Full Name: Kimberly Hairston
Company/Business: Zhi Bath and Body
Year Founded: 2005
Tell us about your business: I make natural bath products, skin care products, and soy candles. The bath and body products are all hand-mixed and are formulated (no preservatives and the like) for sensitive skin; although everyone can use them. The soy candles are all hand-poured and come in a variety of sizes. Everything is made when ordered; I want to give products that are fresh because I know I want the same.
What inspired you to start your business: Several factors inspired me to start my own business. My passion and talent has always been centered around being a hairstylist. From about 12yrs old, that is what I’ve loved. After my service in the Navy, I learned that a skin condition that doctors thought was just a rash turned out to become psoriasis. Needless to say, psoriasis in my hands and feet prevented working in a salon. Then came the second bit of inspiration…Carol’s Daughter. I was introduced to the product and since I always like to know about a company whose products I use, I read up on Lisa Price and was immediately encouraged to develop my own line. Yet and still, I didn’t act on it seriously until I started playing around with some oils and sea salt to see what I could come up with; my cousin LaToya suggested making candles and that was the last nudge I needed to get Zhi going. With that and the constant support from my fiancé and just looking at my little ones…it began.
Share one business goal: My ultimate business goal–no matter how long it takes–is to become a household name. I put my heart into making something wonderful and I can’t help but want to share that with any and everyone that I can.
What would you say contributes to your success: Four words: Service, Quality, Determination, Perseverance. I am BIG on customer service. I love great customer service and have been taught for years by my Mom that it is key. She still reminds me from time to time, just to keep it fresh. “ALWAYS treat your customers right.” After being nice, offering an exceptional product that does what it should and more. If I use poor quality ingredients, I shouldn’t expect anything less than a poor quality product. Determination and perseverance are what keep me going. I cannot let one bad review or one “No thanks.” stop me from fulfilling my dream. God has given me a wonderful gift; I’d feel I let him down if I stop now.
What advice would you like to offer other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business: I know it’s an old saying, but follow your heart and let God lead you in the way you should go. I have struggled with this myself and life is so much better if you just follow your dream. If something is truely for you and is set in your heart, no matter how ridiculous it may seem to others…go after it. Be persistent and definitely be forgiving. Forgiving to yourself if you don’t move as fast or rise to success as fast as you want…even if you fall back a step or two.
What is your favorite tool/resource you use for your business: My favorite tool has become social media. I am still fairly new at it and was quite honestly intimidated by it initially. Now that I’m using it more frequently, I am very satisfied with how I am able to get information out about Zhi to so many people.