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Tamika S. of Allure Wigs: “Follow up as often as you deem necessary”

I believe that one should always be willing to reinvent themselves. Pandemic or not, this is behavior that can take a brand far. There will always be a new trend which can lead to new wants and needs of your clients. As a business owner, I am always thinking of innovative ways to keep my […]

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I believe that one should always be willing to reinvent themselves. Pandemic or not, this is behavior that can take a brand far. There will always be a new trend which can lead to new wants and needs of your clients. As a business owner, I am always thinking of innovative ways to keep my clients excited, content, loyal and engaged.

I also find it vital to adapt easily to change so that your brand stays relevant. The world is in a constant transformation and retailers should be too. I launched my company during the pandemic and therefore, have had to make certain adjustments such as adhering to proper safety guidelines for those who attend my classes. I also have virtual access to some courses as a result.


As part of my series about the “How To Create A Fantastic Retail Experience That Keeps Bringing Customers Back For More”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tamika S.

Wig Architect Tamika S. knows exactly what women want in a wig and is here to deliver! She is the Founder of Allure Wigs Inc: a luxury, bespoke line of human hair wigs and services. Bearing beauty and brains, Tamika has a Bachelor’s of Science in Visual Analytics. She is also a proud aunt and CatMom who enjoys reading, customizing wigs, and cooking plant-based meals in her down time.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/a814d6d7f9c54580d1bceb2af8ffb839


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I started out as a Cosmetic Counter Manager, selling makeup at Macy’s. I had always done hair on the side as a hobby, yet I never thought it would lead into a career.

Eventually, I began making my own wigs and received lots of compliments from my Macy’s clients. They would ask me questions about where I got the wigs from, and how they could purchase one. It was at that point in my life where I realized that I could indeed turn my hobby into a business. However, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic, that I put full effort and attention into getting started. Seeing so many people around me be laid off overnight, was a wake-up call. I knew I had to finally launch my business so that I would no longer fear the instability that comes with having a job.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Perhaps the funniest mistake I made when starting out, was during one of the wig classes that I host. I normally teach in small groups to provide a more personal experience and therefore, I put much emphasis into memorizing each student’s name. As I demonstrated a styling technique, I asked my client Cathy to be a model for the tutorial. The whole time, I kept referring to her as Cathy and she would respond. My class came to an end, and I allotted extra time for the ladies to make a purchase. So, when I checked “Cathy’s” ID to verify her credit card, I saw that her name was actually ‘Cindy’. I laughed so hard at the realization, that I am sure I turned red. It still tickles me to this day. What I learned from this experience is to politely ask my students to repeat their names. It does not hurt and the clients actually appreciate it.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Definitely! In fact, I have a full village! I’d like to give special thanks to the non-profit organization SCORE mentors: Tim Contado for his help with marketing and strategy, and Mary Tan for guiding me to refine my business concepts and implementation.

I would also like to give credit to my life coach Samantha Knight, who has taught me the skills to view things in a more positive perspective. She has also kept me focused on achieving success.

Last, but certainly not least, I receive lots of love and support from a host of family and friends. However, I’d like to give special thanks to my mom, Cariann, Storm, and Michael for being my test subjects and #1 supporters!

I too am grateful for Devanté and Uncle Joe for being my photographers on-call, Janell for her help with social media, and my dad for being a listening ear. Also, many thanks to my grandmother for inspiring me to follow her footsteps in the hair and beauty industry, and to Maria for sparking the magic in me.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Yes. I can credit Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, as having a great impact on me. For obvious reasons, I originally thought that reading the book would give me some sort of insight as to how to succeed in business. However, the book spoke on the exact opposite! Deepak helped me realize that material gains are just a plus, but that real success starts within. It was very eye-opening and inspired me to build a spiritual foundation that would eventually attract happiness, wealth, and success.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Allure Wigs Inc is the first in our industry to provide 100% support to customers. It is our mission to provide them with nothing short of a 5-star experience. Our newbies are guided every step of the way towards making their first purchase, and have access to contact us via phone, live chat, and email.

We also conduct 1-on-1 free consultations where both our loyal customers and prospects can interact with us virtually, and schedule time to try on our wigs in-person. With regards to our recurring customers, we make it a priority to check-in with them often. As such, we follow-up after each purchase to make sure that every single client is happy. Such inquiries take place over the course of:

3 DAYS: In which we ask for feedback
3 WEEKS: General check-in regarding either a promotional offer or haircare tip
3 MONTHS: Inquiry to purchase a new wig and/or service

Lastly, we offer a loyalty program for our customers to earn points on referrals and eligible purchases.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I would recommend finding a bit of fun in all that you do. Even if it’s as simple as humming a tune while on hold for a conference call, or dancing in your seat a little as you wait for a meeting to begin. Also, I find it crucial to make time for self-care. Whether that is through therapy, yoga, naps, or just treating yourself to an additional 15-minute break during your workday. I believe that self-care is a must to maintain some sort of peace and sanity.

Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main questions of our interview. The so-called “Retail Apocalypse” has been going on for about a decade. The Pandemic only made things much worse for retailers in general. While many retailers are struggling, some retailers, like Lululemon, Kroger, and Costco are quite profitable. Can you share a few lessons that other retailers can learn from the success of profitable retailers?

I believe that one should always be willing to reinvent themselves. Pandemic or not, this is behavior that can take a brand far. There will always be a new trend which can lead to new wants and needs of your clients. As a business owner, I am always thinking of innovative ways to keep my clients excited, content, loyal and engaged.

I also find it vital to adapt easily to change so that your brand stays relevant. The world is in a constant transformation and retailers should be too. I launched my company during the pandemic and therefore, have had to make certain adjustments such as adhering to proper safety guidelines for those who attend my classes. I also have virtual access to some courses as a result.

Amazon is going to exert pressure on all of retail for the foreseeable future. New Direct-To-Consumer companies based in China are emerging that offer prices that are much cheaper than US and European brands. What would you advise retail companies and eCommerce companies, for them to be successful in the face of such strong competition?

I would advise to stay true to your brand and what it represents. People will support you no matter what, if they feel they can relate to your company’s persona and/or mission. You should always focus on why you do your business, and what your promise is so that you dedicate yourself to provide that value to your clients. Most importantly, never stray away from that foundation.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a retail business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

From my experience working in retail, I can say that a common mistake is failing to make employees feel valued. As a business owner, I understand just how important it is to cater to your team the same way you would for your customers. When you recognize your team members’ strengths and reward their successes, it keeps the energy positive and motivates them to work harder.

This might be intuitive, but I think it’s helpful to specifically articulate it. In your words, can you share a few reasons why great customer service and a great customer experience is essential for success in business in general and for retail in particular?

Outstanding customer service is essential to any retail business because without the customers, we will not sell product. It’s really that simple! Therefore, one should want to provide the best service at all times. Creating an awesome experience is just an added benefit, as I find customers will shop more when they feel emotionally connected.

We have all had times either in a store, or online, when we’ve had a very poor experience as a customer or user. If the importance of a good customer experience is so intuitive, and apparent, where is the disconnect? How is it that so many companies do not make this a priority?

This goes back to what I was saying before. I believe that the disconnect comes from retailers that fail to make their employees feel appreciated. It really is a trickled down effect. For example, your average retail worker is underpaid and overworked.

To add insult to injury, let’s just say that same worker is also not acknowledged by leadership. Now we have a person whose energy is likely to be off while working. Therefore, it is not ideal that he/she can make a client feel valued when that person does not feel valued within self.

Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?

As part of my services, I sell wig installs, in which I include a free hair braiding service. I recently wowed one of my newbies with that experience. When she arrived, I had jazz music playing softly in the background. I checked her temperature and offered a glass of sparkling cider. Throughout the service, I checked in often to make sure that my client was comfortable. I also spoke to her a bit casually, although I kept the conversation neutral. My client walked out feeling great and thanked me for the service.

Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?

I have since followed up her and booked a second appointment. As a result, I was able to upsell the service, in which she has now signed up to my wig maintenance subscription. I am certain that I have created a sense of trust in her.

A fantastic retail experience isn’t just one specific thing. It can be a composite of many different subtle elements fused together. Can you help us break down and identify the different ingredients that come together to create a “fantastic retail experience”?

Simply put, the top four “ingredients” that make a fantastic retail experience are:
1) Discover what your customer’s needs are. 2) Cater to those needs. 3) Be available to your clients, and 4) Follow up as often as you deem necessary.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a fantastic retail experience that keeps bringing customers back for more? Please share a story or an example for each.

When I was a makeup artist, I encountered a customer that was looking to purchase a foundation that was three shades lighter than her complexion. So naturally, I matched her correctly with a color that was more fitting. She bought the product and seemingly left happy. However, 30 minutes later, she came back to me asking to return the same product. Apparently, she bought foundation from another brand, in a color that was three shades lighter than her skin tone. That experience amongst others, have taught me these five valuable lessons:

#1 the customer is first

#2 the customer is always right

#3 know your target audience

#4 know your competition

#5 and always find enjoyment in what you do

Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. Here is our final ‘meaty’ question. You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. 🙂

In response to your “meaty” question, I already partake in a movement in which I influence others to not eat meat. I believe that doing so is beneficial not only for animals, but also to humanity and our ecosystem. Subsequently, I started a blog in which I showcase my vegan recipes. I hope that by demonstrating a personal journey, my followers will learn how to make healthier diet choices. I want the world to see how being vegan does not necessarily mean that I only eat salads and rice cakes all day!

How can our readers further follow your work?

Our readers can shop my wigs via the following:

Website: https://allure-wigs.com

Facebook: facebook.com/AllureWigsInc

Instagram: instagram.com/allurewigs_

They may also check out my vegan blog:

https://hungry-munky.square.site/blog

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!


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