What would you do with $500 in savings? Stash it away for a rainy day? Pay some bills? Cop those new stilettos?
A few of those thoughts might have run through Ming Lee’s mind, but she had her eye on another purchase – a couch.
After being rejected by 42 beauticians, the hairdresser had finally been hired. She was settling into her new Atlanta home, and buying furniture was at the top of her to-do list.
Suddenly, she had a change of heart. The then-24-year-old remembered that her long-term financial goals exceeded well beyond a couple hundred dollars. “I need to make extra money,” she kept thinking. So she decided to invest her nest egg in herself.
What was initially a few Benjamin Franklins expanded into $1,000,000 in one year.
Say what?! (Yes, you read that correctly.) The Detroit-native used her earnings to buy business cards, a LLC and a few bundles of hair to create Snob Life, a beauty-based company dedicated to providing hair care services and products to women.
“Selling hair was just going to be my side hustle. I had never intended for it to be this big movement,” she admits.
Now four years later, the entrepreneur has added a salon to the mix. She paid for it in cash, and it is one of the hottest in the city. (Wonder what those 42 stylists who rejected her are thinking now.)
“I saw the potential of my dream four years ago, and I’ve been focused on expanding it ever since,” Lee explains.
Read on for a peek inside Lee’s Snob Life world.
The Go-Getter: Ming Lee
The Company: Snob Life
The Mission Statement: “There are levels to your hair. Welcome to the top floor.”
The Price Tag: “Wefts/pieces and products range from $19.99 to $230.”
The Snob Life Woman: “I have always serviced women who are like me. I’ve never wanted to do celebrity hair because I enjoy giving the everyday girl good products and service. Celebrity customers have demanding schedules, so it’s unfair to your regular Thursday client whose standing appointment gets canceled at the last minute.”
The Service: “We do sew-ins, and we also sell bundles. Our latest product is the Snob Life edge tamer. These are all available online.”
The Most Requested Look: “A lot of girls are leading towards a frontal or closure, because it protects their real hair. They can color it or put heat on it without damaging what’s underneath. Most people ask for what I wear, too. I change my look like every ten days, so it just depends.”
The Future: “I actually plan to open five more stores in the United States. I hope to grow my profit and add more hair care and skin products to my line. I kind of want to turn Snob Life into the beauty Amazon, so it will be all things beauty. That’s my five-year plan. In ten years, I just want to sell it.”
The Hairdos to Try: “I love Tamar’s current ‘do. She did a chocolate brown cut. It’s amazing! She toned it down and shied away from the blonde. Also, people are trying new colors. We’re doing a lot of copper orange, which is so pretty. Rihanna first gave you that in the beginning of September. Ladies are leaving the ombre look behind and are going for the root-colored look – dark roots and lighter tresses everywhere else.”
The Overall Message: “My definition of beauty is whatever makes you happy. It’s confidence, and it’s inner beauty. Your outside doesn’t define your inside.”