There is nothing as motivating as hearing the success stories of young entrepreneurs who started their businesses with nothing. Ivy Dextrose A.K.A Quin is one of those Africans immigrants in the US who have been such an inspiration to many young people are generation. She is gradually gaining security in the beauty and fashion industry, specialized in handcrafted women’s wigs. Below is her story.
Tell us a bit about you.
Giggling…Dextrose Ivy is my name. It is my social media name and good for me everyone liked it so I just let people call me that. However, my real name is Quin Ntemgwa., Cameroonian, from Mockmbie in the South West region of Cameroon and I am based in Ohio, USA.
What kind of products do you offer ?
I make wigs and hair pieces out of 100% Indian Temple hair. There’s quite a variety of lengths, styles and colors that are made with new variations constantly being added depending on client demand and whatever I decide to create.
It’s been branded “The Queen’s Wigs” (Wear Your Crown) to represent its superior quality. Every woman should treat herself like a queen and our wigs are crowns. When your beauty is enhanced with the best, the result is confidence and empowerment. Many women place a high value on how their hair looks and keeping up with hair maintenance is time consuming. A wig takes away much of that hassle. It only takes 5 minutes to wear a wig, and who doesn’t want to look royal in 5 minutes?
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Well, I normally like to make my own stuff and so I started off with myself but as time went by, other women began making demands and that was my motivation. Most of my first clients were my friends and acquaintances. I remember how they would admire the way I wore my hair, compliment my wigs and hair styles. They really encouraged me to go commercial with it. I was reluctant at first doubting my own talent. But when I tried to find the kind of wigs I liked, I could hardly find any on the market that looked as good as the ones I had made. And that was how I started.
What do your products look like?
How’s your product different from others in the market?
First of all it is hand crafted and customizable to meet the specific needs of my clients. In addition, it is made with the highest quality products. I have been doing my own hair for 11 years and during this time I gained a lot of experience with the variety of hair quality out there. Some were good, some were a total waste of money. I researched the origin and processing of human hair, and in the process discovered that some people in the industry use certain shortcuts (like using synthetic fillers in human hair) to make higher profits. I am more about service to the client than profit. The hair I use is sourced from Indian temples in Hyderabad, India with no middlemen
How successful has the business been thus far?
The success in terms of client satisfaction is quite impressive. I have several return clients and that is very satisfying. Financially it’s growing too but my priority has been client satisfaction. Client satisfaction will lead to brand loyalty and that is what every business seeks first. Where there is loyalty there will always be good sales and profits as well. My clients can buy raw Indian Hair at only a fraction of what you will find in the industry. When my clients are happy, that is success.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you manage it?
My biggest challenge was finding a dependable, honest hair supplier with hair that was 100% virgin. It took several tries and tests and a lot of time and money. You can’t determine good quality hair by just wearing it once. You must test how it withstands combing, brushing, several washes, dyeing, heat styling and daily wear for long periods of time. I did this with so many suppliers and each time I was disappointed. Human hair is not cheap. I managed this challenge by not giving up and also by switching from suppliers in China to India. There are good and bad products everywhere but I feel India is a more trusted place to go and I am so glad I did.
Where can people find your products?
Queen’s Wigs can be found in the Etsy store, and Hair Lumiere. The entire collection of wigs can be found on our Instagram page @thequeenswigs and our facebook page as well by the same name. Products are also available in some beauty shops in Cameroon and we are gradually expanding our market to other African countries. We happy with the growing demand and have thus far been able to meet the demands of our clients.
Where do you see your business in the next 3 years?
I see a business that has touched the lives of thousands of women. I see better and easier access to product by many people especially those resident in Africa who don’t have easy access to high quality products at affordable rates. I would like to be able to create jobs with this business to the point where I can ring in many other women into the business.
We learned you are very talented with your fingers. Apart from wigs, what else do you make?
I just love making things with my hands. I sew some of my own clothes especially the African styles, I do clothing alterations, cut, braid and style hair, I also love to cook, garden and make crafts. I keep very busy. My personal Instagram @dextrose.ivy has some of the things I’ve made.
There are many people out there who are afraid to make a move and embrace their dreams. What advice do you have for them?
I would just say to them “DO IT NOW” You can start slowly or jump right into it but whatever the case, stop waiting. What if you are only meant to live for 40 years? That means if you are 20 years old now, half of your life is already gone! Get started already. Even if you don’t know where you are going, just start regardless.
If you had to describe yourself with 3 words, what will they be?
Live ( Every day like it’s your last) ,
Love ( Everyone for no reason at all)
Laugh ( Frequently)
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