This story is part of our 1,000+ Stories campaign. What’s your story?

Name: Erna Basson

Business: Erabella Beauty 

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Industry: Apparel & Accessories  

Reason for starting? I am an award-winning serial entrepreneur, business coach and international speaker, and one of the companies I own is a hair extensions company, Erabella Beauty. Being a woman, I know what beautiful hair can do to your confidence. I have always worn extensions myself but never found the kind of quality extensions that were right for me, so I started to investigate the market and suppliers. Within 5 months, we have established a brand, suppliers and online shop. We are still in the early stages of this company, and we are changing as we grow to find the perfect flow that will drive this machine to new heights.

How do you define success? My definition of success is, “When you can do what you want to do, with who you want and when you want to.”

Related: A Puerto Rican Founder Relies on Grit to Build a Successful Story 

Biggest success: My biggest success to date is being on the cover of Fast Company magazine (major global business magazine) in South Africa, and being named South Africa’s top entrepreneur under 30 for 2017.

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? We have initially started with selling online and have changed our business model, as I was not seeing results fast enough. We changed to targeting resellers and distributors, and our brand has exploded. In the beginning stages of your company, you need to be very adaptable until you have found the perfect formula that works for you.

Related: 5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Local and Global Innovations 

Who is your most important role model? My biggest role model is Nelson Mandela. He is a global icon. What he has done for our country South Africa and for its people is outstanding and his spirit continues to live on. I had the honor of meeting his grandson, Ndaba Mandela in February 2017 at an event in Johannesburg, and I am now happy to say that we are business partners in an entrepreneurial program in South Africa, New African Entrepreneur.

Instagram   @erabellahairextensions [/box_light]

Tell us your story!
Read about another entrepreneur here

Edited by The Story Exchange