By Grace Mantjiu
The hair business is growing every day. We chat to Gomolemo Monye, founder of Demand Hair, about how she started her business and the challenges she experienced.
Images: Demand Hair IG
How did you get into the hair business?
I’ve always loved weaves. But my hairline gave up on me, and my stylist gave me a beautiful wig. Everyone I met asked where I had bought it from, so I referred them to him. One day, I decided that all the clients I had referred to my stylist could have been mine. So I asked him for his supplier’s details, and he complied. That’s how I started!
Where do you get the hair from and how do you make sure that it is quality?
I source the hair from Hong Kong. I was fortunate that my supplier had been tried and tested by my hairdresser. As time went on, I got another supplier because I didn’t want to rely on one person. To test the quality, I had a session with a friend where we washed the hair, exposed it to heat, ironed it, coloured it and actually burnt it.
How much money did you need to start the business?
I parted with just under R55 000! This is because I consulted a company to do my branding, then I bought stock, did photoshoots with a model, make-up artists and all. Because I taught myself everything about this business, I parted with more than I should have. Some costs even went past me and I did not manage to document them. I have now appointed an accountant to help me out.
How long did it take you to start making a profit?
In the beginning, I didn’t make any. This is because I didn’t incorporate the costs associated with importing the hair, such as rand/dollar exchange rate, bank charges and infamous airport taxes, in my pricing. But as time went on, I managed to price accordingly. I then started to see a return on my investment.
Do you make the wigs or buy them ready?
I sell both the ready-made ones and custom-made that someone makes for me. Custom-made wigs are a bit more expensive but worth every rand!
How do you get your business out there?
I use a virtual store and rely on word of mouth and social networks such as Instagram: @demand_hair and Facebook: Demand hair. The hair business is not as easy as it seems, the inquiries take up a lot of time and social media requires constant content upload. I am considering opening a salon in the near future. It was not part of the plan, but my clients are demanding that I go that route.
Any tips on how to take care of good quality wigs?
• Wash it at least once a week.
• Wear a wig cap to protect your natural hair, avoid scalp irritation and keep the wig
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