I Turned This Instagram Page Into A 7-Figure Business

Oluremi Martins
$30K
revenue/mo
1
Founders
0
Employees
Natural Girl Wigs
from
started
$30,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
0
Employees
653K
alexa rank
89.1K
followers
1.32K
followers
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I Turned This Instagram Page Into A 7-Figure Business

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Oluremi Martins. I am the founder of Natural Girl Wigs, a hair brand that creates textured hair extensions and protective styles for black women.

Before launching the business, I ran an Instagram page that posted inspirations for black women to be their authentic selves. These inspirations ranged from makeup looks, and outfit inspo to hairstyle inspo from celebrities and other people.

Our first product was an Afrocentric wig called wig Toke. It is made with premium afro hair fibre and at the time, I created this wig with my hairstylist. The idea was to create something affordable as we were new to the market and had other bigger competitors.

My business is currently a 7-figure business. 6 months after we launched, we reached the 6 figure milestone by creating Afrocentric extensions that cater to black women in different countries all over the world.

In the beginning, we were taking orders via Instagram and Whatsapp channels and this did not restrict women all over the world from purchasing our products. Some women in other countries were willing to drive across town to Western Union to make a purchase even before we built a website. This was a great signal to continue to build and grow the business to be easily accessible to customers all over the world.

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What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I came up with the idea to sell natural textured protective styles and wigs for black women out of my own need to wear natural textured wigs.

"We were taking orders via Instagram and Whatsapp channels and this did not restrict women all over the world from purchasing our products. Some women in other countries were willing to drive across town to Western Union to make a purchase even before we built a website"

I had had an awakening earlier in my life about how as a black woman, anytime I did not want to style my hair, I would wear the usual Brazilian weaves as they were commonly called then and I could rarely find any wigs that were as textured as my hair.

Soon after, I started researching companies that sold Natural Textured hair and a lot of them were Chinese or Asian-owned companies, this was a great irony to me, and also saw it as an opportunity to enter the hair production industry as a black woman producing textured hair for other black women.

The AHA moment for me was when I started an Instagram page called BrownGirlNigeria. Here, I would just post inspirational content about black celebrities doing black things in hair, makeup, and beauty in general. Soon after, I introduced textured hair to the content and people would send a dm asking if these wigs were available for sale and that is how I validated my idea and made an entry into the hair industry.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

At that time in my life, I was saving money to start up this new business I had validated and I was skeptical about importing hair from India or China because I was new to the market and I had previously started a Hair braiding business that was not successful.

With the lessons I learned, I decided to source premium afro fibre hair locally. The idea was to create something affordable, easy to wear, and significant to black women. I had my hairstylist create a simple afro wig with the fibre and she did not charge for it because it was a prototype.

After which, I had a friend put on the wig, we took pictures and I posted them on the Instagram page I had started and people started to pre-order the wigs. The total cost to start was about $3 which was the cost of purchasing the materials needed to create the prototype wig.

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Describe the process of launching the business.

For me, It was more about showing people the looks they could achieve with the different styles available, and these were not limited to the styles that we had available at the moment.

The strategy was to use different relatable content to lure the audience to follow, and keep them up to date; like a lifestyle blog would do.

I also collaborated with a lot of brands that provided services or products adjacent to us. E.g collaborate on giveaway contests with skincare brands or products targeted at black women. This got us a lot of organic reach with customers who would have most likely reached via ads or paid marketing.

Virality and word of mouth were other major strategies that helped us in the early stage of our business as we had customers refer us to their family and friends on several occasions.

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Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

From our initial process on content strategy, we have moved on and included Facebook Ads and Email Marketing to attract and retain customers.

We grow our community using email marketing by educating our community on Black Hair History, Hair Care Tips, Black Amazons, How to care for your wigs, and other vital tips.

Here’s an example of one of our email newsletters:

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All of these help us attract, grow and retain our customers.

Virality and word of mouth were other major strategies that helped us in the early stage of our business as we had customers refer us to their family and friends on several occasions.

Here’s a breakdown of our revenue by traffic source:

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How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Natural Girl Wigs major storefront is our website and our social media pages. We have a store on Amazon but we are still experimenting with that so I can’t say it is a major source of revenue for our business.

We are primarily a DTC brand that will continue to experiment with customer-facing experiences.

As a business, we have always been profitable since day 1. I have always been obsessed with numbers such as measuring and keeping our cost of products low, and ensuring our marketing costs are efficient and profitable.

In recent times, the cost of advertising and customer acquisition has increased and eaten into our margin but we have found ways to extract more value from customers by introducing more products with wider margins.

We now create our content in-house to help us manage content creation effectively and deliver the best experience to our customers.

We have also found that most of our customers return to make a purchase and we have increased our customer relationship to be more effective from the first moment of engagement and put in place other measures to increase each customer's spend by providing useful tips beyond sales

In the future, we are looking forward to becoming a production house for other hair brands and making black hair extensions more accessible through retail partnerships.

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Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One of the things I have learned and still helps me today is understanding the impact of incentives on both customers and our team.

For me, I understand that customers, partners, and employees are regular people who are driven by incentives and it has helped me navigate making better decisions.

In situations when we have had a not-so-good sales week, my team and I must go back to the drawing board to analyze what incentives worked during the good weeks and how we can optimize them to attract more sales.

My business has also helped me learn a lot about managing people. As a founder and manager, I have learned that there is so much responsibility on you to help your employees reach their full potential.

I have also realized that if a department or a segment of your business is failing, it is because you have not implemented a structure or system to help it succeed.

My partner, who is also my husband, handles most of the operations of the business and has created impeccable systems in place that work with little to no presence from production to staff management.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We use Shopify, Klaviyo, Stripe, and Loom- for real-time feedback, Zapier for reviews, Slack for Communications, Notion for productivity and Google for documentation and cloud storage.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

One of the best books I have ever read is Atomic Habits by James Clear. It has shifted my perspective and helped me think better.

Another book is The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. This has made me understand how to make money work for you and has also helped me leverage this for my business in terms of understanding cash and how to handle cash in your business.

For Podcasts, I love to listen to any and every podcast where entrepreneurs speak about their hardcore experiences about how businesses are built. One of my favorite podcasts is The Startup Teardown which is hosted by my partner. I like how I learn from real-life experiences about what it is like to build a business on this side of the world.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

My advice for entrepreneurs who are just getting started is to first know that entrepreneurship is hard. It is very hard and you must be interested in the hard aspects. It is not as simple as posting on your Instagram, uploading products on Shopify, or using tools. Yes, tools help you automate, and all I have mentioned counts too. There are so many hard things in entrepreneurship that you must genuinely be interested in conquering. The reward of good work is more work and the more problems you solve the easier it gets but first you must be willing to solve these problems.

Another mistake I see people make a lot is not putting processes and structures in place especially when/after the business has a great moment. Structures and good operations will save your business.

Online businesses need to have automated sales flows that generate sales and nurture customers beyond your day-to-day input. That’s how to grow your business sustainably.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

I’m always looking for people who are great operators, I have been telling my team for some time now that I would love to hire a CEO. So if you're capable and interested in running a hair brand that will evolve beyond hair to other beauty segments for black women? Holla at us!

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

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Oluremi Martins, Founder of Natural Girl Wigs
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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