Where did you grow up?
KMH: I grew up in New Orleans, LA.
What do you want to make sure your audience knows?
KMH: My name is Chelsey Smith, I am the founder of King Me Hair Inc. I was born and raised one New Orleans, Louisiana. I received my Bachelors degree in Business Administration in 2012. Currently, I live in Atlanta, Georgia. Since moving here, I’ve worked in Human Resources in various industries. However, haircare has always been my first love and main focus.
About your career? What made you decide to begin?
KMH: King Me Hair has definitely been in the making since I was in high school, I just didn’t know it. In high school, I made the huge mistake of sneaking out of my mom’s house and going to salon to have my long hair chopped into a pixie cut. It was definitely a spur of the moment decision. I now think it was the best and worse day of my life. After cutting my hair, I begin to transition to natural hair. I remember begging my mom for sew-ins and reluctantly she would do them for me. At the time I was on a bone straight weave craze, but it was quiet difficult to blend my hair with the silky straight hair. I noticed that I was doing crazy things to my hair to get it to match my weaves and the beauty supply store kinky hair wasn’t kinky enough. I went through this struggle for years!
Fast forward to college, I begin wearing full lace wigs before they were really popular. I wore one that was really curly but with no kink, so then I had to struggle with blending my hair line. I refused to use tape or glue. My friends had the same issues with their wigs/weaves, so I finally begin researching different vendors and understanding curly textures besides my mine. Luckily, all my friends have different hair types and I was pretty in tune with their hair too. So I started to test different types of hair from actual vendors and found one that could produce curls like mine. I wore this hair for many years before I actually started King Me Hair. When I realized the lack of availability of this product, along with the lack luster customer service; King Me Hair was born.
What is the motto of King Me Hair? What does your company stand for?
KMH: We strive to secure our customer’s loyalty through ever-increasing top quality products and excellent customer service.
We treat out customers exactly how we would want to be treated as a consumer. When creating King Me Hair, Inc. I created a vision for the company, secondly I create what I thought would be my consumer’s vision for an ideal hair company (after much research) and I married the two. This way we know exactly what we can offer our customers in the realm of customer service and make it our point to offer it with the highest quality of service. If theres anything outside this realm or “vision”, we make sure we have hefty alternatives.
What artist most influences you and why?
KMH: There are so many people who inspire me in the hair industry. To Name a few Lisa Price of Carol’s daughter, Taliah Waajid of Black Earth Products and Myliek of Curlbox. These women influence me because of their personal stories, no matter how many doors continually closed in their face, they continually strived and worked towards their dreams. These women made it happen!
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
KMH: Waking up and doing what I love every single day is one of the most rewarding things for me. I love everything about helping a woman enhance her beauty.
Is there a least rewarding part?
KMH: Honestly, there are no parts of my business I find less rewarding. Each part of my business is tied into the goal of providing a quality product and of continuing to make King Me Hair Inc. a worldwide brand. Of course, some days are harder than others, but these days shape the character of myself and my business.
Who depends on your success? Who are you doing this for? ((aside from yourself))
KMH: It’s very important to show young black girls and women as a whole, that we are capable of doing whatever we set our minds to. It gives me a great push when I receive emails from other women telling me I inspire them. No one would believe the struggles and obstacles that I’ve overcame and it means If I can, anyone can. Inspiring women is what pushes me. It’s my goal to show everyone that there are alternate routes outside of the 9 to 5 and corporate America.
If you weren’t in your field, what would you be doing?
KMH: I’m definitely into hair all across the board. If I weren’t running King Me Hair, I would definitely be involved in hair products or even doing hair! Who knows these are still possible, the sky is never the limit.
When did you discover you were passionate about your craft?
KMH: I’ve always been fascinated with weave, since middle school. However, I was never allowed to wear it. After I cut all of my hair off and high school, I finally begged my mom to let me try it and so my obsession begin. Seriously, in high school and college I was the “go-to” for knowing the best weave brands.
What’s going to be your legacy?
KMH: I want to leave a lasting legacy that shows the world that I was an innovator and left my mark on not only the hair industry but on women and young girls. I envision King Me Hair becoming a brand that does reach out to younger women through mentorship. For example, I would love to use my past experience to teach interview and resume writing skills.
Has your family always supported you throughout your career?
KMH : My family definitely supports my endeavors. My parents have a church back in New Orleans and I’ve heard they’ve been promoting my hairline to the naturalists in church lol.
Where did the idea for the King Me Tapered Wig come from?
KMH: The idea for King Me Tapered was born when my hair begin to grow out from my Tapered hair cut. After having cutting my hair, it began growing out rapidly and I struggled between cutting my hair again and reaching my length goals. I collected all the photos of my tapered hair cut as well as other naturals with the same cut. The King Me Hair engineer and I made several wigs mimicking the tapered cut. However, we found that something was missing. Finally, I realized we needed to combine all of hair textures to have it truly mimic a Naturalista’s head of hair. We took all of our curly collections and combined them on to one wig and perfected the tapered style. VIOLA King me Tapered was born.
What projects do you have coming up? What should we look out for?
KMH: 2015 is definitely filled with tons of new releases for King Me Hair, Inc. We have so many amazing products lined up for our customers. As for myself, I will be launching another two businesses next year. I am very excited of what’s to come.
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