When Kechi launched Long Lovely Locks two years ago, she thought she could do it as a part-time endeavor.
But demand far exceeded her expectations, and she quickly found herself overwhelmed trying to juggle a full-time day job and her growing hair-care company. She would get home from work, and try to find time to make the products and process the orders. She found it difficult to keep up with the demand.
"I wasn't 100 percent business savvy," Kechi concedes. "I went through a lot of growing pains, and I've learned from them."
In February, she quit her job to devote her full time to Long Lovely Locks.
"It wasn't an easy decision," Kechi says. "But I realized that a lot of people really use and depend on my products. It wasn't really just about me anymore. It was worth giving it 100 percent."
She is using the many lessons she has learned -- some painful -- to make Long Lovely Locks better company. The products have all been repackaged, and she now sells larger sizes of best sellers such as Coco Light. Kechi knows that some customers got frustrated in the past, and she has vowed to make customer service her No. 1 focus. Her turnaround time now is less than a week, she says.
While she has has made adjustments to enable the company to grow, Kechi says she still makes the products in small batches, using the best natural ingredients.
And her vision for Long Lovely Locks remains the same -- to gather ingredients that are good for the hair and use them to create unique products for people with curly and kinky hair. As a part of the company's new direction, Agbasi says the ingredients for each product will be posted on her web site.
Long Lovely Locks was created when Kechi saw a picture of the back of her head, and was shocked at her hair's damaged condition. She vowed to change the condition of her hair and began taking a closer look at the products she as using. She saw they were loaded with chemicals, and decided to concoct her own using her knowledge of aromatherapy, essential oils and other natural ingredients.
Her line quickly grew to 25 adult products and seven Lovely Child products. Such products as Coco Light, Curly Custard and Curls de Light developed a large following among women with a variety of curl types.
"I'm hoping people will give us another chance," Kechi says. "I want people to know we're here and we're doing it full time, and we have a lot of new exciting products in the works."
Selected Long Lovely Locks products are available in CurlMart