Entrepreneurship is one of the sexiest career paths to take, thanks to social media. Everyone wants to be their own boss, and make their own money, and so we find ourselves sometimes pulled in every direction as it comes to the business idea we hope to bring to fruition. Often times, that winning business idea is literally sitting in front of us, and is apart of our every day lives. This is the story behind Coutney Adeleye of The Mane Choice. After learning about Courtney Adeleye’s journey into entrepreneurship, it taught me that we should pay more attention to our interests and passions, because that may be the very thing that can turn us into entrepreneurs. Courtney’s passion in her hair growth journey is what activated her entrepreneurship journey, and what ultimately created her business, The Mane Choice.
The Mane Choice is a “premium multi-cultural healthy hair growth and retention company.” The Mane Choice offers everything from shampoo, conditioners, hair serums, and to hair vitamins just to name a few. They also have body products, and when I tell you their body lotion from their new Heavenly Choice is the bomb.com, please believe that it is a must have.
I recently learned more about Courtney and The Mane Choice. Check out our conversation below to learn about her entrepreneurship journey and one of her newest retail partners.
What was your inspiration behind starting The Mane Choice?
I had no intention of starting a hair care brand. After a hair color experiment gone wrong, I turned to the YouTube community to share my journey, information regarding my healthy hair care regimen, the success of my hair length goal (which was waist length), and one of my deep conditioner recipes. The recipe really piqued their interest, given my proven “success!” However, they didn’t want to recreate the recipe – instead, they wanted to buy it from me! Ultimately, I attribute the creation of my brand to the demand from my YouTube subscribers. In fact, I learned a lot about customer service from simply being as responsive as possible to my subscribers. This simple yet effective method has carried over into my business and continues to be a vital aspect. Being responsive to everyone is paramount to having superior customer service. My husband is a physician and I am a registered nurse. Together, our backgrounds in science have helped us to formulate our products based on extensive research, for all hair types and textures by infusing each product with vitamins, Biotin, and nutrients. We have successfully developed a comprehensive array of products that can cater to a multi-cultural demographic.
Prior to The Mane Choice, have you ever explored entrepreneurship in any other capacity?
Yes, I owned a clothing boutique and a photography studio.
I see that you just launched your Heavenly Halo Collection in Target. Why was Target the best place to launch your new line of products?
I knew that Target was the best place to launch the Heavenly Halo Collection because they would make our products more easily accessible to the consumer.
What was it about Malaysia Pargo that inspired you to partner with her for this new line?
Malaysia expressed to me her strong to desire to go on a journey to obtain healthier hair, and she really wanted to give it true effort. It was only natural for me to involve her in the launching of our new collection. I knew that the large gesture would help to encourage her and motivate her to stay the course.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
I’ll say what I have learned—-which was that you MUST keep your eye on your brand, no matter how big or small. Let that always be your driving force. Don’t look at competitors and what other people are doing. Focus on ways you can make your brand better.
The hair/beauty industry is very busy and some say its over-saturated. What advice do you have for someone that wants to get into this industry, in particular, by selling and creating hair products?
There’s no product category that’s over-saturated. You just have to be unique, so that you can stand out.
How did you initially fund your business and what advice do you have for a new entrepreneur on funding his or her business?
I started my business with $500, and I kept reinvesting my money. I was extremely cautious with my spending, and I didn’t touch the profits for the first couple of years.
What advice do you have for the entrepreneur that already has a product, and is looking to get a deal with a major retailer?
Try not to make the mistake of trying to get into a retailer too soon. Many under estimate and undervalue the benefits of e-commerce. Focus on building your brand online, and even at expos. Build and maintain quality relationships and offer quality products. You’ll acquire loyal customers, which will create more of a demand to make your products more readily available in retailers.
The Mane Choice can be purchased online, and in major retailers like Walmart, Target, Sally Beauty Supply, Walgreens, and CVS.