Danie Wilks is the CEO and founder of Danified Co. which specializes in selling and installing texturized hair extensions that resemble a silk press with lots of body. After a multitude of followers reached out to her seeking mentorship, Wilks is obtaining a license in cosmetology, barbering, styling and nail care from the Empire Beauty School in Kennesaw, Georgia, and has about nine weeks left in the program.
Wilks shared three tips that aspiring hair entrepreneurs should adopt.
What made you want to become a hair educator?
For a long time, I was one of those that [would] always give free advice. I do have a disciplined work ethic. I have always been like that. Even when I wasn’t doing hair and when I thought I didn’t want to do hair anymore. I went to college, I got a degree, and worked in my field; I didn’t always feel a need in that space. People would just ask me for advice or say something and I would just go, “Okay, just do this.” Then after being in the industry for so long and with social media becoming so prominent, I was getting more and more [direct messages] and I’m just doing my regular stuff, I’m not promoting classes or education. I’m just working in my space.
As we all know, people are watching and I would get [direct messages] and emails [that said], “Well, I know you don’t know me, but I enjoy your content, on your social media page, or I enjoy your website. Do you mentor?” I’m like, me [as a]mentor? Not really. Even though I wanted to be an educator in that space, I let my fears and anxiety hold me back. Until finally, one day I was like, “It’s just going to be whatever it’s going to be. I’m going to put my foot out there and see where the wind blows.” Then it took me three years to enroll in the actual program. I kept saying, “I could have [already] done this.” So, here we are.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs in the hair and beauty industry?
I would say, stand in your truth. What I mean is whatever you want to do, just do it. It’s okay to be inspired by social media or by other counterparts, but you need to stand in your truth with whatever that is. If the lane looks scarce, and you still want to go down it, that might be your mark in the world, so don’t be afraid to do that. With standing in your truth, you have to be consistent with what you’re doing, it doesn’t happen overnight. Then it’s like everybody is trying to go viral, and everyone is trying to be seen, and I get that part, but viral doesn’t do anything unless you have a plan. Having a plan of action, being consistent, standing in your truth as whatever your brand is, [what] your niche is, that is what’s going to carry you far.