Studeaux15 Hair Care is a multicultural hair care product line. There are ten products to select from and virtually one for every member of the family regardless of what type of hair they have.
The founder, Najah created these hair products after doing the big chop in 2017. She cut over 28 inches of her hair off one day. Her beautician warned her that she would soon regret the decision.
After a few months coupled with the increased maintenance requirements of having short hair, she realized her beautician was right. Once she began to grow her hair back she was not satisfied with any product currently offered at the time. She tried various products and nothing gave her the results she was aiming for. So she began to experiment in her kitchen with her own ingredients. After months of research and development, she created Studeaux15. She used them secretly and didn’t tell anyone.
Slowly people began to compliment how fast her hair was growing and the appearance of her hair. Coworkers, friends, family members, and most importantly her beautician. Once her beautician questioned what she was doing to her hair between visits she knew she was on to something. Najah gave out 25 samples of her products to people with different textures of hair. Many are from different ethnic backgrounds. Najah asked for their honest opinion after two months of using them. Once they all gave rave reviews she decided to bottle it and sell it.
In December 2018 she created an ecommerce website and went live. She started with two products and slowly expanded the line to ten as of today. Najah graduated from Southern University in Business Management in 2016. After studying Entrepreneurship, she knew she wanted to own her own business. She just wasn’t sure what type of business at that time. So her impulsiveness to cut her hair birthed her business completely unexpectedly.
It works amazingly on men, women, and children. People from different hair types and ethnic backgrounds love our products. They are cruelty-free, not tested on animals, and are made from organic ingredients. They are free of harsh chemicals and are manufactured in Louisiana. Each product promotes healthy hair growth and helps in nurturing the hair from root to tip. As of 2021, they have been shipped to 41 states in the US and 5 countries around the world!
Her only daughter was in a near-fatal motor vehicle accident in 2019. Her daughter had three emergency brain surgeries which required her head to be shaved. As a teenager surrounded by a society heavily influenced by “looks and beauty” her daughter suffered from depression due to her hair being cut off and her appearance. Despite the miracle of her being alive, she didn’t view herself as beautiful.
While her daughter Kaylin was going through the rigorous recovery phase after her wreck, Najah watched helplessly. This also resulted in her daughter being hospitalized for months due to so many severe injuries. Najah cut all of her hair off to support the emotional journey her daughter was on. No mother wants their children to experience any type of pain and this is the only way she felt she could help lift her daughter’s spirit and keep her encouraged. She began to share their hair growth journey on social media.
She did this to inspire others who lost their hair from any medication or health issue or were forced to cut their hair for various reasons. This caused an overflow of people suffering from many medical conditions to reach out with their own stories as well as purchase the products. From Alopecia to blood pressure medication, Chemo, Radiation, Psoriasis, and recently Covid-19 related hair loss all of the people who used Studeaux15 gave rave reviews of how the products helped to grow their hair back. Najah instantly realized how often we take something so small for granted as our hair.
“To some hair is hair, but to others, hair is everything.” – Najah Freeman
In August 2020 she began to sell her products on Walmart’s website which was a major accomplishment for the small business owner to have achieved on her own. Earlier in 2021, she was featured on FORBES as a stand-out rising entrepreneur. She has since been featured on Stacy’s Pita Chips #FoundedByHer website as a female entrepreneur also. As of today she also sells her products on Afterpay’s website and USAStrong’s website. They are also sold in 17 select beauty supply stores in Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, California, and Nevada.
Some challenges she has experienced since starting Studeaux15 was during the height of the pandemic the wholesale companies she used to order inventory were out of stock for many of her necessities. These delays went on for months, as a business this is not good for productivity. This caused her to expand her resources and search for additional companies to purchase the much-needed inventory for her to be able to stay afloat with the orders. Which ironically during the pandemic her orders nearly tripled. She believes this is attributed to so many people being forced to stay home and learn to do their own hair for months while the beauty and barber shops were shut down.
Another challenge was the pandemic caused her not to be able to participate in trade shows to network and market her business. She had to pivot her online presence to build brand awareness and recognition. Social Media and online marketing are both not her areas of expertise but she was determined to improve in all areas. So she began to take webinars teaching information that would assist her in these areas. Najah insists she is not where she wants to be successful wise however she has learned to celebrate her milestones accomplished. She hopes in the near future to have her business Studeaux15 mentioned amongst some of the greats who came before her in the hair care industry.The opportunities in this industry are virtually endless.
The hair care industry was valued at $94 billion in 2020. This is proof that consumers will always need a product to help their maintenance and care for their hair. Sometimes as an entrepreneur, you have to make sure when you enter into a certain industry you consider longevity in regards to your business. Najah hopes to continue to expand her business and continue to offer quality products to her consumers. She also hopes to continue to partner with beauty supply stores all over the United States. She is eager to see what other countries she will get an order from.
A storefront might be on her radar in the near future but she is still considering the pros and cons of that type of commitment. It is easier to allow other stores to offer her products because people come to those stores every day. Some of her products are already widely used on children that could lead to an expansion of another line of products aimed for use on children only. As she expanded her line over the years she made sure to provide reasonable prices for her consumers. By doing so the reputation for her products spread. Not only do her customers compliment the quality of the products but they also are eager to shop again due to the reasonable prices.
Some advice Najah wishes to share with other entrepreneurs is to stay consistent. No matter what type of day you have in regards to sales never give up. Success is not an overnight achievement, pray and ask God to order your steps and acknowledge him in any milestone you achieve. Business is hard if you struggle in some areas never be afraid to seek help.
People fall in love with you before they learn to love your product so make sure your customer service is as good as the product or service you offer (if not better.) Always remember the industry is big enough for multiple companies who offer similar services or products to coexist. Another piece of advice to other people starting out or scaling a business is to allow yourself some “ ME TIME “. It is important to unplug every now and again so you don’t experience burnout. Set boundaries for yourself also as far as working. This is important.
Lastly — never be afraid to network. Networking has allowed Najah some amazing opportunities simply from speaking about her business to random people at random moments. You never know who you might bump into, if you sell products always keep samples with you. Give back is important to bless others if you want your business to be blessed. And when doing so do it with a cheerful heart and no ill intentions. People pay attention and can pick up on bad vibes. The brand you are building is a true representation of you. Make sure it reflects positivity. If you make any mistakes own them, learn from them, and try not to do it again. Accountability is everything!