Stephanie Ayler: “Plan your success”

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own mind, your own thoughts, and sometimes negative self-talk which can really be detrimental because your brain doesn’t know the difference between your own formed thoughts and […]

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Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own mind, your own thoughts, and sometimes negative self-talk which can really be detrimental because your brain doesn’t know the difference between your own formed thoughts and actual reality. As such, speaking life over yourself, your goals and aspirations will help you to propel yourself forward mentally and physically. Your brain will believe what you tell it, so why not tell your brain all the very best things?

As a part of our series about “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have Fabulous Hair”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Ayler of Nourish and Love Co. Stephanie Ayler is a Licensed Cosmetologist and is currently studying to become a Trichologist. She is led by her immense passion surrounding the science of creative effective hair care. Influenced by her adoration of cosmetic chemistry, Stephanie creates opulent natural hair care products to bring the luxury of the spa to your everyday haircare rituals.

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?

My journey to where I am now has been very much a zigzag! I didn’t arrive to where I am now traditionally, when I was younger my dream goal/career was to be an artist and or animator. I actually went to college and received my Bachelor’s in Visual Education and Art Design from the Virginia State University. Although I was passionate about the arts, growing up I had an interest in haircare and beauty products. I was always picking up every bottle I came across to view the ingredients and test myself to pronounce the chemicals listed! It wasn’t until after college after a huge change to my hair in 2011 did I start with DIYing my own beauty products. This led to me wanting to create my own haircare line, which then led me to enrolling in cosmetology school in 2015 not only because of a rediscovered passion but also because I felt this would add a sense of expertise behind my brand. Following graduation from cosmetology school I had a short stint at an upscale hair salon. About 3 years later, 3 months after I gave birth to my first child, I launched my haircare brand and I’ve been moving full speed ahead ever since!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I’m not quite sure how many times random can be overused in a paragraph but here goes; I randomly joined a small FB group chat that led to me randomly joining a beta version of a new business platform that led me on a whim randomly applying for business coaching which I just so happened to be selected for which led to me being coached by an amazing woman who had built not 1 but 2 successful multi-figure businesses. One of which I was already aware of. That has been my best coaching experience so far and the amount of knowledge she shared with me was immeasurable.

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?

Despite the current pandemic, unrest, and protesting, 2020 has actually been my tipping point where I have started to see success. At the top of the year I made a number of sizeable funding into my business and they have propelled me forward faster than I could have imagined. It’s amazing what being in the right room, whether digitally or physically can do for one’s business! I also shifted my mindset. I had operated from a lack mindset and imposter syndrome with the latter being a bit tougher to overcome. Once I made a conscious effort to shift my mindset, to speak life and prosperity over my business it shifted things immensely. Once I stopped being afraid to truly talk about my business, show what I actually do and how I am building this business, opportunities started presenting themselves, sales started rising and becoming more consistent and my visibility started increasing. I think the most important takeaways are that what is meant for you will be for you, no saturated market can stop that. If it’s your path, it’s already yours, no matter what others may say. Believing in yourself, visualizing the success that you want, the goals you want to achieve are truly a large part of entrepreneurship. If you don’t believe in yourself, then why should you expect others to?

In your experience what were the most effective ways for your business to generate leads and sales? Can you share a story or give an example?

Creating content and have a consistent plan for your social media are both very important, but I actually saw a huge increase in sales just by talking about my business more on my personal social media pages. This led to people following my business page as well. With so much information and noise on social media sometimes we wrongly assume that people already know what we do, which is something I actually thought as well. Once I began to be more open and share more about my business, the support increased, the shares increased, the follows increases, which all led to sales increasing.

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 would have to name multiple people, but I will broadly label them as my family. Many people have said how their family didn’t support them in the beginning but thankfully for me that is not my story. Whether it was helping purchase items I desperately needed when I was getting started, help prepping/attending for vendor shows, packaging large volume orders, pep talks, and guidance, you name it, they were there with a helping hand. I would never be able to thank them enough.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

So many mistakes! Although, if you aren’t making mistakes, then you aren’t learning! I think one of the funniest was my short stint in soap-making. I lined my soap loaf mold with a plastic bag for starters, so of course once my soap set enough for me to remove it, it had creases, indents, and air pockets throughout the whole bar. It was the ugliest bar of soap ever, although it felt great to use! I also cut the soap way too thin because I didn’t know better. They were like the size of your soap bar after you’ve already been using it for a couple of weeks. This was just for me though otherwise it could have been a truly stress-inducing experience. Hah! I never tried again after that, although I love soapmaking and just how creative you can be, I just said let me not do that again for a while. This was 9 years ago!

