CUSTOMER NAME: Kgoody
PROFESSION: Haircare Specialist, Kgoody Kollection
LOCATION: Winter Haven, Florida
Thimble: How would you describe your line of work?
Kgoody: I’ve earned myself the nickname of “natural hair guru.” I am a haircare specialist for natural hairstyles, and I have an organic product line to help women with wash day and maintaining moisture between washes. We’ve been operating as an LLC since January 2018 and before that as a sole proprietorship.
T: How did you decide to parlay your passion for natural haircare into a career?
KG: There didn’t seem to be a place for me in the local workforce, so I quite simply created a job for myself. I’ve been passionate about doing hairstyling since childhood, so I put two feet in the water and I started swimming. The business actually took off quite quickly—I now have over 400 clients who come to me on a regular basis and my product line has gone global. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
T: Has it been difficult to balance the service side of your business with marketing the brand?
KG: I had a good understanding of business logistics from my previous work; what’s been more challenging is the marketing and branding aspect, and ensuring that my business stands out from the competition. I want people to understand that the brand is not a fly-by-night company.
I’ve done a lot on this front, attending tradeshows and developing strategic partnerships as well as maintaining an active presence on social media. I’ve been featured as a stylist with the Beauty Cast Network and have been invited to be a keynote speaker at a women’s expo in November.
T: Do you have staff working with you to support the business?
KG: The beauty portion of my business is a solo operation, but I do have a staff that helps me with behind-the-scenes logistics for my product line. As a business owner, I think the biggest strength you can have is knowing when to lead and when to delegate.
T: Where did the idea for your product line come from?
KG: When I first decided to go for a natural hairstyle in 2000, there were no products designed for my hairstyle on the market whatsoever. In fact, most people saw me as being against the grain for making that choice.
Living as a “naturalista,” wash days can become overwhelming. I designed these products to lessen the stress and take the pain out of this process. The goal is that, when you finish your wash, your hair is still soft and easy to manage.
Once I started working with clients, I ran across a number of women who were grappling with hair loss due to overpacking their scalps and the resulting product build up. Some women have even lost their lives as a result of these mainstream hair products, which are not well regulated by the FDA. Unlike most products on the market, my products are directly absorbed into the scalp rather than weighing the hair down.
T: When did you decide to start distributing your products?
KG: When I incorporated the business in 2018, that was when I made the decision to distribute my product line to the masses. Before that, I had only been selling my products to clients locally. But soon I had family members and friends reaching out to me by email and phone, and I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore!
In terms of the actual products we sell, quenching oil is one of our bestsellers. It contains six different essential oils, with olive oil as the carrier, and it can be used for an occasional hot oil treatment or as a protective styling product several times per week to maintain moisture. We also sell a pre-poo co-wash that is applied before shampooing to coat the hair with natural enzymes, a rejuvenating mask to maintain hair growth, and a quenching cream with a coconut oil base that can be used on the hair follicles to detoxify, help with detangling, and facilitate twist outs and other styles.
T: How and when did you find Thimble?
KG: I was participating in a trade show, and it was necessary for me to have business insurance when I hit the floor in case any accidents occurred. Thimble was super helpful; I contacted customer service and they walked me through the entire process and made sure I was covered for the timeline I needed with the vendor add-on. After the show, I ended up taking out a three-month General Liability policy.
You guys made everything so simple that I maintained insurance through Thimble even after the tradeshow because I felt like it was a smart business decision for me, and I intend to purchase coverage through the end of the year once my current policy expires.
T: Did you have an annual insurance policy before Thimble, or was this your first time purchasing General Liability insurance?
KM: It was my first time. Because I’m a new business owner, I had no idea that any of this existed or what the logistics were. When I was researching insurance companies, I found the process with traditional carriers to be abrasive. They all required speaking to an insurance representative, who more often than not would try to coax you into purchasing more coverage than necessary.
By contrast, I found it much easier to work with Thimble because you asked simple questions, and the process was pretty dummy-proof. You made sure I got a policy that accommodated my actual needs, rather than overselling me with a bunch of bells and whistles.
T: Over the past few years, have you received any particularly good advice about running a business (besides purchasing General Liability insurance, of course)?
KG: The best advice I ever received was to pay myself. Paying your bills is not paying yourself; buying McDonald’s is not paying yourself; you have to put aside a nest egg. Working for someone else, you have the security of a regular paycheck, but as an entrepreneur you don’t have that luxury. When business is slow, it’s important to have something to fall back on.
In general, people will try to snuff out your dreams, so you have to believe in yourself more on the hard days than on the easy days. That’s not easy, but you have to push through.
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