What It's About
A college student honors her family's entrepreneurial legacy and celebrates her culture while bringing in some money on the side.
Words of Wisdom
Destiny has a couple of tips for anyone considering in-person markets or shows:
1) Before committing to an event, ask for a media kit—this will give you information about who frequents the event.
2) Look on social media for past events and reach out to businesses that vended, to ask about their ROI.
3) Remember, even if you don’t sell much, it can be good to have your business associated with a face and gain visibility in your community. Plus you’re also building relationships with other businesses.
4) Bring business cards! (You’d be surprised how many people don’t.)
Destiny's side hustle also has a social entrepreneurship aspect to it as well. She donates head wraps to friends, family, and to the family members of her friends who are suffering hair loss due to cancer treatment or other medical treatment.
One woman that she donated a wrap to was even featured in Cosmopolitan and credited ushindi22 for her fantastic head wrap!
Notes from Chris
Destiny Lawson got started early on her side hustling. Inspired by a long line of self-starters in her family, she wrote resumes and edited papers in high school and college. So it only felt natural that she would start something else as she was close to graduating. Her latest hustle started when Destiny created some head wraps for her mom as a gift. Well, actually to go back a bit—when Destiny was much younger, her grandparents taught her about the influences that African Americans had on pop culture. That upbringing seeped into the designs and fabrics she picked for her head wraps. Her mom wore the wraps and got rave reviews from her coworkers—several of them wanted to know where they could buy them. From this, Destiny’s mom gave her a push to turn her creativity into something more. This all happened when she was on summer break after her junior year of college in June 2016, and by July, she was in motion getting her new business set up. The first thing she did was register with the state of Florida as a legal business. For less than $150, she got her sales tax certificate, DBA, and EIN number for the IRS, and from there she consulted with her sorority sisters, to get feedback from them on her overall vision and specific ideas. The next step was coming up with a name. She called it ushindi22. Ushindi is Swahili for victorious and 22 is how old she was when she officially launched her business last year. For Destiny, the name was originally intended to signify a victory for women adorned in head wraps and to honor the decades of art and perseverance of the African diaspora. That first month, she made $100. Not bad for a beginning! But as she started building up her inventory, she did a couple of things which helped her increase her revenue. First, she opened up an Etsy shop devoted to her handmade head wraps. Second, she used her sorority sisters as models. While she couldn’t pay them all individually, she took them out to dinner afterward and she said that it was the best investment she ever made. Once she put the photos of people wearing her products up on her website and Etsy, her sales started to rapidly increase.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- ushindi22: Get your wrap on over at Destiny's website and check out her full product lineup!
- Wix: The online website platform that Destiny used to set up her e-commerce store front
- Eventbrite: The event platform that Destiny used to search in nearby cities for community marketplaces, natural hair conventions, small business Saturday pop-ups and any other event where her target client might show up
- Woman Earns $7,000 in Three Days by Selling Glass Nail Files: How an impromptu trip to a local farmer’s market leads one woman in California to a sustainable six-figure side hustle selling glass nail files online
- Oncology Nurse Creates Products to Regrow Hair After Chemo; Earns $80,000: After kicking cancer to the curb, a Texas oncology nurse discovers the power of essential oils for hair regrowth and launches her own handmade hair care line
- Woman Sells Hair Grips to Orthodox Jews & Drag Queens: It begins as a product for Orthodox Jewish women. It goes on to serve cancer patients, Broadway performers, and drag queens, earning “fringe benefits” and $4,000/month
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