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Hair Care Product Creation Brings $45,000 a Year

Tanieka Randall's story is all about growth she's experienced in her personal life, in her professional career, and even with her hair. Tanieka, or Tee, as she's more commonly known, started a side hustle selling natural hair products that promote healthy hair while also stimulating follicle growth.

Tee brings professional and personal experience to this venture. She works as an oncology nurse, often pulling twelve-hour night shifts from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. A self-described "healthy hair junkie," she had begun experimenting with making her own products after being less than thrilled with everything else on the market. Those products were full of lots of questionable chemicals like parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, and artificial colors. Not only that, the results were unimpressive.

She wanted more natural products for her hair, and she also enjoyed putting these products together. Her experimenting was put on hold, however, when a bone marrow test revealed that Tee had leukemia. She was a fighter, and pulled through the treatments cancer free - but five rounds of strenuous chemotherapy left her completely bald. Dismayed but victorious, she began to research the best ways to naturally regrow her hair.

That's when she discovered the world of essential oils. Much more so than artificial ingredients, the right recipe of essential oils made an immediate difference in her hair's regrowth. She tried a series of combinations before settling on her own unique recipe.

Naturally, Tee shared her newfound knowledge with her friends and family so they could benefit from all her research. As her hair regrew, people kept asking what her secret was - how did she get it to grow back so thick and healthy after chemo?

One day, it dawned on her that she was creating products that others may actually want to purchase themselves. Better yet, her target audience was right there on Facebook. On a whim, she decided to take the plunge and began accepting orders.

The response she received was overwhelmingly positive, and she knew that she'd be outgrowing her impromptu Facebook sales page before long. With this in mind, Tee went online to do what she does best - researching - so that she could pit this positive momentum to work. She set up an LLC (limited liability company), and the next month she attended an event ad an official vendor.

That event was a local women's networking group. As she describes it, "I made a few hundred dollars at that first event. While that's nothing to some people, to me it was a lot." More than just making some money she saw that there was a real market for her products.

Tee took that first few hundred dollars in revenue and put it right back into her business. In total, she spent $1,500 to get going. Around $800 went to buying ingredients and supplies directly related to creating her products. Another couple hundred went to registering her business, and the rest went toward flyers and business cards. She also set up a website so that she could officially take orders on her own instead of just through Facebook.

The investments paid off. In her first year in operation, Tee cleared more than $20,000. Aside from spending a few thousand dollars on additional ingredients to prototype new products, she had very few expenses.

One thing she did invest in, however, was business coaching. She spent $3,000 to get some help learning how to run her own shop. While it's the single largest thing she's purchased in relation to hert business, she said it was worth every cent.

From that business coaching, she learned to focus on what her customers were asking for, which led to introducing some new products as well as bundling existing products into sets.

Tee also learned more about connecting with potential customers. When she picked a name, she had grabbed accounts on most major social networks, and then set about establishing a presence on many of them. Tee also joined networking and entrepreneurial groups in her area.

Through all these efforts, she cleared $80,000 in sales in her second year. In her third year, she wasn't able to focus on the business as much, but still cleared $45,000.

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