I am so excited to bring this interview to you all! This WWN includes another couple that is working together to bring their dreams to fruition. This is so encouraging to me, because it is a glimpse of my own story with my hubby.
I “met” Shaniquwa through my husband’s circle of fitness friends. I saw pictures of her and her husband competing and was always impressed. When I found out that she was quitting her job to pursue an entrepreneurship venture her husband I had to interview her.
Please met Shaniquwa from Natural Roots Beauty Supply….
Let’s talk a little bit about your history as a family (since this is a family owned business). When You first got married was entrepreneurship on your radar? Talk a bit about your journey to opening Natural Roots Beauty.
* I guess you could say entrepreneurship was on our radar when we first married. We are both very driven people and love challenges. We’ve both always wanted to own our own business and had several ideas such as a fitness clothing line, drop shipping products and a beauty supply store. We aren’t sure why, but beauty supply store just stuck. The short version is we made a plan and over the course of a year we made it a priority to execute it and make it happen.
How does ownership tie into your passion and purpose?
* My passion is helping people. Whether that be giving someone accurate directions, advising someone on what healthy meal options are or helping someone find a product that helps bring out their natural curl. I think my purpose is to better the day and/or life of everyone I come in come in contact with whether that means being a good friend or simply smiling and saying hello.
I see that you left a place of employment after eight years of service, how did you know the right time to transition into something new?
*I knew it was the right time to transition into something new when my husband and I realized that both of us continuing to work full-time jobs would not allow the attention we needed to give our new business in order for it to be successful. There just aren’t enough hours in the day nor would we have the energy.
We all know beauty is more than skin deep. Was there a natural progression from fitness competitions to owning your own store? What lessons did you learn in competition that you think will help you in your business?
* I think this just goes back to the fact that we love challenges and just like with competing owning a business is no different. I’ve been involved in sports since I was 12 and sports like bodybuilding teach you a number of life lessons such as sometimes things will be easy and sometimes things will be hard to the point that you question if you’ve made the right decision. In this business, just like in life, it takes stamina and determination. The way I see it, no matter what the situation I will find a way to make things happen.
What do you think it means to our community to have a black-owned beauty supply store? Why do you think there aren’t more?
* I think having a black-owned beauty supply store sets the example that it can be done and we have defied all the myths that black people can’t own a successful beauty supply store. I think that there aren’t more because people are so afraid of the financial responsibility and the risk that comes with owning a business. Also, we as a black community feel like it will be impossible to have access to the products we would need to fill the store. I think most people just don’t want to risk any sort of financial strain on their household when they are already somewhat living check to check. And when I say check to check I’m not only speaking about those with a low income, but also middle class that are paying all of their bills on time and taking care of the house, but have very little savings and don’t want to add more bills/loans to the equation in order to start a business they aren’t sure is going to work.
What do you teach your daughter about business and what lessons do you hope she takes from this venture?
* I am the same person whether I own a business or not, my character and values remain the same. So, I try to carry that over to the business as well as to my daughter. I try to teach her that she has to carry out her responsibilities whether she wants to or not. Doesn’t matter what kind of day she is having or if she’s too tired to function she still has to do what she is supposed to do. I hope I’m teaching her to keep her word, treat others how you want to be treated and that you really can do anything you set your mind to.
How do you define success?
* Simply put, I define success as setting a goal and achieving it. Now, for me with setting goals I need time frames attached so I can work harder to get there (seeing as I like challenges so much). I know things don’t always go as planned, but that’s when you just adjust your approach and keep going.
What are some of your future goals for the store and your family?
* Some of the goals we have for the store are to always stay up to date on what is popular and what the customers are requesting so we can serve our customers to the best of our ability. We also want to expand down the road to put locations in areas where there may not be a beauty supply nearby as well as have great customer service. We don’t want people to feel unwelcomed. Family goals- we want to be able to spend more time together creating memories. For me I felt that between both of our full-time jobs (and working out) it was only leaving just 1 day a week for us to really spend time together, aside from grocery shopping, doing laundry, meal prepping or other household duties. I want to have more time to do fun activities/trips together.
Here’s a picture of my family and I supporting the business! If you are in the area (and even not) please check them out! They are located at 700 Academy Dr #116, Bessemer, AL 35022