(Orlando, FL) There are few people that have the motivation, patience, and work ethic that Amanda Harris possesses. The owner of Lily Beauty Supply, an online natural beauty store, understands the struggle of maintaining an extremely busy life. Amanda, the mother of two children is also a full-time student as well as a full-time employee. With a background in buying composite materials, supply chain management, and product sourcing, Amanda has the tools necessary for running a successful business.
Lily Beauty Supply started as Amanda stated, “during her own natural hair journey.” She noticed that as she traveled to various beauty supply stores and sought out advice, the help was nonexistent. As a black woman, the various beauty store employees were unable to recommend any products for her hair. Unhappy with the customer service and lack of natural and organic options, the idea of Lily Beauty Supply was born.
“This idea has been my baby for almost ten years now. Way back when I first had the idea, I started doing some research and looking at various costs. Financially, it wasn’t feasible at the time, but now with the advancements of technology it became much easier to start a business online.” The company started in the beginning of December 2014 and is 100% online.
When asked about the hardships she faces on a daily basis she replied powerfully with, “time management.” “Time management – whether I am working full-time, being a student full-time, or being a mother of two children, it is hard to build a business on top of that.” In the early stages of her business it has been an ongoing process to find what products to feature and what customers are going to react positively to. A lot of time and research goes into finding what products are common in stores and which products are popular within the community.
Not only is Amanda interested in building her own business, but she also has the enthusiasm to include others in her natural beauty journey. She told Au’loni, “I want to highlight and introduce other small businesses because many of them are using natural products as well. The whole organic movement as far as food and adding to that the natural hair movement. Many consumers are migrating towards a healthier approach to their diet, and not only that, but their beauty.” She is striving to reach out and get involved with various non-profits to support them and to also get involved with the youth of her own community. She hopes to garner strong relationships with local beauty shops and salons to build strategic working relations to grow together.
Although there are many things are her plate in the short-term, Amanda still has her eyes set on opening up her very own Lily Beauty Supply brick and mortar store in the next two years. Upon concluding the interview with Amanda she left me with a strong piece of advice for any entrepreneurs out there, “I think that many business owners tend to be perfectionist and place high standards on themselves. Pace yourself, lighten up and don’t be so hard on yourself. Take the time to narrow your focus. It’s important to avoid the shiny object syndrome because it easy to get distracted by the next hot thing.”
Be sure to check out her wonderful website: http://www.lilybeautysupply.com/
Eric Crescenti is a senior student at Temple University graduating in May 2015. He is currently majoring in Media Studies and Production with a focus in Business and Entrepreneurship. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @eric_cresc10