Imagine having not only a stylist come to your home to do your hair, but a stylist that specializes in your style and hair type. This is the idea that Antonia Opiah had. And her new service, Yeluchi by Un-ruly, is easy to use. To use Yeluchi, visit Yeluchi .com then simply choose from one of the three categories of styles we offer (weaves, braids/twists, cornrows/flat twists), select a time and date for your appointment, then our system will match you to a stylist, explains Opiah, who launched Yeluchi with her sister, Abigail, a New York-based PR strategist whose clients have included Rémy Cointreau USA, Pantene Pro-V and Dewars Scotch.
My sister Abigail and I launched Yeluchi because it was a service we found ourselves needing. We both work a lot and dont always have time to run out to the salon, says Antonia. And what busy woman–from professionals to stay-at-home mothers, wouldnt like to have a stylist come to their home and skip the long wait at the beauty parlor? Most women hate the long, hot waits in the beauty salon. And best of all, Yeluchi’s stylists know how to work with natural hair.
Yeluchi .com offers women with all hair types protective hairstyling services in select cities and specializes in braided styles and weave installations, including cornrows and flat twists, box braids and twists, and half and full weave installations, Antonia points out.
Antonia has been on an entrepreneurial success run. She started the mega popular natural hair platform Un-ruly .com, a website that includes hairstyles, products, tips, as well as opinion pieces. She also created the intriguing art exhibit-turned-short film You Can Touch My Hair, which furthered the discussion of Black hair. So Yeluchi seems like a seamless progression. Ive been running Un-ruly .com (a place for Black hair and women) for the past three years. Yeluchi is a natural extension of that, says Antonia.
It seems like the perfect business idea–its easy to use and much-needed. And one youd think was already in existence. Even Antonia was surprised at the lack of competition. The biggest surprise was the fact that a service like this didnt really exist for Black women. That was kind of a surprise! she says.
Still, of course, there have been some startup challenges. We have a really high standard in terms of who we bring on as a Yeluchi stylist. So were really taking our time to find the right people. Id like the process to go faster but Im not willing to compromise quality for speed or quantity, says Antonia, who, with her sister, is funding the venture out of pocket.
The companys goals for 2016? I want to put our stake in the ground and perfect how we work and the services we offer. When an idea gets taken from paper to real life, there are always things that dont go according to plan and challenges that you dont foresee. So, I want to spend the rest of the year fine-tuning our offerings, really get to know our customers and their needs and forging a growth path for 2017, Antonia explains.