In Conversation with Cyndrea Mathews of For The Culture Beauty Supply

Cyndrea Matthews_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

For The Culture Beauty Supply is a Natural Hair Beauty Supply Store and Salon.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

A natural call to Entrepreneurship and a passion for natural hair care.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

After grad school I started my career in Social Media Marketing with one of the largest independent PR firms. I was there for 6 years, working my way up the ranks before taking the leap into entrepreneurship.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes. I was the little girl with the lemonade stand, the homemade jewelry business, and even started sewing my family’s clothing without them asking and charging them for it (hahaha). One summer my teacher took me to Toys R’ Us as a thank you for helping her clean her classroom, I could have picked any toy I wanted, but I chose a cash register. As I entered my career, this call to entrepreneurship got louder and louder until I could no longer ignore it. I had to take the leap and answer that calling.

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?

I relied on my expertise in social media marketing to get the word out. Establishing our social media accounts was one of the first things I did to begin building a following well before we opened our doors. That in addition to word of mouth was very successful for us.

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?

As a self-funded business, finances have consistently been a challenge for us from the start. Working with limited funds forces you to get extremely creative and figure out how to do what you can with what you have.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

One of my proudest accomplishments is launching our mobile app during the pandemic. This was something we wanted to do for a while, but were delayed by expensive quotes for app builds and a general lack of knowledge about how to go about it. However, when the pandemic hit and we were forced to rely on our digital channels to connect with our customers, the need for an app was even more apparent. After doing some research and digging I was able to bypass the coders and even the coaches and figure out how to build the app myself. As the first and only beauty supply store to launch an app, this was a huge accomplishment for our business.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

What questions do you have for me? This shows the level of interest a candidate has, their ability to ask smart questions, and lead the conversation.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

As a retail store, the “safer at home” orders have limited our ability to serve our customers. We were required to close at one point before we were able to offer curbside pickup. Furthermore, with a salon that contributes greatly to our revenue, we’ve had to close our salon on three different occasions which severely impacted that revenue stream. However, overall we did see a surge in support for Black owned business and beauty supplies in particular, as many traditional beauty supply stores were not prepared to pivot and meet the needs of the customers during this time. We are honored to have been able to continue to serve our community.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

At this point our focus is growth. We plan to expand and open additional locations throughout the U.S.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

The biggest lesson I learned in 2020 is that you have to stay ready and be ready to pivot at any time. Never get so comfortable that it takes a lot for you to get up and make a shift at a moments notice. Initially when we were required to close our doors, there was a moment of uncertainty, however we quickly relied on our available option which was our existing online store and revamped that in order to keep our business running.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

How to run a business (hahaha). When I decided to open my business, I had no idea how to start a business or run one. But I committed to taking everything one step at a time. Leading up to grand opening, I figured out how to register my business, find a location, get required licenses and permits, establish vendor accounts and purchase inventory, purchase fixtures and furnitures, etc. so it wasn’t until after we opened our doors that we had to learn on the go how to run a business efficiently and prepare to scale.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

My faith. God is the head of my life and business, I rely on him every day to get me through. There are lessons he’s taught me in the past that prepared me for this turbulent year, and there were lessons that he taught me through this experience. All things are working for my good.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Absolutely. Though I’m not always successful at it, this is something I truly strive for. As a wife and mother with a business and a full-time job, I do my best to be truly PRESENT in each moment. When it’s time for me to work, I put my focus into that, when it’s time for me to spend time with my family, I have to turn off my work brain and be present in that and enjoy the moment. Time-management is key.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I am the 5th of nine children – I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters. They are my daily inspiration.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

Make a to-do list, schedule your day, be present.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an entreprenista means fulfilling my dreams and building a legacy for my family.

