We had the opportunity to chat with Aaisha Knights of Dream Tresses. As a regular contributor to various Black hair care forums since the early Noughties (i.e. BlackHairMedia.com, LongHairCareForum, Hairlista Hair Community and Fotki pages), Aaisha has sourced high quality hair extensions for her own personal use for many, many years. Most recently, after countless queries from those who had seen the quality and variety of her hair in person and online, she realised that there was a growing need in the UK and Europe for the kind of quality hair that she took for granted; and so Dream Tresses was born.
How does Dream Tresses manage to stay on top with all of the hair companies that seem to be popping up?
Well first of all, we live in a competitive society in terms of products and brands. In my opinion there is room for us all and only those that put customer service and quality at the heart of their businesses will be left standing after a year or more of establishment. It’s great that our women (and some men) have so much choice now in this area. Dream Tresses also offers a very diverse range of hair textures and services which means to cater to almost every taste when it comes to extensions. The good news is that we are only just getting started.
The very ethos of our brand is to raise the bar of quality and services in terms of hair extensions, mobile weave installs and custom made wigs for women in the UK and beyond. Before Dream Tresses there was no real one stop shop that could get such in the UK which of course is our core market since we are London based. God willing, this approach will enable our business to grow and reach greater heights. The best is yet to come.
How do you ensure the authenticity of your hair products?
When you say authenticity, I interpret that as quality which is at the cornerstone of Dream Tresses as a company. I have always had one rule which is that I wouldn’t offer any product on my company website that I wouldn’t pay money to buy myself. It took me many years to decide to become a retailer of human hair extensions and that is simply because it took that long for me to test different types of hair textures and ensure a list of quality suppliers from around the word. In saying that we also receive regular feedback from customers so any potential issues are flagged immediately with manufacturers so that they can be quickly rectified.
Is it difficult to find trustworthy sources for your product?
It isn’t difficult, however knowing your stuff when it comes to quality human hair is. This is what we are doing for our customers; doing all the leg work and testing so they don’t need to. It’s important to know the difference between virgin, remy and steam processed hair extensions – one also needs to know what to ask for from overseas suppliers to ensure a constant stream of quality items. Like any business, it takes time, research and a bit of luck.
Was it difficult to start Dream Tresses?
Doing what you love is never difficult. I wouldn’t say that it was difficult to start up once I’d made up my mind. The hard part was making the decision to start a hair retail business in the first place. It took me at least a year or two to finally decide to do it and commit fully.
What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
Late nights, early mornings, but my experience isn’t dissimilar to any other start up. The passion I have for my brand, customer and product offering keeps me going.
What advice would you give another person who wants to start a business?
Try to gather capital first i.e., get a start up loan or grant, financial backers or spend time saving up some money before you embark on your business. Why? Because there are many adhoc costs that will come up as business maintenance fees. For example even when you have finished your company website, you’ll need someone to conduct periodic tasks, updates and backups to your website. There are also things like packaging, stationery, advertising, promotion, legal fees etc to consider.
How does Dream Tresses reflect you as a person?
Apart from a luxury approach and quality, I believe that Dream Tresses reflects the fact that I am an expert in my area and have a lot of passion for it. My brand colours of shocking pink and gold are also a reflection of my very obvious femininity as well as a love of glamour. I built the Dream Tresses website myself from scratch and only pulled the experts in to finesse it right at the end. Every colour, font, photograph and piece of text is there because I want it to be. It is entirely my creation of which I am very proud. My passion is woven into the very fabric of the business.
What are the most important factors that have contributed to your business success?
- Education (expert knowledge of this area and constantly learning)
Have you had any difficulty as your business has grown?
Staying focused and not jumping on every new hair extension bandwagon that comes along. The weave industry is ever-evolving specifically in the Afro-Caribbean hair market. It’s hard not to get caught up in the latest technological advance in hair pieces because one wants to offer their clients the best hair solutions. It is, however, very important to build a solid foundation of core products, know what they all do, know how they react depending on the environments/stresses they are put under and deliver a consistent product before diversifying further.
What are your hopes for the future of Dream Tresses?
To answer this question, I will quote a very famous cartoon mouse:
“The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!”
The Brain circa 1995
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One thought on “Entrepreneur Spotlight: Aaisha Knights of Dream Tresses”
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