Interview by: K.G. Graham | @COSIGNKG
Words by: Chris Panayiotou | @CPLocalCeleb
“I was at a spot in life, I had just dropped out of college and I was trying to figure life out. I became a waitress … I was able to stack up a lot of money,” explains Jewel Sharp, entrepreneur and founder of Hairscentz, a hair deodorizer. “I had this idea in high school that I never really followed, but when I was waitressing, and I noticed that my hair would smell so crazy; I hated washing my hair.” After trying product after product in an effort to find a solution to her problem, Jewel concluded that there just wasn’t anything on the marker for extensions, and nothing to remove odors from hair without washing it. And Hairscentz would go on to fill that void.
Starting out, she took her earnings from working in the service industry and invested into her business. “I started off with the labels, the bottles … Doing the research behind what was already out there, getting my formula together,” she says. “I actually flew to California and I met with a company that has their formulas that you can create your formula on top of that. I worked with a manufacturer in that process.” Having grown up with an aunt that was in the beauty industry, she had been to countless hair shows, and with an in-house mentor, she was uniquely prepared to create Hairscentz.
“I was blessed to get an investment and that really pushed me to where I am now,” she says. “I believe that God put me in that place at that time, because I was actually presenting my product to a group that I wanted to run my social media … and I was overheard by an investment group sitting behind me.” She set up a meeting, sat down with them, and they ended up giving her the investment on the spot. But this stroke of luck was preceded with work, as she couldn’t have imagined things playing out the way they did. “I was researching at first, for investors, and going to people, but it was really hard with having a small company. It’s really hard to convince investors; really know your research before going to them … I believe my story is definitely crazy and it was once in a lifetime type of thing, and I’m truly blessed that I was able to get investors. Definitely look into investors when you start off.”
On February 16, 2018, Hairscentz officially launched. Her biggest hurdle early on was marketing her product though, as it was hard convincing women that they needed this product. In the process of pushing Hairscentz, Jewel also began a hair product distribution company. “I have a company and we supply to barbers, so we are in the shops. We supply them with their gloves, clippers anything they use while their inside the shop. We do free delivery, and right now were servicing over 200 barbers in the Dallas, Plano, Frisco area,” she says. And this company puts Hairscentz in a great position to end up in those shops. She knew it was harder to push a new product than it was to offer a service that already had a demand, so the companies would go on to complement each other.
Today Jewel is focused on getting Hairscentz in more stores and in more hands. She’d like to work with Dallas influencers to push the product online, but retail is also a big drive for her. “I definitely want it to be a household product that people are using; everyone is using it, because it was something that people didn’t even realize that they needed,” she says. “I want to be in retail, and it be everywhere. Being available everywhere is the goal.”
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COSIGN MAGAZINE: Issue 26 | Watch The Throne