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Khadijah, Founder of Davis Beauty Solutions A Multi-Unit Trolley System For Hair Braiders & Stylist



Hair stylists in the braiding and wig industry can spend five to eight hours styling their customers' hair. A considerable part of this is separating the hair strands and not having one location to store the hair and all the tools.


While working at a salon, Khadijah Davis, founder of Davis Beauty Solutions, noticed how time-consuming it was to separate the customers' hair to prepare it for hair extensions. She began to think about how she could make the hair braiding and extension process less time-consuming for hair stylists so customers wouldn't have to spend any more time than needed in the chair.


Khadijah created a few prototype drawings, developed a multi-unit trolley system for hairdressers, and showed it to her grandmother. Her grandmother encouraged her to move forward with the business and to get a lawyer. That was in 2013.


She said, "At first, it just started for braiding, and then I was like, what about weaves? What about wigs? What about—so I just started to try to create space for those needs over time. So it ended up working out."


The trolley system allows the stylist to separate each strand of hair by placing them on individual units in a multi-unit trolley system. The trolley system simplifies the styling process, allowing stylists more time to style.


Tell us about a major setback you had in your business and how did you recover?

Khadijah experienced two setbacks. The first setback was during COVID when manufacturing stopped, and the world shut down. This prevented the prototype production. The second setback was a lack of funds. Khadijah had to exercise much patience to create the product itself.


When asked how she worked through it, she said, "God and patience like just praying for patience, praying for strength, because everything took time. The only thing that was fast was the patent, so I thought of it in 2013. I got the patent in 2019. In 2020 I got my first prototype. And I went to pick up my second prototype, which is very exciting because Black Girl Ventures helped me pay for that."


With these recent funds, Davis Beauty Solutions can finish its prototype and begin accepting pre-orders.


What's the biggest risk you've taken in your life thus far?

The biggest risk that Khadijah has taken along this journey is a financial risk. She has placed all of her funds into creating the trolley. Khadijah was late on payments to move her business along at different points. Those risks led her to where she is now. Despite the challenges, Khadijah has no regrets.


What are you most proud of when it comes to Davis Beauty Solutions?


Khadijah has a few proud moments. She said, "So I started the process, and then I got pregnant in 2017, had my daughter, and then applied for my patent in 2019. And my daughter's been with me the whole time.


She was with me at the patent office and the manufacturing office. She came to Black Girl Ventures. So I'm very proud that she can see me get things done and hopefully kick a few doors open for her. I'm very proud that my name is Khadijah, and I have a patent. I'm very proud that I got my first prototype and did so much with it.


I'm also very proud that I could go to my very first pitch competition and walk away with some winnings because I didn't think people would grasp it the way they did."


Describe what it was like preparing for the pitch competition.

Khadijah didn't remember applying to the BGV pitch competition because she had been applying to many different opportunities. When BGV contacted her, she thought the email was a scam.


She said, "So I did a little research, and I'm like, oh my God, this is real. Let me call her. So then I started stalking her. So I call her, I text her like, hey, this is me, reach back out. And she said, 'Yeah, we saw your invention, and we think it's wonderful. We want you to come and pitch and try to win. And I was like, girl, I'll be there. Just tell me when.

The whole process was very nerve-wracking. I was very overwhelmed trying to make sure I could convey my message to the crowd because I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what to do. Then we had a few practices, and they gave me their input, and I was able to apply it, and it worked out."


The crowdfunding of the pitch was difficult for Khadijah. She said, "There were many lessons about learning the best way to get people together and get them to believe in you. People that's not family people, that's not friends. So it was mainly me just explaining who I am and what I'm bringing to the table and why they should invest in this or vote for me so that I can do what I need to."


Despite the quick turnaround, her community showed up to support her. She used her social media heavily to campaign for votes.


Her advice to those looking to pitch is to be yourself. She said, "Know your business inside and out. Because if you know your business inside and out, it will be even easier. You're going to be much more confident. You'll be able to be yourself because you know what you're talking about. Like you have the product knowledge, only you hold your product knowledge."


Davis Beauty Solutions plans to use the pitch funds for manufacturing and marketing.


Support is not always given to women of color in business. When has this disappointed you the most?

Khadijah said, "When trying to gain capital. And it wasn't easy, mainly because a lot of banks wanted to see some type of revenue for me even to get a loan. They want to know that you have something generating and things like that. And that's what was getting me a lot of no's because I didn't have any revenue whatsoever.


So it's difficult to ask for funds for something some people might not even get. Do you get what I'm saying? Like, some people don't even get what I've created. I've been in rooms with people, and they're like, yeah, okay, sounds nice, but we'll get back to you. This is a great idea, but we'll get back to you. So I dealt with a lot of that too."


The product is very niche specific. Therefore, conveying the benefits and impact takes time and effort.


What's the most critical lesson you've learned about business?

Khadijah said, "There are going to be obstacles, but that doesn't mean to get discouraged. That doesn't mean I to stop my process. It just means going through those lessons and going through those obstacles. Because if it happens again, at least I know how to deal with it. At least I know how to handle it. And also realizing that a team is necessary, that this can't be done by myself."


What do you think is an important skill or asset you need to be successful in business?

Khadijah believes having a personality is crucial in business. She said, "Personality is so important because you have to be relatable for people just to stop. There has to be something about you to get people to pay attention to what you have going on besides the product, right?


Because when you're new in the entrepreneurial world, they want to hear your story first. A lot of people wanted to know my story and what happened. They were more interested in that than the product initially. And then once they got a whiff of my personality, it was like, okay.


To have an innovative mind that's also important too. You have to be able to create some originality. That's what keeps me creative. That's what keeps me going: I'm very innovative. I want to redo everything. I want to fix everything and find solutions for everything."


What do you think is an important skill or asset you need to be successful in business?

Khadijah believes to be successful in business, entrepreneurs must have integrity and a team for support.


What's the most exciting part of your business?

People didn't understand what Khadijah was creating for a long time and why. When she meets people, and they positively react to her product, it's exciting for her. She said, "Like it's reassurance for me because it's like, oh my God, this person gets it."


How do you measure success?

Khadijah measures success based on her goals. Reaching each milestone in her business makes her feel successful.


What do you think the future holds for Black and Brown women entrepreneurs and small business owners?

Khadijah said, "Everything. It's our world. People are just living in it, honestly. For real, it's really our world. We can do whatever we want as long as we put our minds to it. As time passes, we are catching up.


We are catching on and catching up. We are catching on to business, and we are catching up in business and I've seen a lot of statistics where they're saying women of color are rising in the entrepreneurial and business worlds. And then I saw this guy from Shark Tank. He was like. If you want something done, give it to a Black mom.


He said his most successful endeavors came from moms or women of color. So I'm like, now is the time. If we haven't started, then we're starting now, so that's good."


If you and I were meeting 3 years from now, looking back, what would it take for you to feel over the moon about your progress?

Khadijah wants everyone to know about Davis Beauty Solutions. She sees her product on Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Essentially, she wants her business to be a household name.


Being a business owner is a tough job. How do you take care of yourself?

Khadijah relies on her faith, and when she is experiencing difficult times, she prays for strength and guidance. She will be shown to slow down if she needs to slow down. Khadijah believes she will be shown that when things aren't working out. Khadijah has a specific rule that whatever is happening negatively in her life, she gives herself three days to process things and move forward mentally.


What is your favorite quote or mantra?

"Know what you're dealing with and deal with it."


What book and podcast would you recommend?

Book: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

Podcast: Joe Budden and Revolution Ramblings hosted by Amber Khan.


What's your favorite business hack or app you can't live without?

Canva.


Name one food item you have a hard time saying no to.

Chocolate.


What's next for Davis Beauty Solutions?

Davis Beauty Solutions is focused on creating upgrades to its product, marketing, and manufacturing.


Any last words…

Khadijah, "I just really want to thank all of y'all for giving me a platform, like just forget all the monetary stuff about it. The people that I met and the people that I'm still being introduced to—I feel like everything with this event, I keep getting my mind blown.


Like, oh my God. Another experience. Another experience. It's not always about money personally for me. That doesn't make me happy. What makes me happy is interactions with people and learning things that really give me excitement. So I'm grateful that you guys were able to see me and understand me on top of that.


Because you could see me all day, but do you understand what I'm doing? And everybody that I've spoken to with this organization has been like, you have a brilliant idea and y'all didn't even see it in person. So I truly thank you all."


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