Entrepreneur, mother of twins (and also a twin herself) Ayanda Soares, is a six-figure earner via her boutique hair salon, House of Hair UK. The brand is infamous for providing hair services that are commonly known in LA & Atlanta such as; LA Weave, Micro Rings, Tape -In & Beaded Wefts and inclusive to all hair types, afro, caucasian and natural hair textures.
Ayanda started as a social worker in Reading and transitioned into doing hair once she realised how successful she could make with her natural skills. Ayanda launched her two-floor salon with an instagrammable touch, located in the prestigious area of Shepherd's Bush, near Westfield.
Another great example of turning a side hustle to her main business, here’s a bit about her journey to becoming a successful business owner in the hair & beauty industry.
“Dream big, plan and execute, if you fail, learn from it and start again.”
Tell us about yourself, who is Ayanda Soares?
I’m a hair extensions salon owner and extensions stylist. I help women transform their look with alternative hair extensions options. A business woman who helps women look and feel good about themselves.
What made you choose this as a career path?
I have always been passionate about hair and beauty and often done hair for friends and family as a teenager. I followed a more traditional path as a social worker but around 15 years ago decided that I wanted to create a “side hustle” doing hair to generate more income to travel and get my first car.
I gravitate to hair extensions for monitory reasons but quickly got a buzz for how simply adding length or volume to someone’s hair could bring so much confidence and happiness. I fell in love with this and started to develop my graft even more.
“Having a one stop salon space has been a dream of mine for many years.”
Tell us a bit about your journey, from the birth of House of Hair UK to your store. House of Hair UK began in my small studio apartment in North West London when I was in between my social care work and needed to create a side income. As I developed, the business turned into a one stop space offering over 10 different hair extensions options as well as beauty treatments all in one location.
You recently launched the salon, what was it like to get everything prepared? I won’t lie, to run up to open the salon has to be one of the most difficult times I had experienced. I gave myself very little time to renovate what was a yoga studio into a hair salon and this was nooooo easy task. However my family and stylist are incredible and all jumped in when they were needed to help bring everything together.
My biggest challenge was finding a good builder who could see my vision for the space and was willing to take risks with me. I recently found an old vision board of mind from 2016 and noticed that I had achieved so many things on the board with regards to my salon and it made me realise again that having a vision, plan, faith and taking practical steps is all we need to make things happen.
How did it feel when you officially launched the salon?
The launch day in the salon was so incredible seeing all my family, friends and clients coming to support and wish me well. Also, my husband and twin sister who have always been my biggest support being proud of what I had achieved from a part time side hustle to a business that employs staff and provides a space for others to create an income for themselves.
What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
A personal challenge has been self doubt and feeling like a fraud. The alternative hair extensions industry is heavily dominated by European brands and it has been a really challenging bringing awareness to a different demographic and at times, the direct challenge came from people in my community which has made me have doubts. This next challenge has not been the hardest but still a challenge and that is raising capital to move my business to higher level, there is not enough support available for small businesses to help them understand finance and bookkeeping first, then to help them access potent funds available to grow the business.
What advice would you give others who are on their own career journeys?
My advice to others would be to not be afraid to have a big vision and goal for yourself but don’t be afraid to change that goal until you find what works best for you. You do not need to “stay in your lane” or what others think your lane is. Dream big, plan and execute, if you fail, learn from it and start again.
Tell us a bit more about your masterclasses & how can people get involved.
I have recently relaunched my master classes following a spike in hair extensions correction appointments done by badly trained stylist, I believe in the industry and want to make sure both stylist and customers get the best. Stylist can join our mailing list on our website www.houseofhairuk.com for master class dates they are held in our salon every other month.
Is there anything you are working towards we should keep an eye out for? I have a few things in the pipeline but my main focus at the moment is our academy and re- launching our hairline with a broader hair texture range. We are planning overseas tours where I will be doing masterclasses in your fave destinations within; Africa and the US.
What is your Girls In Power philosophy/motto?
Not sure if it’s a philosophy but: take pride in what you do and power from those who tell you you can’t, you can do and be anything you can dream/think of.
Words by @shadedidthat