Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jo DeSerio Jones, Founder of Curlcraft Education, located in Portland, OR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Curlcraft education is an online course created for hairdressers around the world who want to build the confidence and skills needed to master curly and wavy hair, elevate their careers, and grow their businesses. The program teaches a creative and intuitive visual approach to cutting that is adaptable for all heads of curls, styling, and client communication, along with business-building practices needed for growth and client retention. These things are not being taught in schools, yet they are so important in today’s world if you want to excel.
Tell us about yourself
I’ve been a hairdresser for over 35 years and am currently a curly hair specialist working in Portland, Oregon. I have curly hair myself, and growing up, I hated it and was determined to get rid of them, which is what led me to become a hairdresser. After years of unsatisfactory haircuts and continuous struggles, I began cutting my own hair. By reading and analyzing it, I began visually dry cutting it and eventually figured out how to manipulate it so it would be manageable. I finally had the hair I always wanted.
I moved cross country at the end of 2018 and was starting my career all over again and rebuilding my clientele. Due to the positive online reviews I had, I was booked solid on my first day in my new city, and my business quickly took off as incredible reviews continued coming. I was blown away and completely moved by the love. All of this made me realize that I had some valuable information that I needed to share! These methods are all part of the Curlcraft course, which offers the blueprint I used, laid out step by step for fellow hairdressers. I share everything I know with students near and far with hopes of helping other curly-haired people overcome these same difficulties, essentially by educating their stylists. I have always felt that no one should have to struggle the way I did. I truly feel alive in what I’m doing. I just have to get it out there!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think the biggest accomplishment for me was being voted best hairstylist in Portland in my third year living here and best salon finalist in my first year. That was huge for me after a big cross country move and starting my career over later in life!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being a business owner means having to wear many hats, and for me, the hardest is managing social media. It’s one of the most important things today because it’s how people find you, but it can also be a full-time job. To tackle this, I try to break the content down into categories and use a spreadsheet.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- My best advice is to know your target market/ideal customer and have a plan. This is the person you will be speaking to moving forward, so the more you know who they are, the easier it will be to connect to them.
- Organization is another essential part of running a business. Calendars, reminders, and planners are definitely a must. Being structured and devoting time are also parts of organization but take a break when needed to avoid overload.
- Hire help and build a team when you need it. The fastest way to burn out is to try doing it all yourself. You cannot grow to a large scale on your own.
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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