On Starting A Hair Extension Business And Growing YoY
We are Bombshell Extension Co., a luxury hair extension provider for professional stylists + source for top tier online extension education and certification. Founded by, Cari Eggen, in 2010, during her work as a hairstylist at a top Las Vegas salon. She noticed a hole in the hair extension industry for luxury quality hair extensions that were also accessible and consistent for stylists. She began building Bombshell Extension Co. as a reputable brand for quality hair extensions with the highest attention to detail in each batch from her experience as to what she would want as a stylist to offer that same grade of extensions to others stylists nationwide.
Our main demographic is professional stylists. We have our site open to regular consumers at retail prices, so anyone can purchase their own extensions, but we offer a professional stylist discount to licensed stylists to purchase under their account. Due to the nature of our products, being mainly for professionals and not for fit for at-home install, we mainly service professional stylists and salons nationwide. We’ve consistently grown each year of business and in the last few years have almost doubled in growth each of the respective years.
What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?
Founder, Cari Eggen, is creative at heart. She became a licensed stylist because of her artistic vision and with that, she has always had an interest in working for herself under her own vision of success. Cari has an attention to detail and focuses on the specifics of each product that is unmatched and speaks to the success of Bombshell Extension Co. that no part of the product lacks due to her priority focus on quality and consistency.
Whether it be, her, personally spending late-night hours in the warehouse manually checking each package of hair for a quality measure or the attentiveness of personal relationships and even growth of close friendships with her customers, the personal care and small business feel is what sets Bombshell Extension Co. apart as a beauty brand you can rely on.
Become an expert in your niche.
Bombshell Extension Co. is proud of its ability to be self-funded from day 1 and continue to maintain that structure at the present day.
Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?
Fortunately, the beginning of Bombshell Extension Co. was quite successful from the start. At the onset of the first product output, Cari’s connections and credibility in the hair industry and her salon served as her first loyal clientele. With providing a quality product for such a prominent salon, word of mouth delivered the growing customer base quickly from there. As a brand in the beauty industry, there is a general consistency of need for our products, and the growth of the hair industry has amplified significantly in the last 10 years and served as a very stable foundation for Bombshell Extension Co. to secure a space in the hair extension industry as a top luxury provider.
The downsides we’ve experienced as a company have more been in the form of how to best offer our support to customers after they have purchased our product. With an organic product like hair extensions, the real test is how they are cared for after they leave our warehouse and once they are installed on the client. We are constantly trying to learn how to best educate our stylists and customers in how we suggest caring for our extensions to ensure the longest lifetime of their hair.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We feel very fortunate and grateful for the loyal customer base we have grown with. We have consistently grown our business and even doubled in the last 3 years. Bombshell Extension Co. has a consistent flow of stylists and customers tagging and posting their work with Bombshell Extensions on social media and a large flow of traffic to our site regularly.
The current focus of Bombshell Extension Co. is streamlining all of our processes to provide the highest level of product + customer support to our stylists and customers. We are placing a large focus on building our education program with more online education offerings and a growing base of Bombshell Certified Stylists. We’ve also just expanded our shipping to international within the last year and hope to grow our base worldwide as we can provide optimized shipping options and pricing to our international customers.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Apart from producing a quality product, we’ve learned the importance of how to communicate best with ‘our’ customer. Not a general person, but ‘our’ customers and how they talk, how they learn, and overall how they operate. With our founder being a stylist herself, she has the background in what our customer wants and how they want it. What sets Bombshell Extension Co. apart is the hands-on nature of a top stylist being the owner and involved in a majority of the day-to-day function to speak to what she would personally want from a stylists’ perspective.
Some of the mistakes we’ve learned from are having clear expectations set out from the beginning in terms of marketing and working with influencers. It’s a tricky time where there are a lot of verbal agreements that don’t always play out. We’ve found it’s really important to set specific expectations from the beginning on what we will offer the influencer and what we expect from the influencer in return.
We’ve found that although we do have a quality product and top education, we have been on the side of timing. We were on one of the first waves of stylist-founded hair extension companies and have been able to grow at the beginning of the boom of hair extensions becoming more of a mainstream, high-demand product.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
One of the best things we’ve done in the last couple of years is switching over our website platform to Shopify. With our large number of SKUs and high inventory list, Shopify has been the best choice in having the most efficient tools for our eCommerce store.
Some of our favorite apps/platforms that we use alongside Shopify are: Mailchimp, Shipstation, Asana, and Slack.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
Become an expert in your niche. Our founder knew hair well and had a passion for hair extensions. She could speak to each aspect of extensions and different methods, with a knowledge that gave her the credibility and capacity to have others feel confident in purchasing the product.
Although the general goal of any business is to make money, scale, and ultimately be ‘hands-off’ as the owner, our founder places high importance on being involved with the product and customers on a personal level to maintain a small business/1x1 feel of a beauty professional you can trust and have confidence in.
Where can we go to learn more?
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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