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Meet Virgin Hair Depot’s CEO, Ariaka Autry: ‘I consider myself a point guard’

Photo Courtesy: Ariaka for Virgin Hair Depot

Ariaka Autry
CEO (Chief Experience Officer), Virgin Hair Depot 
Twitter & IG: @AriakaAutry

Please describe you leadership style of CEO:

When it comes to leadership, I consider myself like a point guard. I make sure the entire team is involved and plays an important role in getting task completed or executed. I delegate to my team, and I make it clear no job is too small or too big. There is not a duty that I would not do myself from cleaning restrooms in our store, to actual customer service. I am definitely, an involved CEO.

What is your mission statement?

Virgin Hair Depot is here for the customer first. Our goal is to consistently provide quality products at fair prices, and to give each customer a pleasant experience.

What three skill sets are critical for the future executive that you hire for your organization

They must …
Be here for our brand
Be concerned with our customer experience first
Have a proven track record in our industry.

How does having an advanced degree benefit you and your clients?

I do not have an advanced degree.

How do you utilize technology to benefit your organization?

Technology is instrumental in the success of our organization.
Ninety precent of our business is generated on social media.
Our customer service chat is run 24/7 on iPads
Our website is updated from an iPhone

Finish the sentence

Team work is important because …

it is essential to the success of a great customer experience, that leads to repeat business, and job security.

The best way to recruit great talent is …

to network and look for people that are experts in their field, smarter than you and knowledgeable about the mission. I think it’s also great when a possible team member contacts you first because they sought you out.

Speaking a second language is important because…

Most of our vendors are foreign. We communicate on a daily basis with vendors and English is their second language. There is always something lost in translation.

What social media platforms do you engage in the most?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr

Describe your networking style.

When networking, I just take a genuine and honest approach. I will tend to lend my help to their efforts first, before ever asking for help with mine.

If you were giving a graduation speech to college students what would the title of your speech be and provide three reasons why.

The title would be “The Power of Choice.”

  1. My experience has shown me this to be true. I started making money when I started pursuing what made me happy. I had to make the choice to do it.
  2. Your destiny is created by the choices you make, not the excuses.
  3. We have too many ways to get from A to Z, not to be successful. You, know Uber will pay you to drive friends places, and finance you a car to do so. You can make you own schedule with them. So now you can have a car, make money, and make time to follow your dreams. It’s all about the power in your choices.

Name your two favorite vacation destinations to relax and recharge and share why.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic because of the food.
Turks and Caicos for the peace and tranquility.

What are you reading and your two favorite books?

Currently, I am reading The Art of Living, a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell.

What are your two favorite books?

  1. The Bible
  2. Girl Boss

Name three business leaders and political leaders who inspire you.

  1. Myleik Teele, CEO of CurlBox
  2. Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta
  3. Jack Dorsey, Creator of Square Up and Twitter

Name your favorite sports team and hobbies

Dallas Mavericks is my favorite basketball team.

Traveling and exploring is my hobby. My free time is spent traveling and blogging on those experiences. I think it makes me a better person.

Name two of your favorite quotes that motivate you.

“If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs.” –Dhirubhai Ambani

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.” –Eleanor Roosevelt


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