Today’s Entrepreneurs Talk is with Yetunde Jude, the founder of Yelani; a hair care line for curly-haired women.
I came across Yetunde Jude a few months ago when I stumbled upon this article on Forbes.com.
Yetunde is a program manager by day and an entrepreneur by night; on her all-natural plant-based hair product line for kinky curly-haired ladies.
She’s also a mom to two kids. I was very impressed, tracked her down, and invited her to share her thoughts and best advice for intending mompreneurs.
Proprietor of Yelani Natural Hair Care Line Shares Why It’s Important Not to Waste Time
When & why did you decide to start Yelani?
I wrote a book entitled The Black Hair Care Revolution in 2009 and created the plant-based hair care product line Yelani All Natural Collection in 2014 in response to interested readers.
My desire is to change the myth of good hair/bad hair – if your hair is curly, you have good hair and if it’s kinky, you have bad hair.
Bad hair is merely a result of bad products and poor hair care practices. I started my business because I wanted to share my knowledge of hair care with as many black women as possible.
Tell us a bit more about your business and products
My product line, Yelani All Natural Collection, is a plant-based formula for curly hair that actually works. They are the cure for the product junky.
The products were formulated to correct all of the main issues facing women with natural hair, which includes shedding, premature breakage, dryness and hair growth.
Yelani products hydrate, moisturize, soften and repair the hair while stimulating hair growth. Yelani also addresses the cancer concern.
We do not add any carcinogens to our products. Our products are good for your hair and your body.
How has the journey with Yelani been for you?
Starting a hair care line is not for the faint of heart. It can be pretty exhausting and costly at times but it’s quite rewarding.
The many lives that I have touched make it all worth it in the end. Knowing that my children enjoy and appreciate their hair keeps me smiling.
Were you able to fund Yelani yourself or you required additional financing?
Both. I started out financing my own business and have since accepted assistance from family and friends.
How do you work around social isolation as a self-employed person?
Isolation can be a huge problem for an entrepreneur. I have done several things to offset this problem. My solution was to surround myself with like-minded individuals.
I have joined several business organizations and started my own business peer-mentoring group. I am able to discuss business issues and attend networking events with people who are focused on business as well.
What mistakes have you made along the way? What have you learned from them?
My biggest mistake was not pursuing this business a lot sooner. The book I published in 2009 was based on a blog I wrote in 1998. My products weren’t developed until 2014 based on the book.
Had I been thinking along the lines of business, more people would have known about the Yelani brand sooner and there would be fewer people dealing with excessive shedding and premature breakage.
What’s a typical day like for you?
My day usually starts very early in the morning. I start working my day job for a few hours. I then get the kids up. I cook breakfast for my kids and take them to school.
I finish up my 8-hour work shift and begin working on my business until my kids get back from school.
I tend to their needs until they are in bed and for the remainder of the evening, I work on my business until bedtime.
What motivates you to get out of bed every day?
My children and the desire to uplift our people.
What are your favorite Yelani products?
I love them all but my favorite is the Corrective Hydrating Hair Mask.
It contains live foods and can repair the driest head of hair. It makes your hair extremely soft and moisturized.
If you could do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
I would not have waited so long to start making hair care products. I would have started making hair care products for the mass market 10 years ago.
What are your favorite business books? How have they helped you on your journey?
Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. It helped me refine my business model.
What advice would you give to someone considering starting his or her own product line?
Do your research. Have a backup plan for your backup plan. Don’t waste your energy on people/ things/situations that are not improving your bottom line. Stay focused and be prepared to work hard.
Are you living your imagination? Or do you feel you’re still working your way towards them?
I am definitely not there yet. I have a ways to go but I am enjoying the ride.
You can find out more about Yelani All Natural Hair Care Line of products HERE.
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