We’ve been following Gina Knight AKA The Wig Witch metamorphosis from beauty blogger to wig entrepreneur in fan girl awe! Creative, expressive, cool, and always interesting, Gina unsurprisingly has a strong following on Instagram and has used her platform to harness a hugely successful wig company. We’re always interested in discovering how the magic is created behind the IG filter, and Gina generously shares with us her poignant story of how her wig line came about due to a pretty stressful period in her life, and also how despite her success she sometimes has moments of doubts
What inspired you to create The Wig Witch?
In 2012 I suffered from Telegen Effluvium which is a form or hair loss or thinning caused by PTS [post traumatic stress]. It can be brought on by illness, a very stressful period or even childbirth. Mine was a result of my PND and other stress related issues after the birth of my first child. I was misdiagnosed for over a year and the hair loss got quite bad. So I started experimenting with wigs and at the time, I was a quite well known beauty blogger, people would see my wigs and started to ask for me to make wigs for them.
Were you quite confident that your brand would be successful?
I was actually quite reluctant to begin with. I didn’t think people would really want my wigs, I think this was a little to do with my illness and lack of self-belief. So many people were asking me to make wigs for them and began sharing their hair loss stories with me and how hard it was to find natural- looking wigs for black women. Their stories prompted me to start my business as I realised there was a huge gap in the U.K. market for natural looking wigs that truly protect the hair without the use of glues or adhesives. The vision has always been about education and hair health first.
Did you face any challenges when you began your own business? What lessons have you learned along your journey?
Time was a huge challenge in the beginning. I was a mum, and also worked full time so finding the time to start my business was hard, and because it took off quite quickly I almost didn’t have time to think about what I was actually doing. I took a giant leap of faith and went part time in my day job to create my business. I learned that bravery is needed when going into business, and a lot of faith in yourself.
How would you describe your typical customer?
The Wig Witch clients vary. Many of my clients suffer from hair loss issues and are first time wig wearers. So a lot of time and care is needed. I try to guide all clients and give honest advice. This has paid off as The Wig Witch has a lot of repeat clients and I pride myself on my customer care.
What advice would you give to young women who harbour the desire to start a business but lack the confidence to really go for it?
Be brave, nothing grows in a comfort zone. This is for all women young and seasoned. I was in my 30s when I started The Wig Witch. If you have the drive you can do anything. If you can’t start something straight away take small steps towards it.
What advice would you give to a budding indie black beauty business owner on how to create a thriving brand with limited resources?
Be honest with yourself. A lot of people try to do too much too soon. Work within your means and don’t try do it all once. For most skill based businesses your biggest asset is yourself, your skill set. Don’t waste initial budgets trying to keep up with brands that have a lot of money to put into it. Build slowly, take care of your clients, avoid spending too much on packaging and photoshoots for social media. Work on having an effective product or service. Invest in that and the rest can be added later.
Who would you consider your ultimate beauty entrepreneur inspiration famous or otherwise?
One of my biggest inspirations is Hadiyah Barbel, the New York based Emmy award winning wig stylist. Her business ethos is a huge inspiration for me and is definitely what I hope to achieve in the U.K. I’m also inspired by Kay Montano, Charlotte Mensah, Subrina Kidd and Sophia Hilton who all have amazing entrepreneurial spirits and have all found a niche in the hair/beauty industry whilst remaining true to themselves.
What have been some of the most profound learning experiences throughout your entrepreneurial journey?
As someone who has come from nothing and has had their fair share of life trauma, it’s been pretty hard for me to believe in myself and appreciate my successes. I’ve learned to pat myself on the back and see what others see without having such a harsh and critical analysis of myself.
What does 2018 have in store for your brand?
The Wig Witch brand will always be geared towards client satisfaction. 2018 will see more exciting elements for my clients, such as workshops and online Wig making courses. And an IRL base so I can better secure my clients haircare needs.
To find out more about The Wig Witch visit here.