Ariaka Stovall Virgin Hair Depot Mompreneurs weaves hair extensions Nancy Redd

Source: Tim Parker / Getty

On this episode of Mompreneurs, host Nancy Redd has the CEO and founder of Virgin Hair Depot, Ariaka Stovall, on to discuss how she turned a problem she faced into a multi-million-dollar business.

Stovall was living in Atlanta in the early 2000s and facing the same issue many other women were dealing with: there were limited options when it came to hair extensions and weaves. The options that did exist were incredibly expensive. The price wasn’t a huge problem for the mompreneur at first until she broke up with her boyfriend in 2010 (who had been paying for her costly tresses).

After being fired from a day job she despised and feeling unsure how she’d pay for her life (or her weave), Stovall decided she’d give herself 30 days to get her idea for a luxury extensions brand that would still be more affordable than the current offerings off the ground. She started by buying hair bundles low, beautifully repackaging them, and selling them high on Craigslist.
“I had set a goal. I said, every day, if I hit this amount of sales, I won’t look for a job,” Stovall dished to Redd.
Before she knew it, the trailblazer had more orders than her living room could handle, and she opened a kiosk in the mall. With people lining up each morning before the mall even opened to snag some of Stovall’s hair extensions, the businesswoman realized it was time to upgrade to an actual store.
 “From there, it’s just been wheels up…today we are one of the top three hair companies in Atlanta,” gushes the CEO. She also notes that she always feared the path of an entrepreneur would be difficult and painful, but once she set her mind to it, it was all pretty easy, which is how she knew she was meant for this path. “Look at God,” she says.
Redd asks her guest what sets Virgin Hair Depot apart from its competitors. Stovall answers, “Our customer service is top-notch.” In fact, if her store doesn’t have exactly what a customer needs, she gladly refers them to a different vendor who does, which is why her customers trust her.
Stovall’s company became so successful that she received a million-dollar offer for it early on, but she denied it, knowing it wasn’t time to step back yet. She would take a bumpy ride to try to sell the company again later. A deal fell through just months away from finalizing. “God is telling me it’s not time to shut the doors. I’m still supposed to be in it,” expresses the mompreneur.
The Virgin Hair Depot’s journey is different from many other guests Redd has on Mompreneurs in that her entry into motherhood actually came after the height of her career — rather than before or during it. Stovall and her partner had been trying to get pregnant for a long time without success. Just when she was toying with the idea of scaling her business and opening more franchises, fate had something else in mind in the form of a positive pregnancy test.
The discovery that she was going to be a mother made Stovall decide to slow down and ease off the franchises. “I defined what ‘enough’ was for me. To be happy, to do the things I want to do. To travel the way I want to travel.”
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN