Women continue to position themselves as leaders in entrepreneurship. According to CNBC, women entrepreneurs will be the force to reckon with in 2017. Tate Arnone, originally from Zimbabwe, owner of Sassy Secret, online shop for luxury hair extensions and lace wigs, is definitely a force to behold, running a million dollar debt free business. If that isn’t impressive enough, she is a wife and mother of 3, including a 5 month old daughter named Zoe. When asked what separates her lace wig company from competition, without hesitation Tate Arnone says, “…superior customer service.” Since 2009, Sassy Secret has stood out as a brand that offers competitive prices and high quality products. CEOMOM Magazine caught up with this budding entrepreneur to find out her “sassy secret” to success.
What inspired you to start a business in the hair extension and wig industry?
I was struggling with taking care of my own hair. When I discovered lace wigs I thought it was an amazing way to get glamorous. When I was shopping for lace wigs I felt there was a void. It was hard to find wigs that were high quality, shipped quickly and were cost effective. I became frustrated with only finding wigs that were $1,000 and more.
I’ve always been entrepreneurial. Since I like the product [lace wigs], I thought I could design my own wigs and sell them. I design a lot of the looks and I work with a factory to produce them. I tell them how to do the different curls and cap construction. I didn’t have a lot of experience in the wig industry as a maker or designer. The experience I have is wearing the wigs myself.
What separates Sassy Secret from other online hair extension and wig companies?
I would say superior customer service. That’s one of the things I have spent a lot of my energy on, making sure we have the best customer service, especially shipping out the products quickly. Ninety percent of the products on our website ship within one to three days. When our customers want their hair, they want it now. We stock all of our wigs. I have a warehouse and I have someone who does shipping and handling. If they order the wig by noon that day it ships out the same day. We also have somebody who answers emails and calls. If you call our customer service line you will speak to a live person who is well versed in the wigs. They can help you pick out the right wig for you. We also have live chat Monday through Friday.
Congratulations on running a debt free business. What is the key to maintaining a low or zero debt company?
When I started the business I got a small loan from my husband of $1000. Instead of spending my profits, I reinvested my profits. I was still working full time at my job. I would get off at 5 in the evening, come home and make dinner and then run my business at night. I did that for 4 or 5 months before I left my job. During that time I had the money from my job and from selling the wigs which allowed me to keep reinvesting the money in the business instead of buying things or paying bills. I did that for 2 to 3 years before I started paying myself a substantial salary. I think it goes more to my philosophy. My husband and I took a class with Dave Ramsey to learn how to live a debt free life. Spend what you have. That has been my philosophy.
What is your biggest challenge as it relates to balancing a successful company with a family?
I would say it’s balancing the time. Your business is like your baby. I’ve had to learn to balance the 2. I make sure that I am prioritizing my family by putting them first. I try to schedule my time for work during the day. At night when the kids go to bed is when I work. I work a lot at night so that I have time during the day to be with my son and daughters. During the weekend I try to keep my phone away. My weekends are dedicated to my children and my husband.
To learn more about Sassy Secret, visit http://www.sassysecret.com/.
By CEO MOM