If there is one thing women care about, it is our hair! Meet Ricola Elizabeth, everyone. Ricola Elizabeth is a successful entrepreneur and owner of Perfect Distraction Hair Gallery. We’re so excited to share her love for hair and beauty with you, while also sharing her story of entrepreneurial success. So, let’s get into it!
Tell us a little about Ricola Elizabeth as a being: “I am a very fun and loving person. I love to laugh, I love to talk and did I mention I love to laugh? My friends would refer to me as ‘goofy’ because I’m always cracking jokes. My witty personality has also given me the title of ‘life of the party.’ Some people say I should be a comedian, but I’ll stick to doing hair instead.”
What is a typical day in the life of Ricola Elizabeth? “A typical day for me is answering emails, messages, texts and direct messages. When I’m not looking at my computer screen, I’m either packaging hair or styling hair. For the past few months, I have been attending Cosmetology school to be come a licensed stylist. School takes up a lot of my time, therefore, I work my schedule around school. However, I just finished cosmetology school Oct ’15! Woot-Woot! Go Me!”
How long have you been an entrepreneur? “I have been an entrepreneur for 2 years now. I started Perfect Distraction January 30, 2013.”
Share your story with us. How did Perfect Distraction begin? “It’s actually pretty funny how Perfect Distraction began. December 2012 I was fired from my job, I was a cashier and sales rep for a local beauty supply store in Augusta, Ga. Like most people, I began looking for a job ASAP, but I didn’t have any luck. At the time I was a junior in college, with no job, bills to pay and no money. Well I had a little money, enough to pay my rent for the next few months while I continued my job search or enough to invest into a company that I had very high hopes for. Yep, you guessed it, I spent all the money I had and invested it into Perfect Distraction. My initial thought was, “oh I’m going to make the money right back.” I’m so glad I had people to support me because that’s exactly what happened. To my surprise, I made more money in the first 2 months “hustling,” than I did the previous year working at the beauty supply store. Now you know I was too excited and that excitement has led to my company’s growth. I started my company selling one texture of hair, now I sell 5 different textures, I sell 7 different hair care products and I sell flat irons. Sometimes I can’t believe Perfect Distraction is actually a company that I started with my little brain. I smile from the thought of it because within 2 years I’ve experienced a lot of growth within my company. However, with most companies you do have challenges. Honestly, I’m my own biggest challenge. I’m a huge procrastinator and I’m unorganized. It’s a daily struggle for me, but I’m improving daily because I know my dreams are bigger than myself. I understand that my dreams will not work unless I do, therefore, I make myself do things I don’t feel like doing because a dream with no action is only a dream.”
What has your entrepreneurial journey meant for you so far? “My entrepreneurial journey means so much to me. Sometimes I reflect about my accomplishments and my eyes get watery because I’m actually proud of myself. If someone would have told me I would be the owner of my own company three years ago when I was slaving in the beauty supply store, I would have laughed because “how could a country girl from the south be her own boss?”–at least, that’s what I would have thought then.”
What do you feel you offer through your craft that might be different from other hair stylists? “One of the things that set me apart from most stylists is my personality. I’m a people person, I will literally talk your head straight off your shoulders! However, the past year people have grown to like my wigs. I always create different color wigs that attracts people’s attention. Even though I hate coloring hair, most people contact me for their coloring services. I’ve grown to like coloring hair, but most people think I love it–I don’t.” She laughs.
Do you have any other hidden talents besides being a hair stylist? “Actually, I do. As a child, I loved drawing. If you ever visit my parents house, you will see a lot of my drawings hanging on my bedroom wall. Also, I made a portfolio of a lot of my drawings I drew as a teenager. I haven’t drawn in almost 10 years, but it’s like riding a bike, right?”
What does being a hair stylist and entrepreneur mean to you? How did you decide on this particular career? “Being a hairstylist and entrepreneur means a lot to me because it allows me to help people feel beautiful about themselves. As a hairstylist, the best feeling is watching a client’s reaction when she loves her new hairstyle.
I don’t think I really chose this career, I think this career chose me. I say that because I have been doing hair since I was a child, literally since I’ve been in elementary school. By the time I went to college I was over the idea of doing hair, most people didn’t know I knew how to style hair until I was fired from my job. Being fired from my job was actually a blessing in disguise because my extra free-time allowed me to promote my business and build my clientele.”
Do you have a favorite creation from your career so far? “One of my favorite things to do is sew-ins. I can literally do sew-ins from sun-up to sundown and not realize how tired I am until I sit down and think ‘dang, I’ve been doing hair all day.’ Like the cliché says, ‘Do something you love and you will never have to work another day in your life.'”
In what environment and/or mood do you feel most creative? “I must admit, I’m different from most. I don’t watch TV, I like sitting in the dark and I don’t sleep when normal people sleep. I’m most creative in this environment because I feel free and it gives me peace of mind. I complete most of my daily tasks between 2am and 5am. When the birds start chirping, I know it’s time for me to go to sleep.”
Describe your craft in a single, concrete word or sentence. “SPONDIFEROUS.” (A combination of A combination of spontaneous, different, wonderful, and glorious.)
What is the one message you hope to be carried through your work for years to come? “One message that I hope to be carried though my work is that I am a hard worker and I absolutely love what I do.”
Do you have any words of encouragement for other hair stylists/entrepreneurs who are following a path similar to yours? “My advice to other entrepreneurs is not to let someone who gave up on their dreams keep you from living yours. Not everyone will understand your journey, but that’s cool because it’s not their journey to make sense of–it’s yours! Let’s be great together!”
Is there anything else you would like to share with TGC readers? “Anything is possible! I believe in speaking things into existence. If you can mentally believe it, then you can physically achieve it!”