Deonna Monique. Owner of Boho Exotic Studio
Deonna Monique started like most entrepreneurs, feeling unfulfilled while working a regular job. She had many ideas for a business, but never focused on developing one specific product. That all changed when she started posting hair videos on YouTube
“I made videos wearing hair extensions, and the very first video I posted on YouTube got 30,000 views overnight,” Monique explains. “I was like, ‘Oh my God. This is it.’ I wasn’t promoting my own product, but that video gave me a glimpse of how impactful my brand could be. One week later, I quit my job and started Boho Exotic Studio. I believed my goals would manifest themselves and be larger than I ever imagined.”
Deonna spills the tea on how she launched her successful hair company and once made nearly $1 million in just a single day. She breaks down her journey and shares the top three secrets to success as an entrepreneur. Get inspired and, above all, take action!
What is the motivation behind your tremendous work ethic?
I spent years working to create revenue for someone else. Why wouldn’t I work harder and have just as much dedication to my own company? I have a sense of urgency where my business is concerned, because I value every customer. Excellent service and quality products are why I get repeat customers, referrals, celebrity clientele, and national attention. Every order helps me to provide for my child, and keeps my entrepreneurial dream alive.
How did you make almost $1 million selling hair extensions?
I paid The Shade Room $1,000 for one post on Instagram. The surge in traffic crashed my website, but we fixed it and thousands of orders were placed that night. I gained more publicity and received more orders than I could have acquired on my own. The experience was life-changing, but it gave me new ideas to consider. That’s what I love about entrepreneurship; I can challenge myself to make my business better.
Who did you first contact to promote Boho Exotic Studio products?
I got in touch with Kim Johansen, a local I knew from YouTube, to model my hair. She not only posted a photo on Instagram wearing my extensions, but she also made a YouTube video about how much she loved them. Celebrity hairstylists and stars who followed her began to follow me, then I started getting emails from Essence, Vogue, and other top magazines. Her credibility in the beauty and hair industry gave me a major lift, and it happened because I asked her to model my hair. Nevertheless, if she had said no, I was confident that someone else would say yes and put my extensions on their platform.
What are three major keys to building a successful business?
1. Be your biggest supporter
I was pregnant, making over $60,000 when I quit my job. My family didn't understand why I wanted my own business. They didn’t believe in my vision for hair extensions, or that I could excel as an entrepreneur.
In hindsight, it’s easy to say I’m thankful for adversity because it was an opportunity to grow. However, when those who claimed to love me the most doubted my abilities, it messed with my confidence. I couldn’t rely on my circle to encourage me, so I put my faith in God and trusted that He would lead me on the right path. Business owners can see the “after,” which is why being your own biggest supporter is so important.
2. Make all criticism constructive
Negative reviews and complaints told me exactly what I needed to do to better serve my clientele. I only had to listen and make the right changes. As a business owner, it’s your job to turn negatives into positives.
Originally, I only sold one type of hair, but through feedback and reviews I was able to expand product selection to over 26 textures, and several hair colors. Take criticism and utilize it to refine your business operations. Rethink, retry, and restock! If you’re too stubborn to make improvements, potential customers will order elsewhere. Changing your mindset and how you respond to negativity will impact your business.
3. Ask for what you want
It’s not enough to have a great product. Your job as a business owner is to find your target audience and figure out the best way to market products to them. People will say no and ignore your emails, but you can't let that stop you from moving forward.
Instead of focusing on who has the most followers, discover who can promote and represent your product the best. Ask simple questions: “Would you like to do trade work with my product? How much do you charge to post an ad?” Your ability to make money is on the line, so be fearless! Closed mouths don't get fed.
What lessons have you learned from your journey?
My journey has been incredible. But I’m just a girl from Dallas who trusted God and believed in her vision. I went from being homeless to making $60,000 at a major company, to running a successful business as a single mom. Through it all, I had faith in God’s plan for my life, and allowed Him to open doors for me. In addition to Boho Exotic Studio, I created Spirit Led, an online ministry, and wrote two books: Under the Influence: Guide to Getting Celebs in Your Product, and Super Powers: A Saved Entrepreneur’s Manual, to help like-minded entrepreneurs see God as their boss, and teach them to trust Him with their businesses. My goal in life is to share what I’ve learned with aspiring entrepreneurs and help to make their dreams a reality. I truly believe that with God, all things are possible.
Deonna Monique manifested her dreams and so can you. If you love Deonna as much as we do, follow her at Twitter or Instagram @deonnamonique, or visit bohoexoticstudio.com to purchase products.