Muti Hair: Yanique Parson

Muti Hair is a natural hair care company offering educational consultations, personalised products, and subscription boxes

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Name of founder: Yanique Parson

Age of the founder: 30

Location: London

Date launched: 19 February 2021

Number of employees: 1

Website: https://www.mutihair.com/

Instagram: muti.hair

Which university, if any, did you attend? I attended Brunel University in Uxbridge.

Founder Yanique Parson drew upon a sustained interest in natural hair care, along with being the go-to person when family and friends needed hair advice, to launch Muti Hair, a natural hair care company. Parson explains more…

What does your business do?

We are a female and black owned natural hair care company. We specialise in educating curlies about their natural hair through individual consultations where we diagnose hair and scalp issues, as well as provide a complete hair portrait, a time positive regimen, and ethos rebalancing.

We also create personalised natural hair products using Ayurvedic-based practices and ingredients, and have monthly subscription boxes of hair care products.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I've been natural for some years now and have spent a lot of time learning about my own hair, as well as facing all the barriers that a natural girl can face, from hating my curls to damaging them.

I started researching hair and ingredients – not just watching YouTube tutorials, but reading scientific journals and published articles, which lead to me figuring out some of the discrepancies with what was practiced and preached in the natural hair community and actual science!

I started making my own hair products (just your standard DIY) and friends and family started to notice my natural hair flourishing. A lot of them wanted to go natural but didn't feel they could care for it, were taught to hate it, and didn't want the hassle.

A few family members and close friends started asking me about hair, and before I knew it, I was their go-to consultant. From video calls while they stood in the hair shop trying to pick the right leave-in, to identifying how to treat traction alopecia, to sharing some of my DIY products: you name it, I did it for them, and I began to realise that this is one of my true passions.

How did you know there was a market for it?

It happened over a Christmas holiday. We were having a huge debate with family and family friends about ‘good hair vs bad hair'. I realised that my opinion (the only ‘bad hair' is damaged hair, and afro textured hair is actually a lot more delicate than people want to believe) was the least popular opinion around the table!

Everyone subscribed to ‘good hair' being a looser curl pattern, and ‘bad hair' being afro textured, tight coils that zig and zag. I knew I needed to share my understanding with them and do my part to provide accurate information, so that future generations don't grow up not seeing the beauty of themselves.

What were you doing before launching your business?

Educator in an academy.

Have you always dreamed of starting a business?

I have! I dabbled in entrepreneurship, never fully getting my feet wet, but I've always had the life goal of freedom to provide the value only I can to everyone.

How did you finance your business?

My hard-earned cash and valuable personal time, with long hours after work.

Explain your business model and how you make money.

I share my value and educate others through social media, offering them a free strategy session during which we discuss their step up to a consultation. I also share my clients’ results through social media, and respond to any questions that others have.

I find prospective clients through word of mouth (my products and services are good!) and also by holding Hair Talk, a virtual Zoom event where I go in-depth about afro hair and how to take care of it, and answering any questions that others may have.

My website is live and clients can purchase products and merchandise on the website, which I then create and ship directly to them.

What are the main challenges you have faced? And how did you overcome them?

Committing my time to starting the business while working full-time in an educational establishment. I imagined life without me being able to share the information I have, and thought about if I were to die tomorrow, what would my legacy be? Would I have left the world a better place in any way for me having been here? That motivates me everyday to get up and put in those double shifts, even when I'm tired.

What has your experience been of starting a business during a pandemic?

The pandemic has made things a lot more challenging, but I believe it has been excellent character building. During this time, you really find out if you're an egg or a potato, you know. You can either harden from being in the hot water, or soften. It has been a great learning curve and has helped me to be even more grateful.

Describe your first breakthrough.

My first breakthrough was actually taking the step to register the company – you will see it was actually registered in 2019! However, I hadn't started trading and I hadn't done the necessary work to get things rolling. Registering the company was me forcing myself to commit; to take the first step in making the dream a reality.

How has Brexit impacted your business? Do you think it will in the future?

Closed borders and limited shipping/suppliers have impacted things like label production and sourcing of some more exotic ingredients. I don't know what the future impact of Brexit will be, but I know my business will flourish as long as I continue to provide a quality service and be transparent with my clients.

What advice would you give to other aspiring business owners?

If you are an aspiring business owner, start. Don't wait. There is no time like the present! Forget all the excuses that you're telling yourself – you can start exactly where you are because it's a marathon, not a sprint. If you can't run it, walk until you build up your stamina. Every day, month, year you delay is a day, month, year between you and your goal.

What is one resolution you have for your business this year?

This year I want my business to hit one million clients.

How do you see your business developing in the next three years?

In the next three years, I see my business expanding to provide an educational course for those who want to go even further in learning about afro textured hair that will be accredited by a university, and begin the process of being a requirement for all hair stylists and a module for trichology.

I also intend to host Residentials, where hair professionals can gather and share the latest findings in hair technology and hair care science.

I want to ensure that there is a subscription education service available to anyone who is interested (at an affordable price) so they can get all the basics of hair care.

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Scarlett writes for the energy and HR sections of the site, as well as managing the Just Started profiles. Scarlett is passionate about championing equality and sustainability in business.

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