Mosena Azard set out to establish a beauty store and salon where everyone is welcomed.
Tell me the story behind Chateau Beauty Supply. What inspired you to start your business?
I always wanted to open a beauty shop, but found in some cases that I was treated unfairly or even mistreated in some salons. I wanted to make a difference and change that.
As a single parent, I didn’t have the money or resources to start. COVID played a big part in this – and made me want to give it a try. If I failed at least I gave it my all. I wanted to better and empower myself, and believe that anything you want to do is possible if you put your mind and heart into it.
Describe your experience working with your Michigan SBDC consultant (how did you hear about the Michigan SBDC, how long have you been working with your consultant, what services have you utilized, etc.).
I have been working with Jamaal Ewing, Michigan SBDC business consultant, from the beginning – even before I had my store. I wanted something on the northwest side of town – making it more convenient for the people in the area and away from a lot of competition. It was months before I found anything but when I was presented with the space, I went for it and built it up from scratch.
I’m seeing more traffic as people start to realize there’s a beauty supply in the area now. At first we had no customers and no products (due to COVID). We expected to start small but the supply chain issues nearly killed us. We listen to our customers to determine what they need and manage our assortment that way.
What are some challenges you faced in getting started and how did you overcome them?
Any business will face challenges. I try to take one day at a time, and don’t let negativity bring me down. The challenges make me better– it helps me know what to invest in and how to get better.
At first it was tough to keep up with the bills and the inventory. I even went back to work because I wasn’t making enough money from the business. I tried to get a grant but didn’t qualify so I self-funded the business through my savings.
What’s next for your business?
I want to grow! I am trying to find capital so that I can expand. As my volume continues to grow, I want to increase my inventory and create more jobs. It’s hard for me to hire people when I don’t have enough profit. I’m still working on establishing the business but I am looking for more sources of capital. The area is getting busier so more traffic is coming in. Also, a new website is in the works.
What advice would you give to others who are struggling to get started?
Don’t give up. If that’s your passion, keep going. Leave everything up to the Lord because He will take care of the rest.
Headshot Photo by Doug Sims Photography