Visit full Poof It Kickstarter Page and contribute Here
If you know me by now you should know I LOVE supporting other women, especially other young black female entrepreneurs. A few months ago I saw this cool hair accessory floating around Instagram. My inner product junkie got the best of me and I decided to give it a try. After using the Poof It for a while, I totally fell in love with this super simple and sleek hair accessory. Poof It is a hair accessory that makes styling naturally curly hair simple, easy and safe for the hair. After using it a few times, I was pretty much sold as I created the most effortless high puff I’ve ever without snatching my edges in the process.
Now I want you to support the creator, Jennifer Harris, as she launches her Kickstarter campaign to take her business and product to the next level. And if you’re wondering, no I do not know her personally. This is not a sponsored post and I am not getting a kickback of sales. This is just simple support at the core. Now a little more about her company…
Textured Talk With Jennifer, Creator of the Poof It
Textured Talk: What made you decide to create the Poof It and how has your experience been so far in terms of creating a product from conception to reality?
Jennifer: There were a couple reasons why I decided to create the Poof It. It started off as an immediate need for myself. I was very frustrated with my short natural hair and needed a way to style my hair easily and safely. Hair ties and elastic bands just did not cut it. They were not created with curly/kinky hair in mind. I took it upon myself to create something that would ease my frustration. As time went on, I ran into other ladies with natural hair that would ask me “How did you style your hair like that? What did you use?” That is when I thought to myself, why should I keep this to myself? If other ladies need it, I feel obligated to make this available to everyone who needs it. It was not until 2 years after I created the product for myself that I even thought about making it for the rest of the natural/curly hair community.
My experience in has been absolutely amazing and frustrating – at the same time. The amazing side of creating a product is seeing the end product, and then to see other people excited about it because they finally have the thing they needed for so long. The frustrating side is how long it really takes to bring something from concept to reality. No matter how much you plan, things do not go the way you think they will go. Everything takes 3 times longer than expected. I can say it is not easy, but it is definitely worth it.
TT: What do you say to people who say “Oh I can just cut a hair tie and make this myself”?
Jennifer: That’s a great question and something that I receive often. I tell them I have cut a hair tie before in my natural hair journey, and it absolutely did not solve the problem I was facing – versatility, damage-free, ease of use. The Poof It is a hair tool that is damage free for your hair because it is 100% satin. This product glides through the hair and does not tug on your edges. Also, the materials that I use for this product grants the ability to style your hair how you want it and not by the limitations of what a hair tie or an elastic band gives you. If you want a high puff that’s loose, you can do that with Poof It. If you want a high puff that is tight, you can do that too. The versatility of the product is limitless.
TT: I remember you won the Cream of Nature Color Makeover hosted by CurlBox last year. Were you able to use that opportunity to further brand and get the word out about Poof It?
Jennifer: Winning the contest was a complete surprise, and I was definitely able to leverage that to get the word out about my business. Honestly, I was trying to get back into modeling at the time, and I thought why not put my entry in for the contest. A lot of people say that things happen for a reason. This was it. The makeover opportunity happened the exact month I was taking pre-orders of my hair accessory. Purely, it was just meant to happen that way. As people were able to keep up with my makeover, they could scroll through my Instagram and see that I had my hair accessory in the works. I also was able to make lasting connections with people who worked at Creme of Nature and Curlbox that have granted me some of the opportunities I have today.
TT: What’s been the biggest moment for Poof It so far that’s amazed or shocked you?
Jennifer: The biggest moment for Poof It has been the recent collaboration with Creme of Nature for their Perfect Edges product launch. They put together a great launch, and I am so thankful I was able to be a part in it.
TT: Why did you decide to use Kickstarter for the Poof It crowdfunding campaign vs. the other million crowdsourcing sites offered?
Jennifer: Kickstarter was my first choice because, from my research, it ranked the best in delivering the message of a brand’s campaign and most used by other people. When people hear Kickstarter, they know what the platform is. Also, many other platforms are meant for either raising money for a personal reason or a specific niche. I am trying to send the message that the reason my product is on Kickstarter is not just to fundraise. I am using Kickstarter as a way to tell the why of my product and what value it can bring to you. I am also trying to send the message that this is not just another natural hair product created just because. This is a real solution to a real problem.
The funds that I will raise will go towards the first large-scale manufacturing order. Included in this first large-scale order, we will launch additional colors to the line and the official packaging/
TT: What advice would you give other entrepreneurs trying to launch a product on their own?
Jennifer: I have so much advice to give, but to keep it brief, I will only give a few points.
Do not give up: It will be hard – harder than you would ever think, but do not give up. If you believe in what you are creating and you feel it will make a real difference in other people’s lives, hang in there. You will hear a million “no’s”, but trust me, it only takes one “yes.”
Read and Listen: Reading, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube videos of other entrepreneurs giving business advice is the only reason why I successfully created a product and have customers. I absorb information from various sources constantly that tell me about how to build a marketing plan, manufacturing, accounting, the dreaded “dark days” and how to push past the hard times, and much more. Nobody is going to tell you how to create a product, launch it, market it, and sell it. You have to go out there and educate yourself. Reading, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube videos of other entrepreneurs giving business advice is the only reason why I successfully created a product and have customers. I absorb information from various sources constantly that tell me about how to build a marketing plan, manufacturing, accounting, the dreaded “dark days” and how to push past the hard times, and much more. Nobody is going to tell you how to create a product, launch it, market it, and sell it. You have to go out there and educate yourself.
Be fearless in your pursuits: This is a new lesson that I learned, but it is so valuable. I am a shy girl. A lot of people who meet me in this industry do not seem to think so, but it is true. I was afraid of selling and talking to new people. I was afraid of pitching my product, but I had to get over it. You should too. Your next opportunity could be knocking at your door, but if you do not ask for it, you will not get it. One thing that has helped me get over this fear is to learn everything there is to know about my product and practice saying what you know out loud. The worst someone you can tell you is no, but like #1, all you need is one yes. 😉
TT: What’s next for Poof It and what new things should we lookout for?
Jennifer: If the Kickstarter is successful, I hope to roll out more colors! This has been something that has been requested for the last few months. A lot of women in the curly community like to play with red, light brown, blonde hair and all sorts of fun colors. It would be nice to have a Poof It that matches everyone’s hair color.
To contribute to the Poof It’s Kickstarter Campaign click here.
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