Category Archives: wigs

The business of inspiration part 1

This week , the show was about business, and as it happened we recorded the show early at the site of a new business. It also happened to fall on International Women’s day – which was lucky! 

I asked a few of my lovely friends to discuss pros and cons of business, and it was interesting to get prospective from people’s personal experience. But it was also empowering that the respondents were all female. Because of this I wanted to spot light my amazing and inspirational friends.

Firstly we have Donna Bull MUA click here for her facebook page. Her biggest tip for being self employed/running your own business is to keep on top of paper work. She also suggested using Joist which is a great application that you can download onto your phone or tablet to help you create estimates and invoices. Donna also suggested making sure that you don’t spend all night on your phone. With much business being conducted on line, it is easy to forget to switch off. If you are interested, Donna is a fantastic makeup artist, face and body painter. She is based in Slough.

Lisa and David had a couple of suggestions – Lisa said that you shouldn’t try and learn everything at once, there is a lot to learn. Just the way it goes. And her husband David offered this bit of advice: Try something, if it works repeat it, if it doesn’t build a hypothesis on why not, then test that by trying something new, if it works repeat, if it doesn’t loop till it does. Cashflow is king for first 3 years, spend your cash wisely. Enjoy

Lisa owns and runs Espiritu Salon & Spa in Radlett click here for their website, and  click here for the Facebook page. The Salon is a gorgeous place for a mini spa day, a quick treat or a little general upkeep. Very relaxing, with a fantastic range of treatments and I recommend a visit at your earliest opportunity! 
Lisa also has a blog – go check it out!
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Katherine – who has taken a break from running her Etsy store, Handmade by Ify had this to say : Definitely the paperwork as Donna said, but also, if building the side hustle around work then it’s about being organised with your time, that’s where most people go wrong when starting a business. My main struggle was balancing motherhood and side hustling whilst working my day job… Also be patient if progress is slow at first, always be thinking what can I do in this down time? When times were quiet for sales at etsy I always built up more inventory and started designing for the following seasons stuff. Ify has taken a break from running her store – she initially started her store while at university, but after finding herself in full time employment and with a new baby wound down the shop until she could find a better work life balance. I am patiently waiting the big reopening!
Hazel runs Jax ‘n Boo with her husband as well as being a part time model – and online wax melt (and accessories) business and has the following advice: Learning to seperate business and home life, that Facebook message on you page doesn’t need to be answered at midnight when they sent it lol. Utilise social media to access a wider audience. Paperwork I agree with what Donna says, keeping on top of it so there’s not the end of year tax return panic. If you are creating your own product, pricing it correctly and not undervaluing… Oh and to remember it’s your business and livelihood, I always struggle cos I want to help people out, that’s not the way to earn yourself a paycheck though lol
 I highly recommend their products, some of my friends have had the starter kits inflicted on them as gifts – great value! I find that they are not too strong so even if you or another member of your household isn’t a massive fan of scents in the home, I am sure you will find a compromise! If you are interested, click here for their website and click here for their facebook page. 

 

Last (for this blog) we have the lovely Gillian who runs Emerald Wig Emporium Click Here for the website and Click herefor the facebook page- she is also a fantastic costumer and cosplayer! So you will be hearing more from her as I have picked her brain about a cosplay blog I am putting together. I haven’t approached her yet about the Lady Gaga wig suggestion we came up with on the show so watch this space! Now, this is what Gillian had to say : Yeah, the paperwork side of things is huge, and can become an issue down the line if you don’t get on top of it from the start.
I registered as a private limited company, Directors etc., from the very beginning, to protect my family in case there was ever an issue in the future (you must always think ahead). This meant a million times more paperwork, costs, effort and confusion – including all sorts of official scary paperwork and vat returns after the first 6 months.
I’m very organised anyway, and my hubby is an auditor/quality manager/systems developer so having him helping me was priceless. He’s created stock databases, automated order sheets and so on. Absolute time savers.

Try to restrain yourself when it comes to giving out freebies. While I’d only love to give all the wonderful people I’ve met through wig wearing, a free wig as a present, it still costs me to purchase the wig and then ship it…..this money comes out of the funds for advertising, promotional material flyers etc. and brings in no profit which can be used to increase stock variety.
It is a business after all, and if you intend growing a business, you always need to aim to increase stock variety etc.

