Fly Female Entrepreneurs: The Williams Sisters

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(L-R) Lauren Williams, Devon Williams, Tia Williams

A-list beauty blogger and editor Tia Williams is at it again! On the heels of the rebirth of her cult status blog, Shake Your Beauty, the highly sought after media maven is joining forces with her sisters Devon and Lauren to launch The Fly Cut. Think stylist and client match-making service meets Groupon for black hair. It’s fresh. It’s fabulous. It’s genius! Tia took time out of her demanding pre-launch schedule to chat with In Her Shoes about her latest endeavor. Here’s what she had to say:

In Her Shoes: Congrats on the upcoming launch of your newest venture, The Fly Cut! For readers who aren’t familiar, tell us a little about the concept:

Tia: My sisters and I always wanted to start a business together, and The Fly Cut seemed like the perfect venture! The economy sucks, black women need for their hair to look amazing. We just do. As a beauty editor, I have relationships with some of the top hair salons in the country — so we thought, why not share it with the masses by offering major discounts on top salon services?  Awesome hair at affordable prices!   The Groupons and Living Socials aren’t doing it. They don’t target black women and their hair, exclusively.  It seemed like a no-brainer. “The Fly Cut” refers to both a fabulous haircut and a “cut” or a discounted service.

In Her Shoes: A lot of people warn against going into business with family and friends so I love that you’ve gone against the grain to join forces with not only one, but two of your sisters! What has been the best part of working with your siblings thus far?

Tia: I love it, because we each bring something unique to the table.  I’ve been a beauty editor for 15 years, so I know the hair industry inside and out.  Devon’s a corporate and entertainment lawyer, so she’s the legal genius.  And Lauren’s the deputy editor at TheRoot.com, and just an expert on the online space.  I’m not saying this just because they’re my sisters – they’re truly the baddest biiatches I know.  With some great hair, I might add.

In Her Shoes: What are your top three “sanity preservation” tips you’d like to share with fellow mompreneurs?

Tia Williams: Do one thing for yourself, once a week – dinner with the girls, a deluxe pedi, a sexy date (with your husband or a future ex-boyfriend from Match.com). 2.) Get a lot of sleep.  At least 7 hours.  Force yourself to shut everything down at 10.  3.) Wear blush. It just helps everything.

In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Tia Williams’ shoes?

Tia: Omigod.  Should I lie or be really real?  My 3 year old daughter, Lina Lina Bobina, kicks me in the neck in her sleep around 7am.  I wake up, get her ready for pre-school, then come home and watch Laguna Beach reruns on MTV for an hour.  Then I write/answer emails/think about writing for about four hours.  I research hair salons.  I eat a Snickers.  I knock back a Percocet to stave off my daily migraine.  I finish the freelance magazine article that was due yesterday.  Watch The View on DVR.  Pick up Bobina from school, do mommy stuff, and then daydream about being an 18 year old crumper while watching So You Think You Can Dance.  Or go to a beauty event, if I have a babysitter.  I know you’re jealous!

In Her Shoes: As one of the original brown girl beauty bloggers, what are your thoughts on partnering with brands? What are the pros and cons you’ve experienced over the years?

Tia: Listen, I’m all for it.  As long as you maintain some integrity and your writing stays fresh and true to your own voice.  I notice some of these girls doing sponsored posts and things and, wow, they sound generic.  And obvious.  The reader can spot it a mile away when you’re working for the money.

In Her Shoes: Finding the “right” stylist has always been a challenge for me so I’m super excited about the launch of The Fly Cut! Was there a particular hair stylist experience (good or bad) that inspired this concept?

Tia: Welll…I don’t want to name one stylist in particular because I love all the salons we work with!  But I can tell you that there are few things worse than emptying your wallet for a salon experience that sucks.  The Fly Cut allows you to find your new favorite stylist without breaking the bank, which is fabulous. We like to refer to ourselves as “hair salon matchmakers.” Cute, right?  Devon came up with it.

In Her Shoes: The Fly Cut has been described as the Groupon for black hair. What are your thoughts on this comparison?

Tia: Generally speaking, it’s actually an accurate comparison…we’re offering discounted services in major markets.  The difference is that Groupon isn’t targeted at a niche audience…it offers discounts to a wide range of businesses, to a mostly white audience (and a good percentage are males).  The Fly Cut is specific.  It’s exclusively for black/brown women looking for hair salon discounts.  It’s by black women, for black women.  Which no one is doing right now.

In Her Shoes: What kind of exciting plans do you and your sisters have for The Fly Cut over the next few months?

Tia: We’re launching in mid-July in New York (our first featured salon in Miss Jessie’s in SoHo!), and then moving on to DC, Atlanta and Houston.  By next summer, we’ll be in all the major cities in the US!  Stay tuned, ladies.

 

As a New York City beauty PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

Carol Rugege says:

I love Tia’s nickname for her baby girl. I love how open and honest and realistic she was about how procrastination really plagues writers! I love that she’s working with her sisters and took matters into their own hands to fill the void in the market instead of writing to Groupon to complain about discrimination. This is a fabulous initiative that I’m sure all sistas will appreciate and benefit from! And what a fabulous opportunity for black business/salon owners! I really enjoyed this blog entry :-)

P.S. where can I get that amazing beaded cuff???