Entrepreneur At Work: How She Brought Her Sleep Cap To Market
by R. Asmerom
Tamara Clarke was an accidental beneficiary of the recession. After being laid-off from her job as a systems analyst in 2009, the Atlanta-based professional looked to her own ideas to help her get back on track. Needless to say, she wasn’t planning on working for someone else again.
At the top of her list of business ideas was a sleep cap that protected her long locks while she slept. While there were other products on the market, Clarke didn’t find any that addressed her needs. Through research and commitment, she created the EcoSOQ™ Natural Sleep Cap. It takes into account “green” concerns, hair length and protection. Although it’s a new business which Clarke is running on her own, the feedback to her new product has been extremely positive so far. We caught up with the entrepreneur to find out just how she did it.
How did you know that you had a solid business idea on your hands? Did you study the business landscape or experiment with entrepreneurship before?
I made the cap out of necessity. The longer my locs grew, the harder it became to cover them with the traditional bonnet. After I successfully sewed and used my design which, covers long hair as it hangs, I quickly realized that other ladies may be facing the same challenge and decided to pursue commercializing the idea.
I was new to entrepreneurship but I understood the value of having a solid business plan. I sought help from The Edge Connection, a certified metro-Atlanta area SBA Women’s Center. I enrolled in their 12 week Plan for Profit class and completed a formal business planning process. The class required that I complete extensive market research. Through this research, I realized that I had a solid business idea.