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Meet Kiara Lance

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiara Lance.

Hi Kiara, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I’ve always had a love for cosmetics and beauty whether it was hair, nails, makeup, or skin care. Around my junior year of high school, I got my first sew-in. Shortly after, I applied for a job at my local beauty supply store. During my time there, I worked in the wig room and educated myself on anything I could that was wig related.

In 2019, I constructed my first unit which was very disappointing might I add. However, it also drove me to do better. With the support of my friends, I was able to do just that and make extra money on the side as well. Eventually, I was able to install a wig on a friend.

The joy that I felt after seeing her reaction was amazing. It felt so good to know that I could put a smile on someone’s face with a pretty hairstyle. From there, I imagined how far I could go if I started doing hair professionally. At first, I struggled with this decision because I’ve always dreamt of being a doctor.

Then, I graduated in 2020, the same year COVID-19 changed everything. In the meantime, I took a leap of faith and started my official hair business the same year in May. Over the summer, I established a small clientele while working at the beauty supply.

When the school year started, I decided to do online school because of the rising cases, mask mandates, and worldwide shutdowns. At first, the school year started fine until I realized that I’d rather build my business. By the end of my first semester of college, I was doing hair full time with a growing clientele base.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My journey has been anything but smooth. Most of the moves I make come from trial and error. I’ve made many mistakes when it comes to running a business.

However, rather than being embarrassed, I chose to embrace them because if I don’t then I can’t learn and apply them to the future. I quickly learned that asking questions is one of the most important things in customer service.

My lack of questioning caused confusion that slowed down my progress and sometimes pushed me back. Ensuring that my client and I are on the same page definitely makes my job easier. It also helped me become more thorough with assisting future clients.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I like to call myself a Weaveologist because I specialize specifically in wigs and hair bundles. My process splits into two parts. First, I start with the bundles of hair and a lace piece that I will make into a wig on my sewing machine.

After the wig is made, colored, washed, and customized, I will install the wig on her head, and give her a nice style to her liking. The final process is always my favorite because I get to see their reactions. I remember the first time a client cried in front of me because of personal issues.

She told me that her hair was so pretty and made her look like a whole different person. It was a very proud moment for me after seeing how relieved and happy she was. I think what makes me different is my professionalism. As a young, black, 20-year-old woman, most people don’t expect me to have mannerisms or the ability to run a business.

Unfortunately for them, I’m determined to prove them wrong. Most people do hair as a hustle or something to make a quick buck but that’s not my case. I take pride in the fact that I can communicate with people no matter their age, color, or opinion.

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
In order to jump-start my business, I had to put in my first hair order which was roughly around $1500. That was basically my whole account along with some of my savings.

I didn’t know if I was going to make the money back, but I had to have some faith in myself. Taking financial risks in my line of work is very common but so far, most of my risks have been worth it.

I definitely think that more people should take risks if they want to achieve something bigger. In my opinion, they are necessary in order to keep building your name to attract more attention to you.

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