I had the opportunity to catch up with New York-based hair boutique owner Wailane (Lanie) Miller-Ellis. If you haven’t heard of her, make sure you check her out. You ever just met someone and suddenly get inspired and want to run back home and come up with some ideas? Well, this is what happened during our conversation with bosschick Lanie Miller-Ellis. Her story is so inspiring. Just a few years ago she was working two jobs, 7 days a week from 6am-midnight. Now, she is investing that time into continuing to build her beauty empire Pink Blush Hair.
Just over four years ago, Lanie was stressing over a traumatic event that happened in her life. Due to the abrupt change she set out to build the life with no set plan of action and barely any clientele, she set out to build the lifestyle she was destined to have in the same way many of us do: through trial and error.
Bosschicks: How did you come up with the name Pink Blush Hair?
LME: When my daughter was younger she used to always play with my mother’s Pink Blush and to this day as an adult-she still plays with Pink Blush.
Bosschicks: How do you generate new ideas?
LME: I have a tendency to pay attention to what’s going on around me. I treat myself as a customer, therefore, whatever I would covet as a customer-I implement those ideas for my Pink Dolls.
Bosschicks: Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
LME: The formula and or pattern is believing in yourself and your brand. The more you put into your brand, the more you will get out of it. I put in many hours that I knew I was not going to get back. I worked two jobs while starting my company and now I am reaping the benefits from it. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication in order to be a successful entrepreneur. It does not and will not happen overnight as some expect.
Bosschicks: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
LME: My husband and children-they inspire me to do better and be better. If it weren’t for my family I think I would have given up a long time ago. They are my biggest driving force. At the time when I first started my company I had a twenty-one year old daughter who looked up to me. She saw the blood, sweat, and tears that I had while building this business and even some of my greatest fears. Now she encourages and motivates me. Even if I wanted to quit, my family would not let me. Additionally, my husband who knew nothing about hair (his friends will probably make fun of him) decided that whatever it took, we were going to get this started.
Bosschicks: To what do you most attribute your success?
LME: My Lord and savior! He knows I wanted to give up many times, however, he would not allow me to. He placed a phenomenal partner in my life; D. Ellis-he has been very instrumental with the success of PBH. Although he is my husband, he knows what he wants out of hair weave so he voices his opinions as well.
Bosschicks: What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?
LME: Plan, Prayer, Vision, Knowing your Market, STRONG TEAM, lastly, be prepared for disappointment by having a plan B and ready to reinvent if needed.
Bosschicks: In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Bosschicks: What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
LME:I’ve sacrificed my sanity, lol! I can’t say I sacrificed much because this is my passion, when you have a passion or love for something-it feels good to do it even if haven’t reaped all of the benefits.
Bosschicks: What three pieces of advice would you give to young women who want to become entrepreneurs?
LME:Develop a strong team and be around those who would push you, have lots of patience and know that Rome was not built in one day, hence, you will elevate-it just takes time.
Bosschicks: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
LME: I would not change a thing. All of the mistakes that I’ve made, helped me bring to the forefront this Boss Chick…..wink
Bosschicks: How many hours do you work a day on average?
LME: All day-If an idea comes to me in my sleep, I have to get up an write it down or research how I can bring it to fruition. There are no amount of hours you set when your branding a company that you are passionate about. I know many entrepreneurs who had sleepless days and nights and I was right there with them.
Bosschicks: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
LME:My greatest fear is not being able to aid someone in need. I really would like to do more than provide flawless hair; I want the world to know of and be a part of “Define your Beautiful”. This is a campaign I recently launched that will help all of our women across the world, young and old.
Bosschicks: How do you define success?
LME: Being able to satisfy my consumer- receiving feedback conveying that; they feel like a new woman because I provided a product that assisted with their self esteem.
Bosschicks: What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
LME:Stick to your plan and make sure you are abreast of the latest trends. You have to be in the “know” of what is trending and stay ahead of the game. With the hair industry I had to learn what was good quality vs. non-good quality. I wanted to make sure PBH always represented the best quality hair possible. We’re not in the business to make money today and sell out of hair tomorrow. We’re in the business of building a luxurious brand and having continue success.
Bosschicks: What habits helped make you successful?
LME: By being completely organized and having time management. One thing I have learned is that building my beauty empire I had to create organization and time management for all of the goals I wanted and needed to accomplish. Also, because I am my biggest fan, critiquing and making changes when necessary. Being open minded to changes within your brand will help you become flexible when a new trend opens up.
Bosschicks:What mindsets helped make your successful?
LME: I had to be determined to make this work no matter what. I knew I was entering a multi-billion dollar industry and I knew that I had to work like I was the only one working towards that billion.
Bosschicks: What are your non-work habits that help you with your work-life balance?
LME: My Zen that I receive from my partner and hubby D. Ellis. We take long drives as well as, walk the beach and have creative meetings. You can get a lot done driving in a car or a simple peaceful walk.
Bosschicks: What is the best advice you received recently, and that you still follow?
LME: Always believe in yourself, and know that it is OK not to get it right the first time. I was also told “You are a beautiful success, keep striving, you were destine for greatness”. PBH reminds me every day that there are women just like me who want to feel beautiful. There are men too who love to see their women beautiful so they purchase hair from PBH for their women.
Bosschicks: Please share any personal stories that would be beneficial to our boss chicks. Like how you decided to venture out on your own as a boss.
LME: Often times we wonder why our back, face and chest break out-this is because we purchase hair and other products that are filled with chemicals that the human body cannot process. PBH was created to provide our Pink Dolls with a chemical free product that will allow them to have Flawless Hair! Pink Blush Hair (PBH) is more than hair, it is a movement of beautiful women who seek quality materials and understand the important essentials of life… their HAIR! PBH has helped many women accomplish the goal of being picturesque on the inside as well as on the outside. Through Pink Blush Hair, our goal is to encourage healthy hair and help empower women all over the world! (T’s testimony”I’ve never had this great of experience with hair extensions. I’ts where it looks so natural that I even forget I have Pink Blush Hair in my head. Now you know when you think it grows from your roots and others do too, that’s some great luxury hair”)
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