Interview with owner DeAnna Gantt
What drove you to start HairbyDVG?
I have been doing hair since middle school. I loved it so much that I enrolled in beauty school my senior year of high school. I graduated beauty school and moved away from my hometown to attend college. I returned back home to Michigan and decided to start my business in my hometown.
What does your business mean to you?
My business has been my life for the past 22 years. I get the opportunity to connect with people from all backgrounds of life. I get to make people not only look good but feel good about themselves.
Describe your experience working with the SBDC.
I was connected with SBDC during a family drive to Chicago. I was looking for help with my business in response to COVID when I ran across the Muskegon Pitch Black Competition. I hesitated to apply and doubted I would make the cut.
Since winning 1st place in the competition, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the SBDC since November 2021. Currently, I’ve utilized the advice and help from my business consultant, Liz Hoffswell. SBDC has also opened other doors for me and my business with other organizations that offer assistance with financials, business planning, website and e-commerce website development, and many other business related resources.
How has COVID affected your business?
COVID has definitely made a huge impact on my business. It’s forced me to think outside the box– trying different trends that I would normally not have to practice which led me to incorporate a Cosmetology Apprentice Program at my salon since COVID. I decided to do this being a Licensed Cosmetologist Instructor for the State of Michigan. I love teaching and I love mentoring.
What have things been like for your business since winning Pitch Black? What’s next for HairbyDVG?
Since winning Pitch Black, things have been nonstop with one virtual meeting after another. I have not been able to hit the pause button yet. I’m meeting with website developers, Certified Accountants, restructuring my business, learning QuickBooks, planning photoshoots, as well as serving over 50 clients per week at my brick and mortar location.
As of right now HairbyDVG is looking forward to returning to the Grand Rapids area part time. Prior to COVID, I had started to build a client base in the area. With the huge impact of COVID, I was forced to close services to the area on a temporary basis. I look forward to returning April 2022.
Would you recommend the SBDC to your network?
I would definitely recommend SBDC. The resources that are offered for small businesses are definitely a need. Anyone who needs help should reach out to SBDC as soon as possible.
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