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Community Highlights: Meet Special Ashford-Reed

Today we’d like to introduce you to Special Ashford-Reed.

Hi Special, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Hair has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing since I was about 12. My friends would come over to my house and pay me to do their hair in my mom’s kitchen. Eventually, it turned into a weekend thing. In college, it helped me keep extra money in my pockets and not go hungry… lol.

I wasn’t really sure that it was something that I wanted to do full time, so for many many many years, I kept it as something I just did on the weekend and here and there for family/friends. After teaching middle school during the day and trying to construct units at night, it was becoming extremely exhausting.

As the unit business picked up, my hours of sleep decreased. Soon after, I had to make a decision, either quit teaching or give up customizing units. After 15 years of teaching, I obeyed God and resigned from my education career to focus primarily on my business, A_SpecialUnits. Five years later, here we are.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I haven’t really had any. God has really had his hand on me. For the most part, it’s been pretty smooth. The transition from working full-time to being my own full-time boss took me a little time to get used to, but I love it here.

I would say my biggest challenge would be adapting from working with children on a daily basis to working with adults.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about A_SpecialUnits?
What should we know? A_SpecialUnits is truly a gift from God. When I say this business fell into my lap that’s exactly what I mean. There was no planning, budgeting, nothing. God literally said, “Just trust me and start. I’ll handle the rest”.

When I say he has blessed me I mean in every way possible. We have been fortunate to service customers for weddings, TV appearances, big events, and just everyday life.

I aid God in enhancing the beauty of people’s crown (head). I construct customized units from scratch for women on a daily. They vary in length, color, and style. Our various hair types are Indian, Cambodian, and Burmese. We are known for our high-quality customizations and our outstanding customer service.

Although our unit customization is top tier, I like to think that our customer service is what keeps us in business the most. We eagerly and readily communicate effectively as well as efficiently with all of our customers to make sure that they are completely satisfied from ordering to shipping.

In the 5 years that we have been in business, most of our customers have come from referrals and word of mouth. We pride ourselves on getting things right the first time, giving every customer exactly what they’ve paid for, and holding ourselves accountable in every aspect.

When I started A_SpecialUnits, I had no idea where we would end up. We started this small business following the obedience of God; initially constructing units with hair provided by customers. Six months later, were began selling units fully constructed with hair from our personal vendor. A year later, my second baby, A_SpecialBundle was born. Because of the satisfaction from our fully constructed units, customers began inquiring about the extensions used and where they could purchase them.

Once we began selling extensions, the demand for them was overwhelming. After about 8-9 months, my third baby, A_SpecialCrown was brought to life. It allowed us to offer hair products (shampoo, condition, hair oil, etc) and hair care essentials (lace band, wig stocking caps, satin wig bags) for all of our customers. In four years, God had not only trusted me with one baby but three. This upcoming May, a new baby with be announced and added to the A_SpecialBrand. Talk about enlarged territories… I couldn’t be more proud of my brand and undeniably myself.

Here at the A_SpecialBrand, we offer exceptional customization and unmatchable results. Last November, we met our goal of serving all 50 United States. We have serviced about 15 different countries and have worked with several big celebrities. We’ve been featured on some of TV’s biggest shows like The Voice and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Most importantly, we would love to make each and every reader a customer of the A_SpecialBrand in some capacity.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Really guys, all I can say is trust God, be obedient, and don’t limit yourselves. There are so many doors that are just waiting for YOU to unlock and open. Do not put limitations on what you can do or offer to others.

Most importantly, take that risk. It could be the difference you need to change not only your mindset but your lifestyle. Last, but not least, find a way to give back to your community. We depend on each other and we need each other. #Godspeed

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