Work hard, but have fun. I love what I’m doing, and that makes all the difference. There’s no effort involved when it’s something you enjoy.

Be fair to yourself and ignore the negative Nancy types. Hehe! You’ll never please all of the people all of the time. Dream big, and go for it.

Now I am more than honoured to count these people amongst my friends, all inspirational, finding their own path, and happy to help when and if they can. Donna is a stunning makeup artist, she genuinely can turn her hand to it all and will not hesitate to give you tips and advice, Ify is such a kind and generous person – she will help create anything you have a mind to make. She is also the inspiration behind my ‘clashes but matches’ fashion approach. Lisa and David – these are just the kindest, sweetest couple. Will do anything in their power to help and are good to have if you need advice. Hazel is a sweetie – she has had some setbacks in the last 12 months but instead of allowing it to break her, she has come back with a business. Gillian is fabulous – she has put a lot of time and effort into her new business, and is happy to share her experiences. Gillian is not only a great business woman, she is a fantastic cosplayer and I love seeing what she comes up with next. When thinking about what or whom inspires you… you don’t have to look far. Have a look at the people in your life and see what they have done, what they are doing. Every day people are setting new goals and challenges and it is fantastic to see people helping each other, building each other up. 

 

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All tangled up!

So, I have done a couple of posts recently on caring for your wigs. Well…. I don’t always care for mine. I try my best, and what I have previously shared is best practice. But what if you have something in mind for your wig? 

I bought a long, blonde crimped with in the sales early last year, I love crimped wigs, but having naturally dark hair, I wasn’t sure what blonde would suit. This blonde for me, felt too light… so it wasn’t ever going to be in my daily rotation. As you can see from the featured image, I have had a little fun with the wig 🙂 And that I am the Queen of derp faces – I cannot take myself seriously, clearly not a model heh

I was asked by a neighbour if I could come and help at her daughter’s birthday party, and we somehow agreed that I should do it dressed as Elsa from Frozen… so the wig was transformed, which to be honest was pretty easy! 

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The only thing you really need to be aware of when styling a wig like this, is making sure that the wig cap is covered. As these wigs are not really designed to be pulled up and around you can easily show the cap, and even worse (especially if you have dark hair) your own hair line!

I don’t think I made a bad Elsa, all things considered, and thought that would be the end of it. I could drag the wig out for make up, if if anyone needed an Elsa wig (or a plus size Elsa LOL).

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Early last year, I got talking to Wechselberg (Wechselbalg Facebook Page – give him a like!) about Hazel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and we were both inspired by the witches, more so the concept art attached (which is another post!) and I knew exactly which witch I would tackle first. You see, I like a challenge – I had a wig I didn’t really care for, so it was the perfect excuse. 

So I set about making the wig resemble the hair of my chosen witch, including plaits and braids, tangles and general untidiness. I had no intention of ever returning her to her former … glory? So I really had a lot of fun, back combing, pinning, sewing… just treated the wig as badly as you can imagine!

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And this is the result of my hard work! I really had a lot of fun, and it felt quite liberating treating my wig with such disregard. The worse I treated her, the better she ended up looking. It was the first time I really put together an entire outfit to complement my makeup, and it turned out rather well!

I haven’t really had any cause to use the wig again, but figured it would be beyond my capabilities to get her back to normal, and that I might need a message up wig again. Into a cupboard she went.

Until thursday, when my friend called and asked if she could borrow my ‘elsa wig’ … well, like I said earlier, I do like a challenge. I knew the basic principles, combing out gently, fabric softener, steaming, washing in warm water, and praying to the gods of good hair. 

The wig started out like this:

 

And I honestly thought I would be at it all weekend, I figured I had four days to get it to the point it could be put back into a braid and look like an ‘Elsa wig’ again. I sat down in the bathroom with my trusty backcombing brush (ironic I know) and slowly started brushing the messy dreads out from the bottom. I then started on the various braids that had been backcombed so they would stay in place and not unravel. It took 40 mins, and then I brushed out my wig. I was honestly expecting to take long, it was a lot of fluffier but washing would help that. Because I had not applied heat while restyling the wig, it bounced back so to speak. 

After it had been brushed out, I soaked the wig in a lukewarm bowl of water with wig shampoo – any mild shampoo or fabric softener works equally as well 🙂 and dried it overnight.