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

The scariest part of entrepreneurship truly is getting started. The funny thing about that fear is that the only way past that fear is to just start. Don’t let your fear hold you back. Always be open to changing, pivoting, and learning new things. I would tell anyone who is just getting started that done is better than perfect and to be quite honest if you aren’t embarrassed by your first iteration of whatever it is you’re doing, then you started too late.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you please share “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have Fabulous Hair”. Please share a story or an example, for each.

Sure, I would love too! I think in order to have fabulous hair, one really needs to look at HOW they’re taking care of their hair because the foundation is the most important part.

  1. Intentional haircare — Taking care of your hair doesn’t have to be long or drawn out. It actually just needs to be purposeful. Being intentional in your haircare isn’t something many people think about because typically shampooing and conditioning your hair can be seen as more a mindless task, just sort of going through the motions. When you’re dealing with hair and scalp issues you have to shift that narrative to one of being more intentional about how you’re taking care of your hair and how to make certain that you grow past (pun intended) any hair issues.
  2. Proper product use — It’s easy to simply misuse a product without knowing. For instance, like leaving on a deep conditioner for too long, which actually can be detrimental when done repeatedly on a consistent basis because it leads to weaker, limper hair. Another example would be using styling products the wrong way, such as layering products too quickly after one another which more often than not leads to flaking after the style has set. Also, it’s easy to grab a mousse or a gel, or even a cream styling product and think well I know how to use this I don’t need the directions to tell me. What some consumers don’t always realize is that sometimes that cream styling product needs to be applied to completely wet hair, or you’ll achieve a sleeker look if you apply a priming product before using the mousse. Being mindful and making sure you’re using products properly is an easy way to set yourself up for happier hair days.
  3. Proper technique. Proper product use and technique go hand in hand. For example, when you shampoo your hair, think about this, are you piling all of your hair on top of your head and then just scrubbing like crazy? That isn’t the correct way to shampoo your hair! If your hair is curly or textured and you have to detangle your hair, are you rough? Are you working in smaller sections? Are you starting at the ends and working your way up? Is your hair saturated with a product that will aid in detangling? Give yourself a “hair audit” as I call it and really see where the issues lie in your goals to fabulous hair.
  4. Practice makes perfect. Like anything in life, you need to do something more than once to get better and perfect it. Your hair is not any different. Once you begin to implement being more intentional with your haircare along with proper product use and technique, you’ll realize that you’ve become more fluent in your hair’s unique language. You’ll understand it better because you will have learned what your hair likes and what it does not like!
  5. Plan your success — You more than likely have some sort of your routine or rituals for your skincare, why not for your hair? It doesn’t need to be super involved but knowing exactly how and when you will do certain parts of your haircare is important. How often are you shampooing and conditioning, Is your hair in need of deep conditioning treatments, and so on and so forth. I would normally add in here seeing a hairstylist but where we are now with COVID-19 that’s more than likely not an option.

These are five foundational aspects that anyone can use to really check in with themselves and their haircare to shift and implement so that they can begin to experience fabulous hair.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Exercise! Taking a short walk, a light jog, or even yoga to get your blood pumping. Exercise is a great boost to your confidence thanks to the chemicals that are released after a workout session.
  2. Self-care Day. Sometimes I’ll take the morning or evening and just give myself a little makeover. I’ll do my hair, maybe even paint my nails, shave and exfoliate, give myself an at home facial, I’m talking the works. I always feel like a new person and it does actually give me a burst of confidence and helps me to feel even more beautiful!
  3. Pep talks! Sometimes you just have to give yourself a pep talk. Or better yet, have someone give you a pep talk. I think we all have someone who has the ability not to tell us what we need to hear but to speak life and love into us in such a way that we feel renewed, refreshed and ready to tackle what might come our way.

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. 🙂

Grace Forward. This world is different now, and I feel if everyone just extended a little more grace to people, a little more patience and kindness, it would be a small step forward. Just because someone feels as though that they might be better than another because of position, money, or whatever doesn’t give them a pass to treat them negatively. Instead treat them how you would want to be treated. It’s like the Golden Rule but with more empathy and understanding.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own mind, your own thoughts, and sometimes negative self-talk which can really be detrimental because your brain doesn’t know the difference between your own formed thoughts and actual reality. As such, speaking life over yourself, your goals and aspirations will help you to propel yourself forward mentally and physically. Your brain will believe what you tell it, so why not tell your brain all the very best things?

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

Oh, wow. It’s hard to just choose one! I would have to bend the rules a little and say either Daymond John or Melinda Emerson. They both have absolutely amazing business acumen, are leaders in the business industry and I would jump at the chance to be able to glean knowledge from either one of them.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram @nourishandloveco, @digitalhairbestie

Facebook Nourish and Love Company

Twitter @Nourishloveco

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!

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