Woman Crush Wednesday #WCW
Since I first started Backbone America as a business, I’ve met some amazing women. Some of these women have reached the status I’d like my business to be one day. Others have started their business with a fearless passion that’s completely foreign to the well-planned, highly structured boxes I tend to live in. The women I meet inspire me. I’m sharing these women with you.
On Wednesdays, I’ll be doing a version of Woman Crush Wednesday. A little about Woman Crush Wednesday. It originated on twitter with the hashtag #womancrushwednesday. The hashtag is used to highlight attractive or admired women. At Backbone America, we admire women who have what it takes to run successful businesses. I’ll be conducting interviews with this woman, so you can form your own crush on these awesome women.
Interviewing Qui – Owner of The Imperfect Beauty
Backbone America: What business services and/or products do you provide?
Qui: I am a licensed cosmetologist. I specialize in healthy hair care and maintenance. My services include natural hair care, relaxed hair maintenance, color services, cuts, conditioning treatments and various styling options. The products that I offer are Virgin hair extensions, as well as Shampoo and conditioner from my custom hair care line. I also have a strange obsession with bath bombs so I recently started carrying stock in my salon.
BA: What did your life look like before you started your business?
Q: Life before my business was mediocre, monotonous, and unfulfilling. I worked 80+ hours between a full-time job, a part time job, and doing hair on the side just to make ends meet while taking on a full load at a university to complete my Bachelor’s degree. I had a great social life, but still felt as though my purpose had not been served. I wanted so badly to get out, and just do something different, but I couldn’t pull away from the money.
BA: Tell us about the moment you decided to become a business owner?
Q: My passion has always been doing hair, even when I was making enough at a “regular” job, I have always made a point to do hair, rather part time in a salon, and at one point, out of my house! I did hair solely as a full-time job for 6 years and loved every minute of it. When I moved out of my mom’s house and ventured out on my own, doing hair alone wasn’t paying the bills, so getting a full time/salaried position was a necessity. For 4 years, I worked in a corporate office and worked my way from the bottom to upper management. The 4th year was my “ah ha” moment. I was over it, the job, the people, the office politics, and I honestly just stopped caring, but I could not pull away. I knew where my passion was and what I was supposed to be doing, but my faith wasn’t as strong as it should have been at that time. They always say “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans” and that saying is the absolute truth. The dreaded day came, where God literally pushed me off the ledge to fly-I was laid off from my long-term position. Just like that, I was given my walking papers, effective immediately, no notice. It was during these 4 months of downtime, in between jobs, where I conceived and birthed “Qui Monroe: The Imperfect Beauty”. At that moment, I decided no other business would be able to lay me off, they won’t be able to just throw me away, if I work for myself then I am the boss and nobody but myself can change that.
BA: What was your first big win that made you think, yes! I’m on the right track?
Q: As I stated, prior to now, I was working in independently owned salons, franchised salons and sometimes out of my apartment. The moment where I knew I was on the right track, was when I signed the lease for my current location. At that very moment, I knew I had made it, and my dreams were now a reality.
BA: What’s was the biggest challenge you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
Q: My biggest challenge thus far, is having total confidence in my talents and keeping my faith strong. I have a horrible tendency of second guessing myself, or thinking too deep into situations. Both of these characteristics can negatively impact you as a business owner #1 and as an artist #2. Out of these characteristics, I would have to say that (at the beginning of this journey) my lack of faith, held me back from a lot of opportunities that were blindly presented early on.
BA: How did you overcome that particular challenge?
Q: I overcame these challenges by believing that God has always and will always have my best interest at heart. I learned to lean on him and not my understanding, to trust Him and His ways. My relationship with God is honestly the only thing that has kept me going on this journey.
BA: What’s the best advice you received when growing your business?
Q: The majority of my business growth was due to trial and error, doing things that made sense in my mind. A lot of the advice that I was receiving, didn’t seem logical, effective, nor efficient for the platform that I was trying to build, so I stopped taking advice lol.
BA: What advice would you like to share with other entrepreneurs?
Q: JUST DO IT (not Nike lol) but seriously guys and gals, if you have a vision or a dream, do it! Don’t try to convince anyone else to believe in your dream, because as long as YOU believe it, it is already done, now it’s time to put in work!
BA: Who has been your greatest source of inspiration and why?
Q:My greatest source of inspiration has been my community. My community is full of enthusiast, artist, pro’s, and even some amateurs, seeing the growth and in some cases, the lack thereof, has inspired me to bring something bigger and greater to the community. I feel like proper education of healthy hair is something that is overlooked in the black community specifically. Everyone is into “what looks good” ONLY, and not the bigger picture. That alone inspires me to go harder.
The Imperfect Beauty is a God fearing young woman who decided to go for it! I am a military brat, only child, love life and live it to the ultimate capacity. I love to travel and venture into new things. Life is what we make it, so seize the day!