Beauty business inspired by mother
The idea for her business hit Jenae Philip as she cared for her mother, Marie.
She had lupus and the medicine she was taking to fight it made her hair fall out.
As her mother had always taken pride in how she looked, Ms Philip got to work thinking about how she could help.
“I like to learn about a lot of different things so I did some research and learnt about cranial prosthesis,” she said.
She explained that it was a custom-made wig designed specifically for people who have lost their hair through medical conditions or treatments.
“I was trying to help her, because that’s my mom, and also I’d always liked to do hair.”
From there came the idea of the business she is in the process of setting up, Graffiti Culture. A “mobile on-demand beauty service, [it] connects qualified hair stylists, barbers, massage therapists and cosmetic treatment professionals with on-the-go professional clients” in a space that is convenient for them.
At the time, Ms Philip was living in the US and went back to school. In 2001, she got her cosmetology licence, but establishing the business took second place to caring for her sick mother.
However, she did not forget the promise she had made to her late grandfather, Aubrey “Thrupence” Thomas Philip.
He had paid for her beautician studies just as he had helped her mother with her nursing degree after she left Bermuda “for a better life”.
“We left when I was 9 and went to Canada and then we went to Long Island in New York, where she finished nursing school at Adelphi University.”
They travelled back to Bermuda every few years to visit family, but continued living in America. In 2012, her mother succumbed to her illness.
The following year, Ms Philip decided to put the experience she had gained as district manager of a chain of stores across the US to work for herself.
She was living in Atlanta and started a company, Easy Pickin’ Pallets, buying bulk supplies of soap, tissues and other items people use on a daily basis and selling them wholesale.
It kept her busy but, eventually, she decided to “do what I told my grandfather I would do”. She sold the company and, last May, returned to Bermuda and got to work on Graffiti Culture.
“Graffiti will be app-based, kind of like an Uber app for clients,” said Ms Philip, who specialises in hair enhancement for men and women.
The company has a licence from the Ministry of Health and “strictly promotes only qualified, licensed hair stylists, barbers, massage therapists and cosmetic treatment professionals”.
Anyone interested in working for the company must have proper credentials. Applicants will have to undergo background checks before they are sent into people’s homes so that clients can feel secure, Ms Philip added.
“I’m now looking for stylists, professional licensed barbers, nail technicians, any sort of cosmetic treatment professionals.
“I will help with their continuing education and will get them support in branding, in marketing themselves. As long as they don’t have a non-compete clause, it should be no problem for them to work in their free time.
“All you need to do is have your hair washed before we come. We can send a stylist or barber, have them come to you and perform an up-do or hair extension; we also do non-invasive body contouring where you’re moving fat into target areas for a more voluptuous figure.
“Through innovative products and services our clients and team members will benefit from a collective sharing experience.”
• For more information contact Jenae Philip: firstname.lastname@example.org