, and that aspect always intrigued me.”
The foundational product of Silky Saks is, of course, the Silky Sak itself – a bag designed exactly how Ecouia first imagined, deep black with exquisite gold lettering, lined with silk, perfect for maintaining those hair pieces you love and want to last. In Ecouia’s words, “Plastic packaging doesn’t allow the hair to breathe and is made up of polypropylene which can cause drying. The hair rubbing against the plastic also creates friction that can lead to matting and breakage. Whereas silk is a natural fiber-containing properties that helps hair retain moisture and slows down aging.”
But the process, from the initial Silky Sak idea to creating the business, wasn’t an easy one, and similarly to how Ecouia worked in her grandmother’s deli as a child, the business became a family affair.
“Working a full-time job, I was lucky to have my mother help me with shipping and a few other things. But then you realize you need a PR department, a media department, a legal department, and you’re pretty much running all of those yourself. I was just really grateful to have friends and family willing to help. You just have to really stay focused and set small goals, because at the end of the day, you can easily spend 24 hours working within all of the various facets of the business. Then you’re like, ‘Oh my god, I have a husband. And my son has a basketball game, and I want to watch his game (laughing).”
As well as garnering time management skills, one of the most rewarding factors Ecouia has experienced during the year and half of running Silky Saks is the wave of support and positive feedback she has received online and through social media. She says that the key to growth is listening to what people are saying, which is an added (if not dramatic) advantage modern entrepreneurs have over those who came before, prior to social media. In fact, her open ears led her to create a Silky Saks flat iron and hair clips as well, after she noticed a large amount of voices calling for a better made and longer lasting version of both products.
Ultimately the goal and message behind Silky Saks is to, “…to help woman and men, those who love wigs and extensions, by creating products to better their hair experience.” And if you love anything about hair, head over to silkysaks.com and check out Ecouia’s wonderful creations. I know you’ll be thinking to yourself, “What a brilliant idea. Why didn’t I think of this?”
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All images provided by Silky Saks