In 2014, Taryn Gill published her last magazine after 18 years in the media and marketing industry, to brave the world of entrepreneurship. Although building a credible hair care brand has left her with a fair share of sleepless nights, Taryn says it was only when she started her own business that she felt as though she was finally ‘home’.
While many people fear the change from employee to entrepreneur – mainly for the stability factor – for Taryn, the transition was a natural one. “I went from 18 years in media and marketing to running a small agency, The Perfect Score (2010 – 2014), which targeted the South African black female,” she says. “When I started my own hair care line – The Perfect Hair, I drew on the knowledge and expertise I had acquired over the years. This helped me take a professional, authentic and well-curated product range to market.”
During the research phase, Taryn was looking to produce female-centric marketing solutions that spoke to the African female consumer segment. After discovering a range of US curl care products, she was sold. At the time, there was nothing like this in the South African market. Identifying a gap, Taryn took the leap.
“I started out with a website and soon migrated into Sorbet Candi&Co salons, Edgars and Clicks stores nationwide. After more than two years of product development coupled with my hustle to get into stores, I finally landed a major order for Edgars. It was then when I decided to go on a national roadshow to personally market my products in-store. It made me immensely happy to see a growth curve!”
The Perfect Hair’s marketing approach is unique in that the company rotates ambassadors to test and review its products. “We have more than 100 ambassadors rotating in and out of the family, and they have always been my strongest voice. They have the freedom to create and connect with The Perfect Hair without my interference. A fine example is the 2019 Hair in the City shoot, which I simply love. Ambassadors connect with the brand and what it stands for; it’s a trust they have in our locally-manufactured product, made by someone just like them, for them.”
According to Taryn, The Perfect Hair’s biggest sellers in the curl category are the conditioners, everyday leave-in stylers, and treatments such as those for hair growth. “The ideal way to ascertain your consumers’ wants, is to listen to their needs. We do these in this various ways… via social media campaigns or pop-ups around the country where we get to personally interact with our customers.”
As with any business, the challenges were many – from cash flow issues to navigating the South African retail scene. “No one can prepare you for the sleepless nights or the major financial and brand risks you will need to take,” Taryn shares.
In the last year, the company made the decision to re-structure and re-innovate its ranges to reach more shoppers; ultimately to trim down to lean and scale up for growth. “We partnered with the smartest distributor in our category, Sunpac. Even though re-structuring was a challenge, we can already see the rewards. I have the privilege of doing what I am passionate about: curating and creating curl care for a consumer category that is basically myself, which is incredibly fulfilling.”
For more information, visit The Perfect Hair website.
Author: Candice Landie