I’m thrilled to bring back interviews. Don’t worry I listened. This will be here for a while.
Women Are Gamechangers is a platform to connect you to the everyday woman in business. Today we meet a lady who I know I could have used over 10 years ago when I went natural. Instead I suffered through A LOT of trail and error over the years. So ladies if you are natural, thinking about going natural, transitioning or know someone in the previous categories, share this interview with them.
Hello, Please tell us briefly who you are and what you do.
My name is Karen Munroe-Clarke, mother to two wonderful boys. I have been a software developer for over 10 years.
Why did you start a natural hair salon online directory?
I started NaturalHairSalonFinder.com out of the frustration I experienced finding a salon to wet set my hair. I spent days calling different salons asking if they service kinky/curly hair. It should not be so difficult for naturalistas to find a salon. I basically created a tool that would be useful for all naturalistas. Whether you wear braids, locs or twists, we all have the same problem when finding a salon.NaturalHairSalonFinder.com allows you to search by the hair style/service and the day you want it done. On NaturalHairSalonFinder.com, you have the ability to select exactly what you want and only the salons that meet all your criteria will be listed. This includes spa services.
Why did you choose entrepreneurship?
It has long been my desire to have my own home based business but I did not see the right opportunity for me, so I decided to create one .For now it is a second income. In today’s economy it is a must. My hope is that it will generate enough revenue to become my primary source of income.
What are some challenges you have faced starting your directory?
The main challenge has been reaching salon owners and proving NaturalHairSalonFinder.com is a valuable resource. There are a few directories for natural hair that offer free basic listing. However, they do not have the detailed search capability that NaturalHairSalonFinder.com has. Many of the free directories only allow basic information. NaturalHairSalonFinder.com allows you to enter several images, description, offer coupons, website and social links. NaturalHairSalonFinder.com is also actively marketed in social media, natural hair magazines, Google ads and natural hair shows/events. Our standard listing is only $25 a year. As long as there is one person in the salon who services kinky/curl hairy, the salon can be listed in the directory. When registering, the salon can enter the name of the stylist(s).
How do you use social media to attract new and existing customers?
I am on FaceBook and plan to be on twitter and Pinterest early next year. To keep my page active, I post relevant hair and beauty articles. I also announce when new salons have been added to the directory.
Where do you see your directory in the next 12-24 months?
In the next 12-24 months I see NaturalHairSalonFinder.com becoming the number one site for naturalistas all over the world when searching for salon. Hair salons will use NaturalHairSalonFinder.com to increase their customer base by matching their salon services and days available to clients search .
What are some lessons you learned about yourself starting your directory?
I learned that when it is your business, your mindset is completely different. You are thinking from all angles. I am thinking about my business in one aspect or another throughout the day.
What advice would you share with someone who is either thinking about starting a business or struggling with their business?
If you are thinking about starting your own business, take steps toward your goal on a daily basis. Even if it is just research. Do not let set backs and disappointments deter you. Trust yourself.