Quote Of The Day

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

Booker T. Washington

Shakeela Tolasade Williams

Founder, Sade Hair

Country: Nigeria

Like most entrepreneurs, Williams is brave, but she doesn’t let it go to her head, the place where she makes her money.

She quit her job at a bank to pursue a career in the ever-growing hair extension industry. Without much of a plan, she travelled overseas to find a supplier.

“I made over £20,000 hopping from shop to shop meeting different clients all over London, wherever and whenever, selling hair extension basically out of the boot of my car,” she says.

It was an eye-opener. There was more money to be made in this industry. She branded the company and sold her car, borrowed money from family and invested all her initial earnings into a boutique store, in the UK, in February 2013.

“I employed around four members of staff during the course of the boutique opening and sold custom products and hair extensions amounting to a £150,000 turnover within my first two years.”

Williams says customers flew in from all over the world to visit her store. There was room to grow.

“I already have a reseller in Alberta, Canada, who has been with the company since 2015 and also in Sierra Leone. I have single-handedly held over three events in London and in Lagos, Nigeria, at the Oriental Hotel, bringing together new and local businesses to exhibit at my event and I hope to further expand in Nigeria by 2018,” she says.

In 2014 alone, Nigerians spent $440 million on hair. Williams is knee-deep in this multi-million-dollar industry.