Vivian Kaye is the founder and CEO of Kinky Curly Yaki.
Kinky Curly Yaki is the premier provider of textured hair extensions designed to blend perfectly with kinky, curly and coarse hair textures. Kinky Curly Yaki was one of the first companies to make hair extensions for textured hair and launched at a crucial time when many Black and Brown women, who primarily wear extensions as their protective style of choice, were transitioning away from perms back to their natural hair textures and could not find extensions that blended perfectly with their hair. The business, Vivian’s second, was born out of her own desire to find blendable extensions that didn’t compromise her own style.
On this episode, I talk with Vivian about her career and entrepreneurial journey and the steps she took to launch not one, but two successful businesses in industries in which she had no prior knowledge or experience and how she’s been able to troubleshoot her way to seven figure success.
Insights + Takeaways:
- Navigating childhood as someone who didn’t fit into any particular “box” and how that served her later in life.
- Her decision to leave college early and the educational edge she had that helped give her an advantage in the job market.
- How she launched her first business by accident and ended up running it for five years while maintaining a full time job.
- The moment she knew she had to leave her full time job behind to focus on her first business.
- The real reason she started Kinky Curly Yaki and what it was like running two businesses at one time.
- How she’s dealt with the loneliness of entrepreneurship and coped with depression.
- Finding success in industries without prior experience.
- Why women entrepreneurs should celebrate their success and toot their own horns more.
- The decision that led to Kinky Curly Yaki grossing more than seven figures in one year.
Listen to Episode 36: