"Take it one day at a time. Get a good night's rest, wake up early, cross things off your list! Set a plan and see it through." - Ashley Sebok, Founder of Sayblee haircare products.
We sat down with Ashley Sebok, Founder of Sayblee a haircare company to learn more about her inspiration and story.
Q. Tell us what prompted you to start your venture, Sayblee?
Sayblee was originally created by my mom, Sayblee Darsale. As a hair stylist, she met client after client seeking refuge from damaged hair and hair loss. Frustrated with the products on the market filled with harmful chemicals and false promises, she decided to formulate her own solution. So, she created a completely natural and organic hair care system and sold the products to her clients at her hair salon at the time. In 2016, my mom had an injury and we had to close the shop we had for 17 years. This is when I came onboard full time with Sayblee. Seeing the potential and results of the products, I wanted to help take these products to the next level and make it a fully sustainable business.
Q. What has been your greatest success so far in your entrepreneurial journey and why?
Transitioning from a fully functioning hair salon to relying solely on product sales was a difficult one. We had to find new sales channels. We began working local farmers markets and trade shows. Being able to get to a point where product sales could support ourselves and the business was a major milestone because there was a time where we weren’t sure how the sales would come in. Also, being selected for WIN Lab was extremely important to me. I feel that going through the WIN Lab program, I have learned so much and applied these lessons to our business. I have also been among such talented and driven women!
Q. What is one of the most important things you have learned while building your venture?
I’ve been told “don’t let better be the enemy of good”. I have learned to not be held back by wanting things to be just perfect! It’s okay to go through the progress, it’s okay to show growth.
Q. What are your top three must-read content sources for entrepreneurs, e.g. websites, blogs, podcasts?
- Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed, a small book of compiled quotes to help me stay present.
- Lean Start Up by Eric Ries, and
- I follow @entrepreneur on Instagram. They post inspiring quotes and video clips with advice from successful entrepreneurs. I’m also so guilty of watching Shark Tank on a regular basis!
Q. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by my mother and her strength. Originally from Liberia, West Africa, we moved here to seek refuge. My mother moved us to the United States in 1994 when I was just two years old, leaving behind her home country Liberia which had just begun what would be a 14 year civil war. My mother chose to focus on hair in the US as it was a longtime passion of hers, and it also afforded the flexibility needed for a single mother to care for her young daughter. She first began by taking clients from our small apartment, was soon able to open her very own salon…. And even invent a complete line of products.
Interested in joining the next WIN Lab cohort of women entrepreneurs? Head here to learn more about our application cycle!