Quanasia Henry moved to Rochester at ten years old. After growing up in Brooklyn, Henry’s mother decided journeying upstate was the best way to give her daughter access to better education.
Fourteen years later, the decision has seemed to pay off. Quanasia Henry is now a young entrepreneur with a successful hair company attempting to change the narrative for her family and Black women in business.
“I didn’t grow up seeing a lot of Black women in positions of power,” Henry said. “It wasn’t motivating for a young Black girl trying to find her space in the world.”
Starting a business was not on Henry’s radar as she came of age. She didn’t mind the routine of working a nine-to-five job, and conquering tasks at Spectrum was a lifestyle she embraced. Her transition into working for herself started with a personal need.
“I just wanted to do my own hair,” Henry said. “There was a lack of services in Rochester for what I wanted and I did not want to have to keep dealing with bad customer service experiences. I ended up wearing a wig to school, and my classmates loved it.”
In 2018, Quanasia Henry started The Wigaholic’, selling luxury wigs.
“There was a lack of the kind of wig I was providing in this city,” she said. “I almost immediately had orders. The only issue was that I had a nine to five.”
Henry had no idea how to navigate the beginning of her journey as a business owner. Most of the women in her family are nurses, a path she was supposed to follow once she hit college.
“When I started talking about being an entrepreneur, they didn’t really see how I could make money from it,” Henry said.
According to Henry, similar skepticism is frequently encountered by an entire generation of aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Everyone that I talk to and come across has said that at least one person in their family doubted them at some point,” Henry said. “Our ancestors didn’t always have the same opportunities as us. There are a lot of ways to be successful.”
Four years later, The Wigaholic is now Henry’s full-time job. The business has been a lucrative success, and Henry is transitioning from selling wigs to empowering those who want to take a leap of faith and start a business from scratch.
Henry now offers eBooks and tutorials that teach people how to run a business, price their products and utilize social media marketing. She is also planning a workshop to engage with Rochester’s youth. She believes mentorship is her calling.
“Stay the course and believe in yourself” is Henry’s message to anyone timid about starting a business. “There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t get it, but that’s part of the process.”
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