Written by: Jessica Dupree
Edited by: Craig Dewey Stanley
Against all odds Kay Chanel – rose to become a self-taught/self-funded Chicago entrepreneur
First-generation entrepreneur and businesswoman Kay’Chanel is living her dream as CEO of The Kay’Chanel Collection, a boutique wig shop owned by Kay’Chanel. Settled in the heart of downtown Chicago, the store is a result of a vision that she self-funded after many years of blood, sweat, and tears.
The Kay’Chanel Collection is known for its high, uncompromising quality and thin lace front wigs that mimic the scalp. With consumers of all walks of life from North American and beyond, The Kay’Chanel Collection has raked in six-figures of revenue to date. Her sales continue to skyrocket today, quickly approaching the seven-figure threshold.
“I don’t sell anything that I would not wear myself,” Kay’Chanel told Heart & Soul Magazine. “The closure is top-tier, and the lace is so fragile and thin that it has a realistic scalp look.”
As one’s road to success is not always easy, it took Kay’Chanel years of discipline and hard labor to singlehandedly raise all capital necessary to launch her business. She worked 12-to-14 hours a day for three years to save the money; she put in the work without cutting any corners.
“When all of my friends were overseas and buying purses, I was extremely disciplined,” Kay’Chanel said. “This type of sacrifice for three years can put you 20 to 30 years ahead of your peers.”
The entrepreneur sat down with Heart & Soul to discuss the power of discipline and how she self-funded her own business through hard work.
What type of obstacles did you face when you first decided to start your own business?
There’s not a lot of capital available for Black people. I wasn’t able to secure any funding because I did not have the credit history necessary, I was told I “I didn’t qualify.”
What does it mean for you to be disciplined?
Being disciplined means putting in the work required to achieve your goals. For me, this practice was cultivated and developed during one of the most difficult times of my life. I was sixteen, seven months pregnant, and living in a shelter called The Night Ministry. While there I met my mentor Felitha Patterson who taught and provided me with much needed coaching about hard work, educating myself, money management, and savings. From there, I began to work really to saved until I made enough to launch my business.
How were you able to self-fund your own business?
I was able to self-fund my own business by getting focused and becoming disciplined enough to work 14 to 16 hours a day for several years. I watched my peers travel and have fun from afar while I saved and sacrificed. It was hard but I put in the work and it paid off.
What motivated you to get serious and really put in the work?
From the age of 16 to 19 I was fired from quite a few major companies and every time I got fired, I felt like it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It inspired me more and more to seek entrepreneurship. Each time I got fired it pushed me a little bit more. It’s meant for me to own a company and to put myself in a position where I could not be terminated. I’m very assertive about my time, I would get fired mainly because of my time. I did not play about my time. I wanted to travel, I wanted to be off at reasonable times to spend with my daughter.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be that I was a great mom and that I made a lot of sacrifices to ensure that my daughter would not have to experience the trials and tribulations that I did. I also want my legacy to be that I was young, innovative, and disciplined enough to have a successful six-figure business by the age of 25.
Follow Kay’Chanel on IG @kay_chanel