Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amy Bush, Founder and Educator of Ambushed Curl Academy, located in Columbus, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Ambushed Curl Academy is an online school providing an intensive course designed to provide fundamental skills required for servicing naturally textured curly hair. The program is inspired by the Curl Immersion Program, which is the education required for all stylists employed at my salon, Ambushed Salon.
The student that is most likely to be interested in this course is any licensed hairstylist seeking to acquire knowledge of naturally textured curly hair. A student may be a newly licensed stylist or an experienced stylist looking to expand their education. Most of the students will have limited previous knowledge of natural curls, although some have extensive knowledge and just love curl education.
Tell us about yourself
I received my cosmetology license in 1990 and completed barber school in 1991. It was in the early 2000s that the awareness of natural curls was starting to become mainstream. In 2008 I went out on my own as an independent stylist. This is where I started to market heavily to the natural hair community.
In 2010 I launched Ambushed Salon, a salon fully focused on just naturally curly hair. By 2011 I was already working on the Curl Immersion Program (internship) to train new stylists joining my team.
A few years after that, I started to think about an online course. Education was changing rapidly, and I saw other industries starting to incorporate virtual learning. And I strongly believe that we as an industry were failing our clients by not being able to service the curly individual due to lack of knowledge. When the pandemic arrived, I finally had time to convert my vision as it was in the dream phase into a reality, as an actual online platform.
Since then, I have conducted multiple beta test classes, and at the beginning of 2022, Ambushed Curl Academy was launched officially for hairstylists. My passion and mission are to reach as many hairstylists across the globe as I can, sharing and inspiring. I believe that expanding hairstylists' knowledge to include curl education will provide more financial opportunities and a higher level of satisfaction in their personal and professional lives. To me, this is a success!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
That would have to be the compiling of so much information into the online education platform. Not only because it is so much information but also because of the immense learning curve for me in so many aspects. Learning computer programs, editing and creating videos, social media, marketing, and the list goes on.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Dividing time between the salon and creating the Academy. In other words, trying to prioritize time and mental focus where it is needed the most. Dealing with impostor syndrome. Running your own race and not comparing your own talents with others. Often feeling alone and not having enough of a community for support and encouragement. Or the importance of making time to connect with your community.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find your passion.
- Create or learn systems to be efficient and effective.
- Surround yourself with knowledgeable individuals within the company and outside resources.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Starting and growing a business is very much like having a relationship. It will only rise up to meet you at your level. Working on your own self-awareness and combining the importance of a solid system is the key to success. Your business is an outward reflection of the inside of its leader.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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