In Conversation with Chimere Faulk of Dr Locs
Describe your business in a few words?
Dr Locs is a product line designed for the loc’d community.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Three reasons. One, I wanted my daughters to see me and how you can create your life the way you want it to be. Two, this was solving a problem my clients kept having. And three, I wanted to create security for my daughters and I because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do hair forever.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I’d be doing hair for years. Before that, I’d worked at an Apple Store and a corporate office for a popular grocery store chain. My goal was to work in an ad agency after earning a bachelors in advertising.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I didn’t but my mom said she knew. I just knew I didn’t want to be as miserable as typical parents seemed to be in my eyes growing up. I knew I always had my own hands on the steering wheel. I quit jobs left and right as soon as I didn’t like them. Apple was the only company I gave a 2 weeks notice. I liked them. lol
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
My marketing strategy was to sell to my clients. I already had a large pocket of clients all across GA and other cities across the country. With each new order, I had a flyer that asked them to give a review on our facebook page in exchange for a discount on their next order. That gave us ONE direct spot on the internet that anyone curious about Dr Locs could go and hear what the fuss was about our company. Marketing is about villages. It’s about the house party. Everyone wants to be a part of something. So when they see others are there already, they’ll want in.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
Last year, our sales went through the roof. I had to quickly look for a larger space because the business is still in my apartment. I found a large office space and my plan was to pull up carpet, knock down two walls and turn it into a small warehouse. I mentioned what my business was about and what I’d be doing to the leasing agent but I guess because our personalities worked well so much that she didn’t hear the details. She loved me and I loved her and the landlord. I got approved. I took a tour with my staff and we made plans.The day I was scheduled to sign the lease, something told me to read the lease closely. In the lease, it stated that cooking wasn’t allowed. I called the leasing agent to confirm they knew I needed to heat ingredients. Her call back to say “sorry they will not allow me to” was the hardest I’ve ever had. This space was going to give me my sanity because my apartment was overcrowded and I needed to hire more people. I think I cried for a week in my bed. My staff kept working everyday. Afterwards and going forward, I picked myself up and learned that there was something bigger for me. I learned to ask more questions, to always read, to reiterate things, and to slow down. Months later, in Sept I received the keys to a 7,200 sqft warehouse. I would’ve outgrew that 2,000 sqft office space in that 3 year lease fast.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Keeping a balance and sanity while having many hats. Being a mom and a woman in business. Every year in business while being a mom has been tough. But 2020 was especially tough. But we made it through. Yes, children in virtual learning, employees, product, bottles, office stuff and my sanity in a two bedroom apartment grossing over $500k LOL
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
I like to get to know who they are. I ask to pretend we are not interviewing and for them to tell me what their passion is. I like to hire people with a passion for something other than work.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We offer a beauty product so since hair stylists weren’t working anymore (including myself) sales for Dr Locs went up. I closed my salon down and decided to focus on Dr Locs solely.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We are going to finally expand by offering more products including skin products. More marketing strategies surrounding YouTube, TikTok, Instagram. I’d like to do tours and help stylist service locs properly. (locs aren’t taught in Cosmetology school) Also, I intend on coaching beauty professionals and offer to create their products in the warehouse.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
I learned to breathe. Take more breaths and to appreciate the now. I became more present. I grew impatient with the wait for the approval of my permit for the warehouse construction but overtime I realized I really needed the time to prepare and get organized.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
The importance of an accountant and documenting.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
I have. There were definitely moments I cracked. But I’m thankful I was able to maintain my therapy sessions. My daughters and I grounded whenever possible. We would take walks around the complex near the lake. My team and I are also silly. Our comedy kept us all grounded. They never mind working in my home in a pandemic. Although, I’d have anxiety from time to time, they would always continue on like nothing new.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I call it a work/life juggle. You do one as much as it’s necessary. Balance sounds great. But in real life, you do what you have energy for, you do what is needed, and/or required. My tip is to continuously stay present and look what’s in front of you. Also, do not give into the theme of “sleep when you die.” Please go to sleep LOL. You make the best sound decisions when rested.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I share my life online to inspire single parents to go for what they really want in life while raising their children. I promised myself that I’d show the world co-parenting works. I’m writing a book on healthy co-parenting sharing my story and tips on how two willing parents can do this peacefully.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- Set daily REALISTIC goals. Sometimes we can set unrealistic goals because of what we’d like to do. Setting REALISTIC ones helps.
- Morning meditations. I have not yet to commit to this every morning but when I do, I have the MOST productive days. And every one of my most productive friends in business, commits to a morning meditation every morning. This is my goal.
- Allow others to help you run the business. With so many hats to wear in my business, when I allow others to take care of them, more things get taken care of. Delegation is a must.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
The beauty of business to me looks like the grocery bread aisle concept. If we were all loafs of bread, we all have something that’s special. Our why. To be an Entreprenista means I get to share my real life story with others in hopes it could inspire another Entreprenista.