Sisters Kayla (19) and Keonna (21) Davis opened KD Haircare Supply this year, becoming the youngest beauty supply store owners in California. Black is beautiful. And now their black-owned beauty business is booming. Running a company hasn’t always been easy, but these sisters have each others backs and show us how they went from being customers to CEOs.
Moreno Valley, California a very small town with a large population. And like most small towns, it’s almost like everyone knows each other or is connected in some way. Kayla and Keonna grew up there with four other siblings and as the two middle children, they say that’s been a blessing ~ “our support from our family is endless,” and it’s been an important part of their success.
Growing up, Keonna’s favorite subject in school was English, because she liked learning about words and pronunciation, while Kayla liked history because she enjoyed learning about the past and how we grew as a country. As kids, they didn’t know exactly what they wanted to do when they grew up, they just wanted to be successful.
After high school, Keonna went to Academy of Art University to pursue 3D Animation but things didn’t work out so she returned home. Meanwhile Kayla got a part-time job to work on the website and business. TBH, they had a hard time finding jobs with no experience, so they created an opportunity for themselves. They started a website that sold beauty supplies and then saved their money and used that – plus some money from their parents who matched what they saved- to open the store two years later.
“We didn’t want to work for anyone else, we wanted to build something for ourselves.”
Here’s how they describe it:
KD Haircare Supply is a small beauty supply store that caters to natural and weave hair-care consumers and is owned and operated by two sisters. We believe KD Hair Care offers products that are just right for you. Meaning we have a variety of Hair care options for everyone.
Kayla and Keonna take pride in actually using the products they sell and being able to help their customers find what works for their hair type. The sisters have two different hair textures – Kayla has curly hair, while Keonna’s hair is thicker – so they can give advice based on their experiences and those of their customers. They’ve even started Tutorial Thursdays to give additional tips, product reviews and video demos.
So here’s their advice to other aspiring young entrepreneurs:
- Think it Through – The most important step is patience. Make sure the business you want to open is something you’re passionate about. Make sure you’re doing something you love because it’ll only make you want to break the limit of how high you want to succeed.
- Know It Won’t Be Easy – I wish we would’ve known how hard running a business would be at first. We knew it would be hard, but we didn’t know how hard it would be in the first couple of months with inventory, keeping products on the shelf etc.
- Good Vibes Only – Be positive, regardless of what people say or do just remain positive and do what you desire. You can do whatever you put your mind to.
Real advice based on their real lives. The week they first opened, they didn’t have a single customer. Then once people started hearing about their business and coming in, they couldn’t keep products on the shelf. But they wouldn’t change this experience.
“The best part about being an entrepreneur is that it’s our business and we can do what we please with our shop, from top to bottom.”
“The most challenging part about being an entrepreneur is having to make sure our shop and website are constantly running smoothly.”
And working with your sister can be bomb ~ “we completely trust one another and know that we want the best for each other,” and a bit of a blower at times, “sometimes we bump heads on certain things and don’t agree, but at the end of the day we know it’s out of love.”
Starting a business so young has actually helped them out a lot, in terms of generating buzz and support. “It’s mostly been a lot of positive energy coming towards us from the community, family, and friends. When negative energy comes towards us from anywhere, we dismiss it.” They are also inspired by their family who pushes them to be the best they can.
And with so many haircare supply businesses around, it’s important to stand out – being young helps, but they also cater to their customers because they are just like them – Keonna wears her hair in a natural curly fro, and Kayla wears her hair in a weave. “We focus more on the natural and weave hair care route. We want to cater to your natural hair, if that’s what you prefer, or if you like to wear any other protective hair styles.”
Aside from being smart business women, they’re also 19 & 21. “We’re both really nice regular girls. We laugh and dance and just like to enjoy ourselves like everyone else does.” In their spare time they focus on their other passions~ Keonna loves art and drawing, while Kayla loves music, makeup, and fashion.
They’ve already experienced some success, receiving awards from All About Extensions Expo 2016, honored by the City of Moreno Valley & were recently named to Magic Johnson Playbook’s list of 32 Under 32, but they’re also looking to the future. They’d like to have a chain of KD Hair Care’s around the U.S and open up a store in Dallas, Texas around family, and possibly another in Southern California.