Figure out your “Why.” Your why is what keeps your going, especially when the times get tough. You’ll need a solid why to lean on and also to hold you accountable. When the pandemic began, and House Of Bombshell had to close its doors, I wanted to quit after being shut down for three months, but I remembered my why and pushed through.
As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Kidd.
House Of Bombshell, a beauty and lifestyle brand based in Baltimore, Maryland, was founded by Jessica Kidd with a mission to use the power of beauty to empower women to make bold choices in beauty, wellness, and their lifestyle. Seeing the lack of diversity and inclusion across top beauty brands and their social media, Jessica began an initiative to promote equity within the hair color industry. Black Colorisists Matter aims to be a place for deeper engagement amongst Black colorists and as a platform where Black colorists are celebrated, and their artistry is appreciated.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Sure! I was always intrigued by the women in my life who were seamstresses and beauticians and knew early on I wanted to be in the beauty industry. I loved the salon culture that even the smell of it was captivating to me. I was never a follower and knew I would be a leader in whatever I did. After working in salons throughout the year, I realized what I was looking for didn’t exist, so I had to create it. This is where my entrepreneurial journey began. In 2015 I incorporated House Of Bombshell, and the rest is history.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
When I first started, my most interesting story was that I had a walk-in client who wanted a haircut. Fresh out of school, needless to say, it was the worst haircut and style ever, lol. The client was horrified, while I stood there overly confident and happy. That experience was the most humbling yet interesting for me. From that moment, continuing education became one of my core values. Over ten years later, I continue to take advanced classes and encourage my team to do so as well.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
I would say when I moved back home to Baltimore from Atlanta. I took everything I learned during my stay in Atlanta and used it to begin rebuilding the Bombshell brand. I was determined to create this culture and beauty experience no one had ever encountered in my hometown. I had tunnel vision. I knew once I accomplished this in Baltimore, I could move on to other cities. The most important thing that I did was treat House Of Bombshell like a legit business instead of a hobby. Branding became my life, and I didn’t just depend on hairstyling to create awareness. I started an apparel line, accessories, and hair products to reach a wider audience. These small changes truly set me apart. Once people realized there was no one offering what House Of Bombshell could submit, the success began pouring in. All it took was a shift in my mindset. I started treating it like a million-dollar brand, although we didn’t have anywhere near a million in revenue.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am so grateful for my mom. She has been there with every crazy idea and been my angel investor time after time, even when there was no return. Without the support of my close family and friends, I don’t know where I would be. My husband has been an incredible support system since the moment we met. I am the CEO of House Of Bombshell, but he has poured just as much blood, sweat, and tears into House Of Bombshell, specifically the salon location.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion-dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?
Our mission is to inspire women to make bold choices in beauty, wellness, and their lifestyle. I think this will help people because we use the power of beauty to empower. Our haircare products were made with love by a hairstylist because we know the hair and scalp properties and what it needs to thrive. Bombshells are a fearless group of individuals, and as the brand grows, this culture of beautiful fearlessness grows along with it.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
Absolutely. I love how evolving it is. Things are always changing in this industry. I am excited to see how much more tech-savvy our industry will get. The tools, platforms, and software get better with time. We used to wait months to attend a trade show to receive continuing education, and now it’s just one click away. I am excited to see just how digital the industry will get. I am also excited about the hair color industry and how it has improved over the years, creating lighteners that are more gentle, additives that literally repair your hair while coloring, and more vibrant colors. I look forward to seeing even more improvements.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?
The three things that concern me the most are: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. If I could implement 3 ways to improve the industry, I would hire more people of color at major beauty brands’ corporate executive level. Secondly, I would insert a curriculum in Cosmetology schools that would focus more on textured hair and styling. This would equip students better for diverse clients when they get to the salon. Last, I would partner with top brands to offer advanced education to people of color to improve their technical skills. Most Black stylists don’t have the resources or lack the financial means to get quality education from top brands. It would be great to implement some type of sponsorship program among top beauty brands.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
Of course! Whatever you do, DON’T SKIP SELF CARE. With a simple shampoo, you can feel beautiful again. Washing your hair literally feels like you are washing the worries away after a long day. Taking the time to take care of yourself is sure to make you feel beautiful. This can begin from the inside, out. Eating right, exercising, meditating/praying, drinking water, using quality hair and skincare for those wash days, and skincare routines are all ways to feel beautiful. Saying positive affirmations are at the top of my list.
Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”. Please share a story or an example, for each.
1. Develop a plan! You need a roadmap or strategic plan to succeed. Create it and use it as your guide. Your roadmap may have detours, and that’s totally fine. Just stay the course. The journey may not look like what you imagined, but start where you are with what you have and keep pressing toward the finish line.
2. Find your niche. Figure out what your specialty is and perfect that. This will be what sets you apart.
3. Find a mentor! A mentor is a trusted guide. Someone who is already at the place you are trying to be one day. They can help you while you’re on your journey by sharing insight, offering support, and more.
4. Treat everyone with kindness. The industry is not as big as one would think. What goes around definitely comes around. The intern that you mistreated may end up being your boss one day, so be kind.
5.Figure out your “Why.” Your why is what keeps your going, especially when the times get tough. You’ll need a solid why to lean on and also to hold you accountable. When the pandemic began, and House Of Bombshell had to close its doors, I wanted to quit after being shut down for three months, but I remembered my why and pushed through.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to inspire a movement to raise more awareness about domestic abuse. As a hairstylist, we notice signs of abuse before a closest friend would. I would love to see more beauty professionals get involved in stopping intimate partner violence. Domestic abuse is such a taboo topic. Creating more dialogue around it could save so many lives.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
The best is yet to come is my all-time favorite quote. It has been a constant reminder that there are still even better days ahead, even on my best days. It has been encouraging during my darkest moments that those moments won’t last long. Better is always on the way!
I say this quote often and hope it encourages everyone I share it with, in the same way it has encouraged me.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can follow me on Instagram at @jessicakidd__ and House Of Bombshell at @houseofbombshell
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.