If you want to start a business, chances are you have a plan. You have some kind of structure on how things are going to go, you know what you want. Sharmadean Reid knew what she wanted when she founded WAH nails. She’s even been awarded an MBE for her work.
She describes the original WAH salon as “a hang out spot/community centre/clubhouse for all my cool, creative girlfriends to sit and chat, read the latest fashion mags, shoot the breeze, catch up on gossip, watch an old episode of TRL, listen to the new Beyonce album, talk feminism, talk fashion, talk politics, obvs get the sickest nails ever and frankly do whatever the hell we wanted. If I wanted to sit and paint nails til 11pm drinking wine then I could. If I wanted to listen to Pon De Replay 20 times in a row then I would. And if a celeb wanted to stop by without being hassled by fans, they would!”
She had her goals and visions all aligned, but her real goal was to open a mini-salon in Topshop. Now she’s written an inspiring essay on Medium about why she closed it. And it’s inspiring.
“I’ve never had a mentor and trust me, I’ve made mistakes. I had to learn on the job and I was totally naive about running a company. I was a young brand consultant and stylist when I started WAH Nails, making great money and living a great life, but only responsible for myself. Running a company is a whole different ball game and the last 6 years has taught me so much!”
In this essay, she shares not only why she made the decision to close her Topshop salon, after never saying no to anything, but also what she’s learned over the past six years of entrepreneurship. Some of these lessons are amazing, and a real example of the fact that closing something down to keep your brand values isn’t a failure.
“From a customer point of view, we were a perfect match with Topshop, they represented London cool girl and so did we. But every single relationship comes with compromise and at the time, I thought I was ok with it. But just like having a boyfriend who doesn’t like your edgy haircut, I felt like I wasn’t being myself.”
Read the whole essay here and let us know if you were as inspired as we were!
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