BBWO: BLACK BUSINESS WOMEN ONLINE

Erin Shell Anthony
Author / Salon Owner
Nappturosity: How to Create Fabulous Natural Hair and Locs
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"When I worked in Corporate America, so many women would approach me about how much difficulty they were having with wearing a professional natural hair style, and would invariably give up and go back to chemical relaxers, which can have a negative effect on the health of the hair," reflects Author Erin Shell Anthony, founder of adaru Natural Hair Salon in Indianapolis, IN. "It doesn't matter if you're in a corporate or informal setting, it's possible to wear your hair in a natural style! We have just begun to discover the freedom, beauty and versatility of wearing our afro-textured hair in its natural state," Anthony concludes.

URL: http://www.naturalhairbook.com


Erin Shell Anthony's Bio:
Erin Shell Anthony, a.k.a. The Nappturous Diva, grew up stressed over her tresses and decided to do something about it. Through her passion to help others live naturally, which extends into her first publication:

Nappturosity: How to Create Fabulous Natural Hair and Locs, she treks out daily promoting "hair-emancipation" to those who desire freedom from hair drama. In her she-time, she can be found browsing the discount bins of Whole Foods, looking for undiscovered natural ingredients for her latest hair concoction, pureeing veges to slip into her family's food in unexpected ways, and buried in the shelves of B&N reading 3 books at a time. As a well-respected speaker, Erin has conducted over 200 presentations on health, natural lifestyles and related empowering topics around the country in the last 3 years, and is the creator and founder of adaru natural hair salon in Indianapolis, IN.

Successful Sista Survey
Success Stories and experiences of Business Women that we all can relate to and learn from.

Did you always want to be a Business Woman?
Yes! I remember wanting a "holding company" for my corporations when I was in the 3rd grade! Really - I believe God created me to be an entrepreneur - to empower, inspire and educate, and to distribute information around the globe. It's my divine purpose! More specifically, I love being an author! I wrote Nappturosity: How to Create Fabulous Natural Hair and Locs in response to all of the women I met who needed the latest information on going and being natural. It's been an inspirational experience!

How would you describe your experience as a Black Entrepreneur?
To paraphrase through the songs of Jill Scott, it's been a combination of "Golden" and "I Keep" - the first song describes the beautiful feeling of freedom that I've experienced as an entrepreneur, and the second relates the attitude of perseverance through challenges that I've had to have. I'm thankful that God has allowed me to take this route, because it's taught me so much that now I'm blessed to share with others.

Looking back on your business decisions, is there anything that you would have done differently?
I've asked myself that question, and honestly, I feel as though every single experience happened for a reason, and delivered me to the point where I am now. One of the best things I did was surround myself with more seasoned entrepreneurs and mentors who helped me and poured wisdom into my life - one reason why I'm so passionate about sharing my experiences with others! The best advice I followed was to start small and allow time for growth.

Did you have any formal business training? Do you think this is important to be successful?
I have had business training - I graduated from Florida A&M University (Go Rattlers!) with an MBA and worked in Corporate America. I feel a business background is very helpful, but I always tell new business owners that the fastest and most important thing they can do to be successful is to go work for free with a business like the one they want to start. I've had people who were so excited about their business idea do this and come back saying "I'm SO glad I didn't go that route," and others who come away with the opposite experience, having learned new and different techniques they can implement to be successful!

What funding sources have worked for you?
I began my first business, adaru Natural Hair Salon in Indianapolis, IN, with private investor funding. This worked for me due to the relationship that was established with those investors by networking and becoming a "product of the product." My latest business, www.NaturalHairBook.com, was started by simply saving the money and funding with personal cash reserves.

How do you work on making your business grow?
I take opportunities to stay educated and connected - through sites like BBWO! We can learn so much from each other, plus, when you're serving a niche market, it's a good idea to be very familiar with that niche outside of your own experiences. Networking sites and events like conferences are excellent because they're packed with people who are going in the same general direction, the same flow! After attending events and on networking sites, I always try to follow-up with a handwritten card, call, comment or email to further solidify the connection.

What words of wisdom can you share with other business women?
The opportunities that I've had as an entrepreneur have been God-ordained, and I've learned to have patience and wait on His direction and inspiration...the best ideas I've received have come through mediation and prayer. I think it's critical to pursue your authentic purpose and ensure that what you do aligns with divine values and direction.

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Thank you Erin, for sharing your story with all of BBWO and sponsoring our first BBWO Contest. BBWO sistas are sharing their natural hair stories, and one will win your great book because of your shared knowledge and positivity!
The comments are coming in - it'll be exciting to see who wins!
Blessings to you, LaShanda, for the feature!
Great and informational! I am natural, but it wasn't the plan, I suffered and allergic reaction to non-toxic (yeah right) bonding glue and it was necessary to stay away from the relaxer...Now I am in LOVE with my hair and I've encouraged some relaxer addicts to join us (I can call them that speaking as a formal relaxer addict myself) Due to many years of research and seeing the effects of toxic ingredients in hair care products, I formulated my own. When you get a chance, please check it out. www.fabulousblackwoman.com
That is so true,Our inspiration should come from God.God bless for sharing your stroy

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