Lauren Allah Can Finesse Your Hair While She Sells You a Condo
Lauren Allah fell into a trap that many people fall into post-grad. She was working overtime at her 9-5 job in a big city away from home, but still felt like she was struggling to pay bills.
When her mom urged Lauren to come home so that she could try something different–namely real estate, her mother’s business– Lauren wasn’t sure what to do.
Once she made the move, she quickly realized that it was the right one. She started making more money in less time, and also started her own hair extension business.
If you’re a recent college grad or looking to become your own boss, check out our Q+A with Lauren.
How did you fall into the real estate business?
I have been around real estate my entire life. My mother has been a licensed realtor for over 25 years and has earned a stellar reputation in the metropolitan Detroit area. She has worked with both large and small real estate firms throughout her career and opened her own company, Luxury Home Enterprise in April, 2013.
One day, I spoke with her regarding my frustrations working my 9-5 and spending the majority of my money on rent in Midtown Atlanta. My mother’s response was, “move back to Detroit, purchase a condo and I guarantee I can teach/help you earn more money selling real estate part time than you do full time there.” She also said that in doing so, I would cut my expenses and long work hours and would have more time and resources to do what I really wanted to do and that was opening my own business.
At first I thought that she was crazy and I refused, but that night her words kept ringing in my ears. So, I went online and searched how well the real estate market was in Detroit as well as Metro Detroit. I started to look up condos and within a few months, I purchased a condo, quit my 9-5 and drove from Atlanta to Detroit and so far, it’s everything she promised.
How did your social media popularity grow so huge?
My social media honestly grew after I began to post videos of me singing. Singing was my life and at one point it meant the world to me. I had the amazing opportunity to sing The National Anthem before President Obama and I received the “Golden ticket” after auditioning for American Idol. During this time, my social media began to grow rapidly.
Where did your personal style come from and how did you find it?
My style has been the same forever. In fact, I used to get teased for my style. I have always had a love for the color pink. In high school, I literally wore pink every single day. Although there was a strict uniform policy in place, I somehow figured out a way to wear something pink, every day for four years. This obsession, resulted in people calling me “Pepto Bismol,” but that never stopped me. Today, my style is pretty much the same. I still love pink.
How does your personal style influence your social media sites?
My social media sites are a direct reflection of who I am regarding my personality, views and my goals and aspirations. I post exactly how I feel. In addition to pictures, I post motivational quotes. My page is bright and filled with a lot of pink.
What tips do you have for women looking to grow their personal brand?
My advice is to go for it. Take advantage of free marketing opportunities to promote your business. One way that I used this technique is through Instagram. Posting pictures, growing your following and staying consistent.
What are the most important factors in becoming a business owner?
Dream big. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. Start somewhere, even if you don’t have the finances to open a storefront, start online, sell through social media. Understand that everything will not go perfectly or even as you may plan. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and support you. Work hard and have a lot of fun.
Why did you start your own hair company?
I have been wearing hair extensions for a very long time. I have tried dozens of hair companies. Some have been amazing and some I have had horrible experiences with. For years, I have had people ask me if I could recommend the best hair companies and I did. It wasn’t until one day, I told myself that I would get straight to the source and start my very own hair company. One of my trademarks is long, big, fluffy hair.
How has your social media popularity aided in you becoming an entrepreneur?
Honestly, social media didn’t play any part in how or why I became an entrepreneur. I believe it was birthed inside of me as I watched my mom my entire life make her own schedule and chart her own course day after day because she was in sales. However, social media has helped me grow and reach a more broad audience as an entrepreneur. Most of my real estate sales have come directly from social media and the majority of my sales for my hair extension collection, Katch Kollection, have also come from social media as well.
What tips do you have for young women looking to start their own hair extension line?
Although the hair extension industry is a crowded market, you can still make a name for yourself. My advice is to take your time. Don’t rush and try to find the best hair. Try to get to the source as opposed to trying to sell another hair companies hair through their “wholesale” opportunities. After finding the hair you believe you want to sell, test it out for at least six months. Also, have a close friend or family member try it as well. Think of a name for your company with branding colors that represent you. Understand that starting your own company is a true investment and in order to make money, you have to invest money first.
What are some personal and business goals you set for yourself?
My goal for myself is to continue to grow. I want to continue to grow in every single aspect of my life. Spirituality, mentally and financially. I want to make a difference.
Aside from growing in real estate and growing my new business, Katch Kollection, I have been working working on a project called The Beneficial Beauty Bags Project. The Beneficial Beauty Bag Project was founded in 2016. This project consists of purchasing decorative, reusable bags and filling them with items that are most needed by women. These items include, lotion, hair brushes, hats, soap, deodorant, sanitary napkins and tampons. Sanitary napkins are the number one most needed item for women in homeless shelters and it is also the number one most neglected item that is donated. Last month, I was able to pass out over 200 bags to women who are homeless downtown Detroit. I would love to continue to grow this project, bringing awareness to other cities across the country.
What’s an interesting fact about you that many people don’t know?
I grew up in a single parent home most of my life. My biological father was murdered when I was a baby, leaving my mother a 24 year old widow. This is something very personal about my life that I typically don’t share with others, however lately I have become a lot more open and transparent. I want people to know that I have overcome many struggles and obstacles and still through those obstacles, I have persevered. With God and lots of family support, I have became the woman I am today.
What do you want your supporters to take from this interview?
I want my supporters to understand that I am just a regular girl and underneath the smile, pink clothing, and big hair, I have problems and struggles just like everyone else. However, I’ve decided to persevere through whatever comes my way and reach for the stars with great intentions on grabbing a few.
I want them to know that I have so many dreams and aspirations that I want and plan to achieve by planning and working hard everyday! Lastly, I want everyone to know that whatever my economic status is, I will always pay it forward and help as many people as I can, I especially have a passion for women’s empowerment. I want to change the world in a the most positive manner and in the largest way I’m able to make.