As you can see, she turned out pretty nicely, and is now braided up as an ‘Elsa Wig’!

(please excuse my lack of a top, I was about to do some body painting!)

While I am not for a moment suggesting that would should all back comb your wig to within an inch of it’s life, it is doable, and you can get some great results, and wigs can be rescued! 

If you have found that your wig it damaged, nearing the end of it’s life, and you are lost as to what to do, you can always speak to Scarlet von Trapp who did an amazing rescue on a wig, which really was beyond my ability! 

 

 

Revenge on thou wig!

Okay, so you have your wig. You have even worn it around the place a few times. It feels okay but you’re still not entirely sure what you are doing. That is fine, that is why I am here!

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What you might feel, is that it just looks a little unnatural, no roots, a little shiney… so there are a couple of things you can do to help you feel more confident when wearing your wig!

How about adding some roots to your wig – you can do this to both natural and colourful wigs. It makes them feel more natural and can even help hide a lighter coloured wig cap. If you are unsure, I would start with eye shadow to practise. This will give you an idea of the finished result. You can then upgrade to mascara and even using sharpie pens to help make things more permanent. The first 2 can easily wash out.

Another thing that might help give you a little confidence is using hairbands, and hats. Like I said in my earlier post, it is fairly unlikely that your wig will come off. But some nervousness around this is understandable! The colder months certainly lend themselves to practising – using hair bands, bandanas and beanies among others to hold your hair in place.

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But what happens when you take your wig off… how do you store it? Well I used to keep all my wigs on wig stands, but my collections has outgrown my ability to do this, so I split it between storing them in the bags that they came in, and wig stands. Wigs that I know I will be wearing a lot tend to stay on the stands, and the rest got in a wig bin. No matter where they are being stored, they are treated the same. I make sure that I brush through the wig once I have taken them off. It is important to start at the bottom of the wig and work back up to the roots. This will minimise any pulling and extend the life of the wig (the hair doesn’t grow back). Now if you find your wig is getting tangles and are struggling to brush through, don’t force it. There are a couple of things you can do to help.

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Firstly, you can use a spray, and there are a couple of different methods – one is using a mix of a cap of fabric softener in spray bottle of water. Alternatively you can use hair detangling spray or even a specialise wig spray. I like to make sure that I am storing my wig in the best possible condition so it is ready to wear next time.

Sometimes a simple brush won’t do, or you just realise you have worn it a few too many times and want to refresh the wig. Well then it needs a little wash. Please don’t be scared of washing your wig, it is simple and painless!

Now for this, you will need a sink/washing up bowl, towel, mild shampoo/wig shampoo. You need to fill your chosen container with lukewarm water – it is important to remember that the wig is effectively made up of plastic fibres and using hot water will alter its structure. All you need to do is gentle swirl the wig in the water and let is rest – I usually leave it for around 30 mins. Once I am happy it has soaked enough, I drain the water, then rinse any soap with cold water and wrap the wig in a towel – again about 30 mins because I don’t want to press, just get any excess water from it. And after this time, it gets popped on a wig stand and left hanging over the side of the bath overnight to dry.

And I promise, your wig will hold its shape/curl/wave when being washed!

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Now lastly, something people have mentioned with wigs, is that they can look really shiny, and this makes them look and feel more unnatural. Washing them can sometimes help take the shine off but if you want to do something a little quicker, and with immediate results, try a dry shampoo. All you are doing is spraying it on and finger combing it through. I would personally recommend trying out a couple of different travel size before committing as they are all different so they will vary. You are looking for a dry shampoo that has a fine spray and won’t leave a white residue. Really the same thing you would be looking for when picking it for your own hair!

I really hope that this has helped you gain a little more confidence when wearing wigs, if you have any questions or comments please drop me a line!

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http://revengewigs.co.uk/ – and remember to use Gill15 for a 15% discount on your order!

Online shopping … customer… served?

So… the internet… it is a bright and beautiful thing, but can also be a dark and scary place… especially when you are shopping online. It might be one thing to buy a product locally, where you can go and speak to a human being if something goes wrong.. but emails, telephone numbers… you are never really sure if you are being treated as a person or a reference number.

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I thought I would have a look at customer service from 2 different companies that I have dealt with online, one big, one small.. and what my experience has been.