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

Online Business Manager Ellyn Stanton of Stanton Sisters Creative on taking the leap to start

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Stanton Sisters Creative helps CEOs & Founders step into their roles and get more focus, free time, and financial growth by setting up systems, overseeing teams, and managing projects. What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? I am so excited about being an…

Why We Chose Electric To Power IT For Our Entreprenista Team & The Women Leaders Who Work With Them Too

Entreprenista’s CoFounder and CEO,  Stephanie Cartin was able to use Electric with a prior company she too founded and operated, Socialfly. Electric freed up her time and allowed her to focus on and scale other companies like Entreprenista. So when the same bottlenecks arose at Entreprenista, she knew the solution for her team right away! …

Renowned Chef Judy Joo on forging her own path as an Entreprenista

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I am a career changer, and I had a rather serendipitous route into the kitchen. I started out as an engineering major in college and then went into finance and worked in fixed income derivatives for about 5 ½ years until I decided to give…

Vasiliki Gkarmiri of Next Door Goddess on leaving a legacy

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I’m Vasiliki (but everyone calls me Vicky)!  I’m a Greek immigrant, Family Physician-turned-jewelry designer and co-founder at Next Door Goddess where I design and create artisanal handcrafted boho luxe jewelry, inspired by moments in the Greece and the Mediterranean landscape, that helps women express on…

Juliana Avella of Made Simple Nutrition on launching her first Self-Study Online Fertility Program

Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: My name is Juliana, I am a mother of 3 boys and passionate about helping women to thrive in a happy and healthy motherhood. I have been working as a Health & Fertility Coach for over 11 years and my goal with my clients is…

Ashleigh Barker, Head of Beauty for Lincoln International, on her unique Entreprenista journey

Describe your business in a few words: I am the Head of Beauty for Lincoln International, an investment banking platform that advises brands and management teams on growth capital fundraising and M&A advisory strategies. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’m an M&A strategy, advisor and investment professional with both investment…

Cheli Grace of Book to Millions Reflects on 1 Year in The Entreprenista League

Brief description of your business: I offer professional publishing services with business strategy. I help you write, publish and market your non-fiction book that is aligned to your business and brand. We have a 5-phase system that does a lot of the work for you so all you have to do is show up with…

Certified Fertility Health & ICF Life Coach, Doula & Educator Elizabeth King on her Mamaprenista Mission

Describe your business in a few words: Elizabeth King is a Certified Fertility Health Coach, Master Certified ICF Life Coach, Birth & Bereavement Doula and New Parent Educator. Her mission is to help people of all backgrounds conceive a healthy baby and carry to term.After having 3 children of her own after the age of…

Beth Schomp on Living Your Best Life

Describe your business in a few words: I’m a host of my own YouTube Show, Your Best Life with Beth Schomp. It’s a weekly video series of tips and interviews on nutrition, fitness and other health modalities. I’m also a National Director with Melaleuca, a major manufacturer/registered pharmaceutical company. I also just authored my first…

Rosemary Leader, Founder of Connect The Kind, has set out to change the way we gift

Describe your business in a few words: My name is Rosemary Leader, and I started Connect The Kind in December 2020. At Connect The Kind, we have set out to change the way people gift. Our mission has been to create a more meaningful, impactful way to celebrate the good people in your lives. We…

Ashley Reckdenwald, Founder of Working Mom Notes, on her mission as a Mamaprenista

Describe your business in a few words: I am the Founder of Working Mom Notes. My mission is to empower mothers through community and experience, enabling all to prosper in both career and motherhood. I believe in moderating difficult conversations to help women feel seen and heard. What was your background prior to starting your…

Riley Flanagan of Riley’s Rows on starting her own international wine company

Describe your business in a few words: When I was four years old, Dad and I had our first harvest. I came home and knew I wanted to be a winemaker. I have loved growing up in this industry and I started Riley’s Rows as a way to share wines with people. My mission is…

Adriana Robinson, Founder of Reina Skincare, on her “accidental” success as an Entreprenista

Describe your business in a few words: My name is Adriana Robinson. I started this business in 2018. I was suffering from Acne all over my body and the products in store were not working for me. I decided to go the natural route and I accidentally ordered 10 pounds of Shea Butter instead of…

Laura Elliott, Co-Founder of Kula Inc., on taking the leap to launch a podcast

Describe your business in a few words: I am Laura Elliott the co-founder of Kula Inc. Kula is transforming the way moms receive support with a membership-based platform that allows moms to book 1:1 virtual sessions with a network of maternal wellness experts, including sleep consultants, counselors, career coaches, nutritionists, and more. What was your…

Meet Britney Mahoney: Senior Executive Assistant turned Entreprenista

Describe your business in a few words: As an 18-year highly experienced executive assistant with a diverse background in providing support to senior-level officials through in-person and virtual settings. Your business is our business. I believe in making your dreams and goals a reality and my Virtual Assistants know just how to do that. We’re…