Braiding and it’s socio-economic importance- took center stage in “Braids” a Lupita Nyong’o short for Vogue! The young star is using her clout to reshape dialog on issues relevant to her. Well executed it opens dialog not just with broader audiences , but among black women themselves as to the greater value of wha tessentially is a ritual to many.
Taking care of black hair is a social ritual that often crosses into economic sustainability. Since before the time of Madame CJ Walker, women have paid to have their hair “done” and in the diaspora, Thursday, the day maids, got half day, often dubbed Maid’s Night Out was when many got “done”. This was a major day for hairdressers and barbers. across the diaspora. Outside of that taking care of of “doing” hair, is a bonding time. A time to catch up, to share,to open up! It is intimate and healing…
If you daughter is going to college hair care training is a definite plus… that is if she understands how to run a “stoop” business. A stoop business is an at home version of a store business, usually open just to friends and those you trust. They are extremely informal and not structured as say a “kitchen table business”.
However Lupita is not the only one who has trouble “taking Money from friends’. I have the same issue, as an individual and with designer who now operate on a professional level Local business is about “doing business with friends.’ Now if you are willing to work in the open spaces say parks, coworking spaces etc then extending to strangers is possible. Remember though you need to cover cost and use paypal to avoid cash issues keep hair in place and can be not only a life saver but a healthy easy alternative. you can earn your chops working in a salon whatever the hair type or sex as well as take hair workshops and classes. Skills such as wash, blow outs, sets , cuts & curls are basic. everyone needs them. So too are adding or maintaining extensions. For college Braids save time and keep hair healthy.
PERCEPTION IN VALUE
At the core of this is the question of “Perception of value.” it is at the core of most issues relating to commerce and growth iin the black community. Youth and college programs is an excellent “space’ in which to manage “CHANGE”.
You do not get paid simply because you have a degree … you get paid as am exchange for your time and skill… your “value points’. The degree, the certification is a standardized “proof” that you a qualified. In certain fields the “proof” is more tangible,in some it is a matter of taste. With teh first time th ejob is done… fashion, beauty, makeup housework, you usually can tell after the first execution if the work is “satisfactry”. At that point value becomes “personal” what is the value of this to the person reciving, and to the person giving. The core question becomes… do you value your time and skill? Do you value the skill and time of your “friend”.
What would you accept?
What affects how you are perceived… and how can you shift increase how others percive your value… Trust me sometimes simply stating it and having a discussion around it makes a lot of difference.
“I’m doing this so I can pay tuition, it’s worth X amount, but because you are my friend I’m charging you 1/2 of X. How does that sit with you and do youthink others would be comfortable with this?”
Other Tips for Doing Business with Friends…
- Set a ritual- such as payment on entrance, or at the half way mark..- payment first works better- braiding, designing is a social intimate activity. the customer even a stranger becomes comfortable and lets down their gaurd. Setting the procedure first eradicates the unease.
- Have a sliding scale and discuss this with your friends… regular rates are $Y.00 but Friend pay 75% or 50%. That also extends to “subscription which means you have a standing time and client so every week for is $x weekly.
- Barter- If your friend works at a restaurant and has, say, meal benefits- “in-kind” is as good as cash. When you’re in college having a meal delivered each evening or twice a week is PRICELESS.
- Have specials for slow periods… of the week, month or year. Doing work at bargain rates when you papers are due can be frustrating…
- run a tab, lay away or “store credit” or prepaid system… work with when cash is in hand.
- if you cannot charge for the braiding- then how about products… buy hair supply products in bulk and charge a flat fee – slightly higher than market… Package enough supply till next visit. in other words sell on value.
- Or sell hair accessories – the point is figure out where the payment is coming from…
- If you still can’t charge- really make it a “party”! charge for the party and sell stuff from a catalog…
Then again college is a training ground and self employment, even in college is about discipline as is learning how to run a profitable business! In every business real friends will support so when making a business plan… Plan to accommodate them.
Now if you are the friend on the “buyers” end, have you considered what your friends service is worth. If you are about community, are you playing fair with the community’s resources? What is investing your friends time and talent worth in teh long run? Are you really savings towards your needs , or is that money save being spluged outside the community, and simply for pleasure? Questions to be answered, conversation that need to be explored.Email This Post Print This Post