Tech Entrepreneur, Diishan Imira has a very inspirational story of how he went from teaching English in China to building a multi-million dollar company in Silicon Valley, which is shifting the power of the billion dollar hair extension industry to black communities and stylists. Stemming from a single parent household, the 37 year old entrepreneur left his hometown of Oakland, CA at the age of 18 to attend Hampton University. Still unsure of what he wanted to venture in, Imira moved to China to teach English to 4th and 5th graders.
He started importing sneakers and sent them back home to Oakland to make money. When he saw how much money he could make, he moved to Miami and would travel back and forth to China to import furniture. He turned his condo into a showroom where he would sell couches and sofas to people off of Craigslist. His business took a hit when the market crashed and he found himself back home, living with his mom. He had many side hustles at the time from valet to yard work. During that time he also had an eye for Silicon Valley and went back to school to get his MBA and learn about the business. It wasn’t until a family member asked him to get hair extensions from China, that he dabbled into the hair industry. He started buying hair from China and selling it out of the trunk of his car. He visited various salons and formed a partnership with stylists by creating them their own websites to sell the hair. It offered another stream of revenue for them as they would receive a commission.
He noticed that 95% of black salons did not sell any products, including hair. Vast majority of consumers were going to buy the hair online and from beauty supplies. There was a major gap for how hair was being installed and Imira filled that gap when he launched Mayvenn hair back in 2013 alongside COO Taylor Wang. Mayvenn, which is an Oakland based provider of real human hair, partners with hair stylists, especially the ones that rely on styling with extensions. The stylists direct their consumers to purchase hair from the company which essentially utilizes the stylist to leverage sales. To date, Mayvenn has grown a network of over 50,000 stylists and has a networth of $100 million. They have also raised over $36 million dollars. Some of their prominent investors include Serena Williams, Andreesen Horowitz, Essence Ventures, Jimmy Iovine,Steve Stoute, Andre Iguodala (of the Golden State Warriors), Cross Culture Ventures and Impact America Fund.
Mayvenn continues to flourish as they introduce a new and convenient feature to the business. Their new business model allows women to get their hair installed for FREE. In the competitive market of hair, Mayvenn is doing something unprecedented which is cutting the total cost of getting your hair done in half. They teamed up with top-notch stylists who benefit from their partnership with Mayvenn because they’re getting new clients. Customers will be able to choose their own stylist out of a network of the best stylists around the world. Once you buy the hair, everything else will be taken care of, essentially making it a one stop shop for hair and styling needs.
For more information about Mayvenn click here.
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