by Donna Michele Ramos, Contributing Writer
Behind the scenes of hard work and success are two sisters from Los Angeles who have built a hair care empire. In 2006 Sharie Wilson and her sister Tonya Thompson opened DreamGirls Fine Hair Imports and Salon. Sharie Wilson runs DreamGirls Hair Salon here in Elk Grove and her sister Tonya runs DreamGirls Hair Salon in Culver City in Southern California. THE HUB spoke with Sharie Wilson and also Sharie’s business partner – son, Isaiah Lewis to learn more about the salon’s success and plans for the future. Isaiah Lewis is the oldest son of Sharie Wilson. He is a student at Cal State Northridge in Southern California. He is also very involved in the family business, DreamGirls Fine Hair and Imports Salon.
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THE HUB: Sharie you have been interviewed and featured by Black Enterprise, Forbes, American Salon, Buzz Feed, Hype Hair, Hello Beautiful and many other news outlets. Which article made you feel like you’ve made it?
WILSON: The first one was Black Enterprise; I was like wow. And then when Forbes did an article on us, I was like okay something is going on here.
THE HUB: When the pandemic hit and you had to close your shops, what thoughts went through your mind? How did you come up with virtual consultations? I never would have thought you could do that. Can you walk us through a virtual consultation?
WILSON: I am good with money and savings, so my main concern was for my girls, I had to get us back to work safely. Owning a cosmetology school, I know what to do to be safe. We understand everything is about to change. I had a calm and peace about it. We didn’t know what was going to happen. We started the Healthy Hair Care program and product line for our out-of-state clients in New York, Atlanta, and Tennessee. Now with the pandemic, our regular clients can use our products to continue achieving their hair care goals at home. And we want to help new customers care for their hair too. At the virtual consultation we make sure to see the hair, open to the scalp. We talk to the client about their medical history, ask questions about iron and Vitamin D. We come up with a plan: go to the doctor, recommend hair vitamins, show them how to take pictures and recommend what protective styles to wear. Some customers follow up 3 months later and we direct them. They do all the work at home.
THE HUB: How long have you and your sister Tonya worked on your hair care line?
WILSON: We started in 2012, it was a start and stop thing. One of my BFF’s since high school, Brian Smith and his wife Seak, came up in November 2019 and pushed me to focus. He asked why I hadn’t started my product line? He held me accountable and helped me with the legwork. We went to Whole Foods. My kitchen looked like a lab. We experimented with rosemary and peppermint and that is now included in our hair care products. My son Isaiah who is 19 years old wears several hats for our business. He talks to the vendors and also the attorneys. My nieces, the twins, do all the marketing for our business.
THE HUB: How were you able to pivot during the pandemic in terms of your business?
WILSON: I think outside the box and thought of started doing virtual consultations. We focus and market our hair care line like we are supposed to, for maximum exposure.
THE HUB: What’s the first thing you felt when you reached $1 million in sales?
WILSON: Isaiah saw it and sent us a text message. When we saw the numbers we were like wow! The Thanksgiving sale reached $100,000 in 4 hours. Tonya said we’d do $300,000 that weekend. We went live and the phones went crazy. Tonya brought that to fruition. I was there, but Tonya spoke it into existence.
THE HUB:With all of the success behind you, what plans for the future can you share with us?
WILSON: We are expanding our product line this year and coming out with a moisture line, leave-in moisturizing conditioner and a product for curly hair is in the works. When my mom and dad passed away, my sons and nieces were close to them and our business helps them refocus and regroup. Working in this family business with us makes them feel close to their grandparents.
THE HUB: Isaiah what is your official title? Has it been difficult to fit this in with your college schedule?
LEWIS: My title is Director of Operations. I cultivate the image and I am involved with the daily operations of business, fulfillment, and finance. I’m training a new customer service agent now. There are lots of micro-managing, time management and coordination with my mom, my aunt Tonya and cousins Hailey and Cydney. We come together when we need to.
THE HUB: What’s the biggest challenge of running this platform so far?
LEWIS: Our family dynamic makes it comfortable but also difficult. But it is most rewarding and challenging at the same time.
THE HUB:How do you come up with the specials and sales?
LEWIS: Lots of people are involved. We have 2 marketing directors. Hailey does digital marketing, analytical and Facebook, etc. Cydney is a creative director as she is responsible for photoshoots and influencers. We all collaborate together, like hey this is coming up. I also make sure our site is running and I am responsible for the back end.
THE HUB: What platforms are DreamGirls on?
LEWIS: Instagram, Facebook, DreamGirls website and Google ads, etc.
THE HUB: Anything that you would like to point out about your boss?
LEWIS: I report to my mother Sharie and my aunt, Tonya. I’d like to point out their strong work ethic, how creative and business savvy they are. All they have accomplished is from their own will. My mom has been an entrepreneur my whole life. They’ve taken the opportunity they were provided and provided an opportunity for our family too.
For more information contact: DreamGirls Hair Salon at one of their two locations:
9090 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624, 916-686-5030
5441 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230, 310-313-2000