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Check Out Holli J’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Holli J.

Hi Holli J, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was 22 years old when I moved to LA from Detroit, January 2017. I originally moved to LA for a flight attendant job I got back in 2016 but once moving to LA and training was over a few of us were let go due to new management. The company gave everyone a choice to stay in LA or get a flight back where ever home was for us. I was literally the only person who decided to stay in LA, I had no idea what I was going to do for work at the time but luckily, I saved enough for me to take time to figure that out. I moved in with a friend and hustle to find a job ASAP. I got a nice paying job in Beverly Hills as a bridal stylist, and within a few more months, I was able to get my own studio. I finally felt settled after a year of being in Los Angeles but I never felt fulfilled. Living in LA was always my dream but I was working a lot harder to live in LA than I was actually living my life in LA if that makes sense. I started to feel really unhappy at work and decided it was time to find something else for me to do. I really felt like the sky was the limit I mean, I’m in LA anything and everything is possible. Being the typical “girly girl” I was always interested in looking my best from my outfit to my hair. Having a large following on Instagram girls would always ask me where did I get this from and that from. So it just clicked for me I wanted to sell clothes and hair.

During my breaks/lunch breaks, I would look up steps it took to start my LLC process and as well as possible vendors for my hairline. I decided to start with the hairline first because I thought it would be less cost-efficient and easier flip. Which it was I started selling hair extensions within 4-5 months and was so busy with how fast things picked up I quit my job. That was the scariest thing EVER !!!! I took a big leap on faith and overall on myself and the lifestyle I wanted. I wanted to be my own boss and I finally was. Being an entrepreneur has its ups and downs especially your first year your pretty much learning as you go. Overall business was good but it had its days especially when COVID-19 hit just like every other business sadly things just came to a complete pause. My vendor at the time was in China and I lost all communication with her during the first lockdown March 2020. I felt like I was failing and embarrassed mostly, but my hands were literally tied. I lost out on a promising profit and was missing product unfortunately. With my hair business “Pretty Polished Bundles” at a complete pause (returning summer of 2021). I started to think of the next move for me, my cousin and I always talked about opening an online boutique together. We took fully advantage while in quarantine and did all of the groundwork LLC, Vendors, Social Marketing, Website and etc.

By the time quarantine was over in September 2020, we were open for business. “Girl Guilt” took off right away and that was mostly because we started promoting as we were still building. People love to be evolved in the process of things. We built up so much excitement over Girl Guilt and pulling in followers on Instagram without having any product at the time to sell. So on our launch day, WE SOLD OUT of everything! It was such an amazing rush and accomplishment to see all the hard work pay off. That’s been our drive ever since, you have to keep the same passion and drive to keep small businesses alive. I am now 26 years old with two business under my belt, I’m engaged and expecting my first child this year 2021. So things can only get better from here as scary as it was moving here without having a stable foundation, I never gave up on myself or the lifestyle I wanted they always rode shotgun with me no matter.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It was not a smooth road by any means. I struggled finding a job. I was in LA for four months before I found a decent paying job. Everyone knows how expensive LA can be so I was running through my savings very fast. There were also struggles with finding a reliable hair vendor. Some were scams and money was basically stolen from me. Even with all the research and reviews, I read it still happen to me so you have to be very selective on who you chose to do business with,

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I like to think of myself as a Fashion Buyer for my brand Girl Guilt, you really have to have an eye to sell clothing. Colors, patterns and overall style change so often you have to be on top of it to sell to your customers and potential customers. I’m most proud of me for taking the risk to move to LA its a tough city to make it in but I’m proud I’m still here overall. What sets me apart from others is that I’m not afraid to take a risk, I’m actually draw to the excitement of what could possibly be.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
Something surprising about me that most people might not know about me is that I think I’m a master chief in the kitchen lol but thats because I watch ALOT of chopped. I am a really good cook though just not probably as fancy as I think I am ha.

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1 Comment

  1. Joe Ann Lynch Barbour

    March 1, 2021 at 10:27

    So proud of you and the journey you are taking

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