Now the first is Urban Decay http://www.urbandecay.co.uk/     a large international makeup company renowned for its Naked Pallets. Well I was lucky enough to receive one of their pallets for my birthday this year. I wouldn’t have tried their products without this prompt, as I am nervous about spending so much money and not really being sure if the product will be a good match for me.

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This is of course a big issue for us when buying on line, especially if it is for the first time. So when I received my pallet and tried it I was blown away… yes, they really do live up to the hype people. I then decided to give some of their eye liners a go, both stick and gel liner, as this is one product I find difficult to get right. When the gel liner arrived, it looks … well it didn’t quite look right, so I emailed their customer service to check if it was a dud, or if it would be okay. I didn’t really want to use it and find myself having negative experiences if it wasn’t in tip top condition.

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I got a swift reply, apologising for the product, and asking if I would send it back to them to check, and replace as needed. This sounded good, I am usually reluctant as the postage can almost cost as much. But it was free, and I put it to one side to do when I next went to the post office. Well, a week later, I realised it had gone missing… couldn’t be found anywhere. I was panicking because I was sure they wouldn’t hold the ticket open forever and I didn’t want them waiting for something that wasn’t on its way. So I emailed and explained the situation. I was assured that they would put a hold until it was found.

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Well I won’t say how long it took to find it, I had given up on ever seeing it again when one afternoon it was on the mantelpiece… my BF explained that he had found it and put it there for me. Well.. I emailed Urban Decay and apologised for everything, explaining it had finally been found etc. I received an email back again saying that it isn’t a problem and I could send it to X address. I was more than surprised considering the time that had elapsed.

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I am waiting for my replacement – it isn’t like for like, as the product i had initially bought is out of stock so have negotiated a replacement which is on its way. I have to say, the quickness of replies, and the interactions i have had have galvanised me to spend more money on Urban Decay. Which is really one of the primary reasons companies, big and small should be investing in good customer service. To be perfectly honest, I would have been happy without the replacement, I wasn’t expecting it and the level of service I had received in my initial interaction had left me with a positive experience.

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Now, onto a small, relatively new company that I have mentioned before, Revenge Wigs. When I first came accross them via Instagram the business was not actually live, so a lot of the emails were updating me on progress, ETA’s, some delays (I say delay, like a day or two). But I won’t go over that, you can see my review in an earlier post.

I have continued to buy from Revenge Wigs, and the level of customer service has not diminished, there is an immediate email to confirm that my order has gone through, and again once posted (next day if done on a working day). The wigs are always labelled and there is always a handwritten note inside. It is little touches like this, that make the whole experience more personal. It feels as if you actually matter to the company and are not just another sale.

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As a new start up, I really was hoping that everything I had experienced when I first bought a wig would continue but actually figured it would just be an opening gambit and it would be ‘business as usual’ going forward. But Revenge Wigs are active on both IG and FB so you feel more involved, and even had a new website since launch. (the new website looks amazing, go check it out http://revengewigs.co.uk/)

I did have one stumble in my relationship, which was a wonky wig – not the fault of the business. I fully expected to have to put up and shut up. How would the business be able to confirm there is a problem with the product and not me, or my head.. without one or both of us paying out to return it. It was with a heavy heart that I contacted her. I realised that a lot of wig companies do not accept returns (for valid reasons) and I was so disappointed in the wig. How dare it be wonky. But, within 30 mins, Revenge Wigs responded with a return address and confirmed they would refund me for the wig and postage (which is over and above what I had expected). The wig was refunded, and I responded as any reasonable person would …. by buying another wig 😉

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I am sorry if you were expecting a negative post, I wanted to let people know that it isn’t all doom and gloom when buying online, especially with the shopping season upon us. We are all working longer hours and finding time to shop locally isn’t always easy. (conversely I am a big promoter of shopping locally – I am just a realist)

I realise that it is hard for new businesses to compete with larger, and established companies, as Revenge Wigs have found, by relaunching their website. It is all about first impressions and honestly this is no different from window dressing on the high street. If you make your website look good, easy to access, and give people an easy way to contact you.. it will make people more confident in buying from you. And as you can see, it really doesn’t matter what size, or how old the company is…. customer service is important and it is becoming more important now we are doing most of our shopping online. Be confident when shopping online.

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