Winning as an entrepreneur means THINKING DIFFERENTLY.
Who is Adrienne Case?
The struggle to return black women to their natural afro-textured hair has been an ongoing debate among African American women for years. Huge strides have been made to support black women’s commitment to love and rock their ‘fros. Helping women make the best hair decision, Adrienne Case owner and creator of Janomi Hair, LLC is providing quality hair products; style tips, and natural hair information for women at all stages of their hair journey.
At Janomi Hair the motto is “Because Your Crown Deserves Quality” products are made with the commitment to be multi-purposed, the Janomi Essential Hair and Scalp Oil was created as an all purpose hair oil. From hot oil treatments to pre-poo washing regimen, Janomi Essential Hair and Scalp Oil can improve dry hair, moisturize and add shine to any hair routine. Janomi Citrus Juice Leave-in Conditioner softens and conditions hair, detangles and restore moisture by penetrating the hair shaft to nourish strands, refreshes curls and soothe itchy scalp. Light enough for locks; Janomi Citrus Juice Leave-in Conditioner can be used on wet and dry hair. Janomi Hair products are made from premium natural ingredients.
As a long time naturalista who loves all things natural hair, Adrienne decided to turn her passion into reality after tackling her own natural hair transition back in 2011, as the natural hair movement became a predominant force on social media and the Internet. The natural hair movement is focused on women of African ancestry celebrating their hair texture and characteristic in its natural state whether kinky, curly, wavy or coiled. Adrienne became curious as to how she too could leave her own mark on this industry as she saw a need to provide women with premium natural hair care products.
What made you get started in your industry?
I stopped relaxing my hair, for good, almost six years ago. I say "for good" because I attempted to go natural and stay natural in college around 2001. That was before the whole natural hair movement for African American women, so there was minimal information on the best hair care practices; and there were minimal products. Needless to say, that didn't go well. I relaxed my hair again a year later.
Fast forward to 2011. The natural hair movement was in full swing. There was information about natural hair everywhere on the internet and social media. Large companies were making products that catered to natural hair and the industry was making millionaires out of the girl next door. Like many naturalistas, I was never 100% happy with all the products from a brand or line. Something was always lacking for my hair needs, so I decided to create my own.
Walk us through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did?
I started my business way sooner than I expected. I sent testers of Janomi Essential Hair and Scalp Oil to 20 people. Before they could even run out of the first bottle, my testers were asking to purchase more. Their friends and family noticed the changes in their hair and inquired about the product. I was forced to sell with my regular personal PayPal account and cheap Vista Print labels.
I then obtained my LLC and worked on a logo and website. My site didn't go live for 8 months. While working on my website, logo, and official labels; I attended natural hair events in my area and donated my product to be distributed in swag bags and raffles. I wanted to get my name and brand out there a bit and establish relationships for the future. Nothing is worse than having a whole product line with no customers.
I'm glad I took my time launching my website. Starting slowly allowed me to work out shipping and customer service kinks before I became overwhelmed. I now have two more products that I will add to the line gradually.
What do you consider are your specialty?
Multi-purpose products are my specialty. All three of my products have more than one use and contain natural ingredients that go beyond the usual olive oil and coconut oil.
I believe simple natural hairstyles on kinky textured hair are my specialty, as well. I wasn't a well know blogger or brand influencer before starting my business, but I did have about 300 Instagram followers that were natural hair enthusiasts on my personal account that I was able to convert to my business Instagram account from the start.
Do you see yourself making this full-time?
I can definitely see my business growing and becoming full-time, but I'm not in any hurry. I want to make the right decisions for my family at the right time.
What can we always expect from your company/brand?
You can always expect excellent customer service and consistent products. One of the challenges of many home-based bath and beauty product companies, is consistent products. I make sure the product you order will always be the same. I never add a new product to the line before making and testing several batches of the product over and over again.
What was the best advice you every received and why?
My latest hair product, Janomi Avomango Styling Butter, gave me such a hard time to perfect. It took me almost a year to get it right. I was venting to my dad one day, and he told me that WD-40 got its name because it took the creator 40 times to get it right. That was his dad’s way of saying keep trying. Love him for it!
What tips can you recommend that you’d would most likely only share with a close friend or comrade on success?
Comparison is the thief of joy. Do not compare yourself or your journey to anyone else's. You don't know their story, and everyone seems to have it all together on social media.
Secondly, trust your gut. You can ask people's opinions on your business, product, or service; but your vision is yours alone. Do what you feel comfortable with. You will never please everyone, and that's ok.
Favorite online resources such as Evernote or Dropbox that you use for your business?
Can you recommend one or two books that has been influential in your life?
Honestly, the Bible. I have a big concordance Bible dictionary that leads me to the type of verse I'm looking for to feed my soul.
What can we expect from you and your company/brand in the next 5 years?
You can expect more products added to the Janomi Hair product line. I've toying with the idea of offering something besides hair products, but I'll keep it a secret until I've made my decision.
What do you think will be the next big change or shift in your industry?
The next big change is already happening. Companies that did not cater to natural and kinky textured hair are now creating products for that market. That's more competition for us little guys, but I'm game. It's hard because they already have brand recognition, but many potential customers aren't fooled. They can tell the difference between having a real passion for natural hair and just chasing coins. You can't fake authenticity.
If a young entrepreneur walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?
I would ask them what need does their product and service address and go from there. I'd also tell them that this entrepreneur life isn't for everyone. Be prepared to be doubted and to do a lot of things by yourself.
How do you define a legacy and what are you doing right now to create one?
For me a legacy is something you leave behind for your children and descendants, but it doesn't have to be monetary or tangible. As a single mom, I'm hoping to leave behind the notion that there are several ways to success. Having your own business and creating your own lane are definitely realistic goals. AND I'd like to leave them some money too!
Right now, I'm very conscious of my actions when working because I know my children are watching. They know I stay up late and get up early to work on my business before and after my day job. I let them help me with small things like packaging whether they want to or not. I'm trying to create memories and experiences to provide proof that hard work and sacrifices really do pay off.
As a first generation Liberian American, Adrienne found it important to return her hair to its natural state for her own sense of empowerment. While her hair journey isn’t over, this mom of two has her eyes set on expanding her business and continuing to develop high quality products that her client's will love. We are thrilled to showcase an entrepreneur who is taking action and living out her dreams. We hope her journey will inspire you to dream big and follow your own dreams. If you are looking for high quality premium natural hair products be sure to visit www.Janomihair.com. You can contact Adrienne Case at info@Janomihair.com. Be sure to follow Adrienne on social media: @Janomi_Hair on Twitter/Instagram and @Janomi Hair on Facebook and Goggle+
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