Menerville was on her feet throughout her shifts and didn’t have paid sick days, so she’d typically work through an illness to avoid missing a paycheck. These conditions prompted her to seek additional streams of income.
Nia Menerville, 21, spent most of her teens working as a hairstylist and loctician, someone who specializes in helping clients loc their hair. While she earned a steady income working full time, it came with a strenuous price.
In 2019, when she was 19, she launched The Loc God, a beauty company that sells hair-care products dedicated to those with locs and natural hair. The products offered include a loc-retwisting gel, detangler, shampoo, and conditioner, and they range from $8.50 to $90.
In the three years since, she’s worked with notable clients, including New York Knicks player Derrick Rose, and netted more than $6.1 million in lifetime sales, which Insider verified with documentation.
The Loc God products.
Menerville, who goes by the nickname The Loc God, bootstrapped her burgeoning business, which means she funded it without taking venture capital. Here’s how she built her hair-care brand.
The Loc God
Using a social strategy
While Menerville worked as a hairstylist and loctician, she sold clients wholesale gel, bonnets, and silk scarves to supplement her income. But sales were meager. “People think that I came up with one thing and it just hit,” Menerville said. “But it didn’t work out that way.”
To generate more sales, she tapped her social-media following. Menerville took the products she made and promoted them on Instagram, where she had thousands of followers. From there, sales took off, and Menerville began selling products nationwide. Staying a solopreneur
When sales started to increase, Menerville asked members of her family if they wanted to partner with her. She hoped to both gain a business partner and help her relatives with money, but they declined to invest $1,500 for a 50% stake in The Loc God. “Looking back at it, it was so crazy to offer someone half of my business,” Menerville said. “I didn’t even need the money, I just wanted to be in business with someone.”
With nowhere else to turn, she stayed the course as a solopreneur. Today, she still owns 100% of the business and runs it full time. She’s also Rose’s personal loctician and aims to build a salon in New York City soon.
“The denial was really God’s plan.” Menerville said. “I had to be bootstrapped.” She also applied for a bank loan, hoping an extra $50,000 would be a cushion for her scaling startup, but her application was denied, she said.
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