Zaynah Chantel: Be Real. Stay Beautiful!

Interview with Zaynah Echols, founder of Zaynah Chantel, a natural beauty product company.

In this episode of Your Voices, we bring you our exclusive interview with Zaynah Echols, founder of Zaynah Chantel. Zaynah Chantel is a relatively new company that produces all-natural hair care and skin care products at very affordable prices.

Check out my skincare products at #blackownedbusiness #flintbusinessowners

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Hello Zaynah, we’re very happy to have you on Your Voices today. Can you first of all tell us about yourself and your business?
Zaynah Echols
Well, my name is Zaynah Echols, and I just named my business after myself, Zaynah Chantel. It’s a natural hair and skin care business. I sell stuff for oily skin, dry skin, mostly natural hair. I have products for straight hair too, but I try to cater for people who have natural hair. I started my business almost a year ago because I wanted to make all-natural products affordable to people in my community, and I wanted to be an honest seller by letting people know exactly what’s in my products. I make everything myself, as is ordered, by hand, and I’m working on more products. Right now I have an all-natural eye shadow palette that I want to put out. I want to make products for men and babies as well. A lot of people ask me if I make products for infants and toddlers, but I try to not sell products to children below the age of 2 because my products have honey in them and you don’t want a child to have an allergic reaction to that. So I have to make some type of hypoallergenic that’s safe for infants and children. I’m just trying to come up with more ideas to make stuff available to people in my community at a lower cost.
Please tell about your business history. Is this the first business that you’ve created?
Zaynah Echols
Yes. This is the first business that I have created. I had my bachelor’s in psychology, I was going to school to be a therapist, but I really felt like that wasn’t the pathway for me. I’ve always wanted to open my own business, but I’ve just been a little intimidated to do it. That’s why it took me so long. I worked on it for 2 years before I actually launched it.
How was the setup when you were beginning? Did you face any issues with financing, accommodation for the business and the like?
Zaynah Echols
Yeah, I had to pay for everything out of pocket because I don’t have credit. I was working full-time at the time, so I spent all my money on that. Also, I had a hard time educating customers on the products. At first, I had to come up with a users’ manual, and now I’m trying to save up for a camera so I can just make video tutorials on how to use each product as the manual is getting so long because I keep adding products to it. And advertising, just getting people to support it has been tough. I have loyal customers and I want to grow my clientele so that is my current issue but besides that it’s been pretty smooth.
Talking about promotion, what are the means you use for promotion at the moment?
Zaynah Echols
Right now, I just use Facebook. I have a YouTube channel, but our camera broke so I don’t even utilize that. I have Instagram, and that’s it right now. I also want to start using periscope.
What is unique about your business that makes your customers love it? Why should a potential customer choose your products?
Zaynah Echols
Well, my customers tell me that they love my products because it makes them feel closer to nature, they can tell that it’s 100% natural, and they can tell the difference in their bodies. When they use them, there’s a quick difference. As far as skin care, I’ve had customers see changes in just 4 days of consistently using our products.
Let’s talk about support. How has support been from your friends and family?
Zaynah Echols
My immediate family has supported me a lot financially and as far as spreading the word about my business. They’ve been very helpful.
What are the stats of the business right now? Do you have a huge customer base? How’s revenue and how’s the business performing at the moment?
Zaynah Echols
It’s been an open year. I’ve only made a little over a $1,000 but I haven’t been advertising because I’ve been going to school so I’ve only been focusing on my studies. If had been advertising more I would’ve made more this year.
Can you tell us about your closest goals as far as developing the business is concerned?
Zaynah Echols
My closest goal, I guess, is I want to actually have a store, a shop that people can actually walk into. I try to look at places like Back and Bodyworks as my competition. So my biggest goal is I want to be that big. Right now, I want to start off by having my own shop right here in Flint so that people can try the products and see everything. I could hire employees, to make jobs for people, but I can’t afford that right now.
You have some wonderful ambitions and we would like to wish you success as you pursue them.
Zaynah Echols
Thank you.
Finally, what do you have to say to your potential customers? Someone who’s thinking, should I buy this, should I patronize this product, what do you have to say to them?
Zaynah Echols
I would say that I feel that it would be a permanent change, you wouldn’t regret it. It would be to better yourself because you can see the difference immediately. I have before and after pictures of people who have used my products and I ask my customers if they would like to participate in that, just to show other potential customers what it can do for them. Also, if they don’t feel like it’s a good product, they should just give me some input because I always like to make changes so that I can make my products even better for the customers. I use all my products myself, I try not to use anybody else’ products because I know what I put in them.

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