Women everywhere have one common goal: healthy hair. For Elizabeth Davis, she wanted to help her fellow comrades achieve that goal with the creation of Shedavi Hair.
Having learned healthy hair care techniques for over eight years, Davis was able to combine her engineering and project management background with her knowledge of healthy hair and natural living, to create innovative, natural products that promote healthy and gorgeous hair, skin, and nails.
BlackEnterprise.com spoke with Shedavi Hair Founder Elizabeth Davis about launching the next big hair product, the challenges of running her own business, and how she maintains her full-time role with her ‘side-hustle.’
Black Enterprise: What are some of the challenges you face with running your own business?
Davis: One of the major challenges I’ve faced while running my business has been finding the best help possible. I realized, when searching for someone to fulfill certain roles, it is best to clearly define the role and create a standard in which the person could work toward. It is important to hire people who believe in your vision, and who understand their role within the company and its boundaries. With this mindset, we can work together to achieve the company’s vision.
BE: How do you juggle your full-time role and Shedavi?
Davis: Like most things, learning how to balance various life aspects is a process. I had to learn to leave work at work. What I mean by this is the eight hours (and a lot of days, 10 to 12 hours) that I spent at my day job, is exactly the amount of time I dedicate to the job and no more. The remainder of my day would be dedicated to my business, health, well-being, and other life aspects.
The best hours to work are the first few hours of the day, because the mind is refreshed and clear. Any time I had something creative to do that needed high brainpower, I would dedicate the first couple of hours of my day to those activities. Once I became dedicated to myself and my business, it became easier to prioritize.
BE: How do you maintain balance between your professional and personal life?
Davis: The best way for me to maintain balance between my personal and professional life is to know myself. In psychology, there is a tool called “The Wheel of Life.” It is used to assess various categories of life that, when combined, create a life’s wheel. No one segment is more important than the other. Once I completed my own Wheel of Life, this helped me to see how I could improve my professional and personal life balance. I implemented the changes, and now it is much easier for me to see what I need to dedicate more energy to.
BE: Can black women have it all?
Davis: Yes! I believe that black women can have it all for sure. We just have to define what “having it all” means to each of us, personally. Since I defined my values and my Wheel of Life, I have been able to clarify what “having it all” is to me. Once this is done, implementing it is a process. Like the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Setting life goals, breaking them down into short-term goals, and then incorporating them into daily actions is how I’ve been able to accomplish more. Steadiness wins the race.
BE: With the hair industry such a competitive market, how did you create a brand that stands out?
Davis: I was able to create a brand that stands out, because I was true to my ideas and beliefs. I set out to create a brand that uniquely reflected my values, my style, and my desires. Shedavi is a brand consisting of products that I personally enjoy and love. My customers know that I put my heart and soul into Shedavi products, and they are made with natural ingredients, innovative thought, and—above all else—love.
BE: How important were mentors to your success?
Davis: I have learned that we can gain knowledge of what to do and what not to do from anyone. I must say that I have not had a formal mentor in the process of building my business, but I do read a lot of books and do research to gain knowledge. I also look to experts in any field that I need more guidance in, whether that is accounting, finance, marketing, social media, customer service, and so on.
BE: Where do you see your brand in the next year in the next five years? What about in 10 years?
Davis: Shedavi is a brand that will expand our product line within the next year. Within five years, we will grow to be a one stop shop for hair care and body product needs. We will continue expanding across demographics around the world over the next 10 years.
BE: Who is your business inspiration?
Davis: I find business inspiration in various people and things. The women who I am inspired by in the hair care industry are Madame C.J. Walker and Annie Malone, because these two women built businesses not only for themselves their own families, but also to help other women in their community and across the country. My modern business inspiration is Janice Byrant Howroyd; seeing a black woman succeed at building a billion dollar business, outside of the popular industries that African Americans are usually found, is magnificent. I would love to meet her one day!
BE: Are there any plans for expansion?
Davis: Yes! There are plans to expand our product selection this year. We will reveal this information via our social media channels and newsletters. Be sure to follow Shedavi on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram @Shedavi_.