Ashley Williams, an HBCU alumnus of Morris Brown College and a veteran entrepreneur who has been in the hair industry since 2011, started out selling hair extensions from the trunk of her car in Atlanta.
With the help of her business partner, Khat Rabbani, they launched a company called Hair Are Us and initially invested $2,000 and were able to quickly achieve $2 million in sales within just two years. In 2014, they were even featured on CNBC for their success and accomplishments.
Now, 12 years later, Ashley has launched yet another venture exclusively selling headband wigs, that she believes will reshape and redefine the industry. Headband wigs, unlike traditional wigs, can be installed within seconds with no glue, gel or lace, and Ashley believes that this is the new direction of the multi-billion-dollar hair industry.
Ashley says that guerrilla marketing has been very key to her success. She was an entrepreneur before social media even existed, and because of that, she learned the importance of and still values creating personal relationships with business owners and decision-makers. In the past, she has formed successful partnerships with colleges, nightclubs, restaurants, and even malls to sell her products.
With her newest venture, Headband Wigs, she continues with the same type of hustle but of course is also heavily involved with online marketing, social media campaigns, and brand partnerships with celebrities and influencers.
So far, the business is off to a great start as more and more women continue to realize that it is no longer necessary to buy an expensive wig and then take it to a hair salon and pay again to have it installed. Even more, women love the various headbang wigs options that Ashley offers. Her products are available in various sizes, textures, and colors, including gray for women who want a natural salt & pepper look.
Ashley’s advice to other entrepreneurs who are starting from the ground up is to plan your work and work your plan. She comments, “I have learned over the years that the first step is to step out and faith. But you have also have to do market research and pay attention to the newest trends. If you are in a competitive or saturated space, this even more important. Also, never give up. It takes time to build a successful business.
In the future, Ashley is planning to become one of the first Black women to ever own a fulfillment center. She plans to use that, not only to fulfill her company’s orders but also to help other small Black-owned business owners to efficiently and affordably, fulfill their orders as well.