I WEAR GLAM’s Latoiya Roland Discusses Her Hair Brand’s Celebrity Connections
Latoiya Roland says her obsession with long, wild hair extensions not only helped garner nationwide attention for her brand, it has also snagged her an exclusive collection deal with rap star Trina.
Roland, 23 (above), owner and chief executive officer of I WEAR GLAM, recently inked a deal with Trina for the “Trina Rockstar Collection,” which will include a line of hair extensions, that will be available this summer.
The partnership came after Trina endorsed I WEAR GLAM on social media site Instagram, and Roland says it was shortly after, that Trina wanted to discuss how she could be a bigger part of the brand.
“A couple months ago I was able to meet Trina and I let her wear some of the hair extensions from I WEAR GLAM and she really liked them. I ended up giving her some more and it was then that she really wanted to become involved more with my brand,” Roland says. “It was surprising but I am so excited to be moving in this direction with someone of Trina’s caliber.”
Since launching in 2014, Roland says the brand has also caught the eye of Rhianna, Taraji P. Henson, Lil’ Kim, and Rasheeda Buckner-Frost from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, but is still relatively new in the big scheme of hair brands. Roland says high quality, dye-ability, and longevity of the extensions is creating the recipe for success.
“There are a ton of hair companies out there, but I think that our products have really created a name for itself because it is not only great hair – it’s affordable. That is key to staying ahead of the competition,” Roland says. “Before I launched I WEAR GLAM, I tested out so many hair samples from different distributors and I really payed attention and narrowed down what I liked, versus price and longevity. I think I really came out with the best of the best and some customers are saying they have been able to keep their extensions in for up to eight months. I think that’s why we have become so popular.”
In addition to the new developments with Trina, Roland has also opened her first location in Detroit, the city where she grew up. The store will carry a variety of what Roland sells online including 100 percent human hair extensions like Brazilian Straight, and Peruvian Loose Wave, as well as I WEAR GLAM weave scratchers, blow dryer bonnets, ceramic hair straighteners, brushes, Argan oil shampoo and conditioner, Luxurious Curly Cream, Luxurious Argan Oil Masque, Luxurious Edge Control, Weft Sealer, and mink eyelashes. Roland says she hopes to eventually have a franchise and become a “one-stop-shop,” where customers from across the country can pick up anything they need in the world of hair care.
“I have built my business by being friendly with my customers, and offering advice and maintenance tips on how I do my own hair. I have also built relationships with different stylists and it’s really been about being friendly and helpful and I think that’s the most important thing when you own a business,” Roland says. “With the location, I hope to do more of the same. There will be a different approach in terms of marketing because we have done so much online already but opening this store is amazing and I hope to open more locations in the future.”
While Roland admits that it has become hard to keep up with demand, she explained that she is still learning about business as she goes. The brand’s success has come quickly, and she says she hopes it is primarily because of her devotion to customer service and competitive pricing.
“I was never a business woman, and I never went to school for this. I was actually a nurse – an LPN at the age of 19 – and I never dreamed that I would soon own my own corporation. But just as I used trial and error to find the right hair for my brand, I have done the same with my business,” Roland says. “People ask me all the time how I got to know this industry and my simple answer is this: when you want to know something bad enough, you are going to do whatever you need to figure it out. This business is like my baby and nobody is going to treat it like I would so I handle the bulk of customer emails and I pay attention to their needs because at the end of the day no one is going to care more than I do.”
And as she moves forward, attaining goals and projecting future endeavors, Roland says she will continue to work hard to make her business the best it can be.
“Apple wasn’t always a billion-dollar company and it took a lot of hard work and dedication for it to get the way it is now,” she says. “So in terms of my own brand, I know that it’s not going to be successful on its own and that I need to put in the hard work and dedication. I remember when I only had one order a week, then it was one a day, then two a day, then thousands. So it’s just about staying focused and remembering where I came from and where I’m going.”