For entrepreneurs Keonna Davis and Kayla Davis, the last 72 hours have been a whirlwind. And it’s well-deserved. The Davis sisters, at the ages of 21 and 19 respectively, are the youngest people ever to own a beauty-supply store in California and have received a ton of media attention for their endeavor.
KD Haircare Supply, located in Moreno Valley, Calif., offers a range of hair supplies, from bulk weaving hair to natural-hair products. In an industry that’s dominated by Asians, the Davis sisters hope to change it one store at a time.
In an email interview with The Root, Keonna and Kayla discussed their plans and some of the obstacles they have faced. (The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.)
The Root: When did you decide you wanted to open a beauty-supply store?
KD Haircare Supply: The day we decided to open a beauty-supply [store] was when we were out looking for jobs nonstop and couldn’t find a job. So in the summer of 2014, our mother … told us to “stop begging for a job and get your own business started”—aka “be your own boss.”
TR: What steps did you take in making it happen?
KDHS: The steps we took were planning, researching and networking. It took a lot of time and patience, but it’s worth the hard work.
TR: How supportive has the community been?
KDHS: The community has been extremely supportive. It’s like we’ve gained another family! Everyone we’ve [come] across has been very proud of us and inspired by us. Overall, we are very grateful.
TR: What were the biggest obstacles in opening the store?
KDHS: Finding good vendors and finding the products that our community uses.
TR: How do you go about picking products for your store?
KDHS: We usually go by what we hear people are using, or [by] going online to see what is the “hot product.”
TR: What do you think about the natural-vs.-weave hair debate?
KDHS: We feel that women should be able to wear their hair in any shape, way or form that they are comfortable. We decided on a natural and weave storefront [because] that is who we are. Both [of us] are natural, but [one wears] weaves as [a] protective style, and the other is natural who dyes her hair but wears it natural. So we haven’t considered the debate because we are who we are and we hope other women will appreciate their hair, whether natural, weaved or dyed, as long as they are comfortable.
TR: Do you plan on opening other stores?
KDHS: Yes, we do. That is our plan.
TR: What advice do you have for other young, black entrepreneurs?
KDHS: We would like to tell them to be patient and to go for whatever they desire. People will discourage you and tell you that it’s too hard, but we want to encourage them to research their dream to see if it’s obtainable and go for it.