As Leah Kay knows, all great innovations come from personal necessity, For Leah, this necessity came in 2016 while she was in graduate school. She often wore headbands to keep the hair out of her face so she could focus on the busy day ahead. Unfortunately, she was struggling to find quality, comfortable products.
“I couldn’t find anything that made me look AND feel good. Most headbands were too big and would slide off my head and were made of awful, itchy cotton-based fabric. That’s when I took matter into my own hands and started hand-making headbands for myself,” Leah recalls.
That day, Leah pulled out her mom’s old sewing machine, went to her local fabric store, and made headbands the way she wanted them.
“It wasn’t long before friends started asking for me to make custom headbands for them and I stumbled, slowly, into my first business. It started purely as a hobby and initially I had zero intentions of building it into a brand,” Leah says.
In 2019, after she graduated, Leah decided to switch career paths and follow her budding success. She committed fully to building the best hair accessories brand offered, made with premium fabric, comfortable enough to wear all day, and that looked better than a typical drugstore product.
“I had no business experience, but I was relentless to turn my dream into a reality. What started with my own $300 investment and a sewing machine eventually turned into a $500k/month revenue business just 2 years later. No investors, no debt, just straight hustle and a dream to be the best hair accessories brand out there,” Leah says.
Now, Leah’s products have been featured in multiple magazines and even grace the shelves of big stores, like Free People. Even though some retail stores are in the mix, Leah sells mostly online through social media, mostly Facebook and Instagram, and are working toward other platforms. Their product line has expanded beyond headbands to include scrunchies and their famous trademarked Hair Tie Bracelets, and are expanding into more products in the future. They are also proud to be entirely owned and operated by women entrepreneurs.
“I’ve always been a big dreamer and a hard worker. When I want something, I am relentless to earn it and do nearly whatever it takes to get there. I saw a gap in the hair accessories market and knew that I could improve upon it. I had no money in the bank when I started, so in my eyes I had nothing left to lose. I was just a girl with a dream that decided to build a brand and give it everything I had,” Lead recalls.
Once inspired by other entrepreneurs like Sara Blakely and Ben Francis that built their own businesses from their homes, Leah now finds herself in their shoes. Successfully following in their footsteps came from a fascination of how other brand pioneers grew their business and culture surrounding it. With her own business now where she once aspired to be, Leah admits it can be daunting on the journey there!
“Initially, starting a brand is scary territory! With no business experience or background, it can be intimidating to leave your entire advanced career and schooling behind to go all-in on your dream. Nearly everyone told me I was making the wrong move and that I was wasting my time, but I didn’t listen to them. I knew I was going to make it happen, and I did. For the first 6-months, I was hand-sewing everything. We now have great manufacturers that help us create phenomenal, quality products,” Leah says.
After growing her brand from the ground up, entirely self funded, Leah is proud to have scaled to $500k a month in revenue, and growing. In the new year, Leah is looking to give back and help others grow their dream businesses.
“I get asked every day for advice and I want to help them all, but my time is limited. I’m in the middle of creating an advanced e-commerce course, titled Brand Stimulator Pro, that helps founders scale quickly and efficiently. From sourcing manufacturers, to branding and advanced marketing, and scaling, we’ll cover it all,” Leah says.
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