Posted on: April 17, 2024 Posted by: Sese Wilder Comments: 0

As entrepreneurship continues to take precedence in the lives of millennials and Generation Z, the world is being introduced to some incredible new business owners. As times have changed, the versatility of businesses have increased. Younger generations have shed light on those businesses that are essential but also not often highlighted as the businesses that are go to start ups. Kaijah Wilson, a young entrepreneur hailing from Chicago, is one of those business owners who are in the business of providing what the people need in a quality way. Kaijah Wilson is a a serial Daycare Center owner, a Beauty Supply Chain owner and an author.

Wilson is a living testament of staying the course despite a few speed bumps in the way. Becoming a mother younger than what she would have expected, Kaijah didn’t let the birth of her child stop her from following her dreams. Determined to defy stereotypes with the encouragement of her mom, she stepped out on faith and become her own boss.

UPSCALE recently spoke with the serial entrepreneur about how she went from a dream to owning more than 8 daycare centers, to owning multiple Beauty Supply stores in various states, and now the launching of her own E-book to empower those coming behind her.

UPSCALE: How did you get started in the daycare business and how did you continue to push forward despite having your child early 

 

in your career? 

My mom came up with the idea because I was confused at life. I actually probably would have been a stereotype had it not been for her putting the idea in my head. I was in college and I had changed my major. I was like I’m going to try this and see what comes of it. But I really would have to give kudos to my mother for motivating me and telling me you have to be different and figure something out. I didn’t have a rough childhood, I was just a child that didn’t listen. So when my mother came to me about the idea of going into the daycare industry, I did it. It was something that I gravitated towards, I enjoyed it, and I learned so quickly. When you enjoy something, and I enjoyed it, it was easy for me to do. I was going through a rough patch in my life at the time, so when I would go and be around the children.. it motivated me and it became a passion of mine. It wasn’t work for me, it was a level of peace in my life that I needed.

UPSCALE: What would you say sets your daycare center’s apart from others in terms of care, safety and curriculum?

I think what really sets us apart from other franchises are the people and us being family oriented. The kids that attended and the staff we hired all became family. If we saw a child and they were in need of something, it was within me and our teachers to give and help with whatever the children needed. We knew that on picture day’s some mothers had multiple kids, and they couldn’t afford outfits for each child. We helped out by one teacher paying for the pictures, one teacher helping with the kids hair and another helping buy clothes and shoes. It was the love we have for the kids and each other, that sets us apart from other daycares. Other daycares would see that particular mother as unfit, but we don’t see it that way and we see it as something we should do to help out our own who may be struggling. It’s deeper than saying you care when it comes to children, we know all of our kids birthdays and we show up for all of them. We watch these babies grow from little babies until they go to big school and it makes me so proud. It’s like I gained a bunch of little nieces and nephews that I watched grow. It’s an amazing feeling and a complete joy.

UPSCALE: You are now switching gears and involved in other industries such as the beauty industry. Tell us about your beauty supply stores called the “Beauty Vault”?

The Beauty Vault is basically the mecca for beauty for any nationalities. When I came into this idea I was like I go to Sephora, Ulta, Sally’s and all these other places and I can’t get my haircare products. I maybe can get make-up of course, but I can’t get everything I may need such as make-up, a relaxer, olive oils and more in one spot. They may have some people back there with experience, but they probably don’t know how to deal with my texture of hair or what’s best for my skin complexion. It’s the same in our beauty supply stores, no one is usually there as a expert who can help you. You have to go in the beauty supply stores with your mind make up and knowing exactly what you want already. I said I wanted to create a safe haven for Black women to get assistance on the right products we really need. There is no need of guessing because we have experts and staff who can walk you through exactly what you need and what works for you. In other stores I can’t ask which product is better, how do I dye hair and etc. So when you come into the beauty vault you have a whole advisor who guides you from inquiry to purchase. Most stores do not have testers but we do. We have testers on everything so people can see for themselves how something fits them without having to buy it first. I also personally test out our products such as weave that comes in so that if someone wants to try it, I can show them that me being the owner I have tried it from experience. I can show them pictures of me wearing something and tell them the quality from my own experience, and most stores don’t do that. We make up majority of the consumers in the beauty industry and only own 5% of it. So it’s hard but it’s something that I enjoy.

UPSCALE: You are now expanding the “Beauty Vault” and taking your business to both Atlanta and Houston. What made you choose those markets to branch off to next? 

Because the girls are in Houston and Atlanta. The nightlife scene, it’s the Black mecca, the Black Hollywood and it’s always something going on all day and night. So I know the girls in those areas are 20 times more into how they look, their hair, their make-up and their appearance. I felt like what better place than to go there and to give them that experience that is the Beauty Vault. I felt like they would appreciate having a place like that there. I wanted to pick places that when the hype dies down, then there is still a steady flow of business. My beauty supply also carries quick affordable clothing that you can get in one spot. This isn’t something that is common that I’ve seen in Atlanta or Houston, but it’s something we do in Chicago. You can it all at the Beauty Vault.

UPSCALE: You are now releasing an E-book. Why is passing on your knowledge and helping the next generation important to you? 

Because I feel like when we work for other people we find ourselves giving them so much, and you’re working towards their dreams and not your own. I feel like us as minorities need to work towards our own dream, so we can build up and see people that look like us. I want to see that, but I don’t see that often. At one point in time, we didn’t have all of these different businesses but they are needed. I decided to do the e-book because it may help somebody, even if it’s just one person. It will help them not make the mistakes I made when I first started. I tried to open up different businesses and they failed. It took me two years to open the beauty vault because I didn’t know things. Even when starting my daycares, there was no one to guide me, so why not help somebody else to let them know it’s not as hard as it appears.  I teach them about location and finding out what their niche is and what is the thing that sets them apart from the rest. No one told me the mistakes they made, just how much money I could make by doing it. I tell them all of that in my book and what works for me, even if it doesn’t exactly work for them. There is just no one there to tell you what not to do, and this is what I do with my e-book.

UPSCALE: What has been your greatest moment as a business owner? 

Honestly, someone coming into the beauty supply and they are purchasing things but may not be able to afford everything they are trying to purchase. Due to the fact I am working for myself and it’s my business, I will make that purchase happen for them. When you help somebody they will remember that, and then I will feel good as well for doing my part to help. They will also want to come back due to that experience. Sometimes people really need their products or certain items and they just can’t afford it. To be able to help people just makes me feel good and I know I am making a difference with my business. Some days we don’t make a dollar, some days we make a bunch of money, but being able to help people is what keeps me going.

To follow and learn more about Kaijah and her entrepreneurial journey, follow her on Instagram at Kaijah_Deondra and her website www.beautyvaulta.com .

In wordly love,

Sese Wilder