Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Alston.
Amber, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started out helping my cousin who is a successful hairstylist in her workplace when I was 12 years old. She would show me how to make wigs and how to sew-in hair extensions. I caught on really well. So well that one day my mom asked me to do her hair. I sewed in my mom’s hair extensions and then her girlfriend asked me to do hers and before I could blink my eyes, I had a neighborhood clientele. By the age of 15, my front porch was set up as a hair salon. We had an outside outlet so I would set up my curlers and my hooded dryer. My mom even had dark curtains set up so if someone would walk by, they couldn’t see my client. Even though hair was a given talent of mine, so was school. I was very book smart and I had a love for science so I thought that college was my way out. I grew up in North Philly and even though we weren’t dirt poor we still had struggles. I just never wanted to worry about money so I thought school would be my best option. I went to Rosemont College an all women’s institution where I continued to do hair in the lounges of my dorm. I would even pay the cleaning ladies or do their hair to sweep up for me so that I could make it on time for class. I even did the lunch staff hair.
Looking back now, I hadn’t realized then that I was running my own business from the front porch to college. I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Med and I just knew that I would never do hair again. I stopped doing hair for a year and a half. I went through depression during that time and I just didn’t understand why. I felt like something was missing. I was working at University of Pennsylvania as a lab technician and I barely made enough to survive. So I started doing hair again as a way to make more money. I realized that hair was the missing spark. However, I kept my 9 to 5 job and worked late hours doing hair would spend my entire $800 check at CosmoProf. My mom called me crazy but I was investing. I gave myself two years. I said if I didn’t see a difference in two years in the amount of money I was bringing in, I would quit altogether. About six months later, I left University of Pennsylvania to work for Temple University. I started my hair extensions line during this time. I wasted thousands of dollars on finding a good wholesale vendor. I finally found a vendor that I could trust and my hair extensions line started to do very well. My clientele was to the point I had to turn new clients away but I still didn’t understand my talent. I made great money but I had the wrong people surrounding me. I was in s×2www222222222222222222, 66a verbally and emotional abusive relationship for six years after this and I hit rock bottom several times during those years and my business suffered as a result. I lost several shops and salons that I had. But self-awareness gave me a chance to start over and regain the confidence in myself and my brand. I thank God, my family and friends for healing as well.
One thing I learned the hard way is that consistent is key and a must as an entrepreneur. I quit my 9 to 5 and focused on my brand full time. I have had several names and tried to brand myself several different ways but it never worked until The Bambi Lifestyle. The Bambi Lifestyle was started after I ended the toxic six years relationship I was in. I like to think of my brand as me finding myself again. The Bambi Lifestyle always seemed like it fit me because it was me. It wasn’t something made up. My grandfather nicknamed me Bambi when I was a baby. He hated my name Amber. He use to be the only person that called me Bambi before I started my brand so I liked to think of the name as unique and exclusive which are words that describe the brand. I have always been a person of influence with those who know me as far fashion, hair, accessories, cooking, and just my lifestyle. So I thought to market these things. I noticed that my personal photos on social media received more engagement than my hair photos. So I thought to combine the two! The Bambi Lifestyle represents an upscale chic lifestyle brand. As of now, I’m building the foundation of my brand on my hair extensions, my hair services, and hair products that will be released soon. But the future of The Bambi Lifestyle is limitless. I would like to use my influence and offer home decor, clothing, accessories, cooking, health and wellness. All things that make up my lifestyle.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think self-awareness has been my biggest struggle. You can’t fix the things about yourself that you need to if you’re not aware of them. I think self-awareness breeds growth and growth has definitely helped my business. As I mentioned before my toxic and abusive relationship was definitely a downfall of mine that left me broke financially. I had to build my life that I worked so hard for over again as well as building my confidence up again. Being in an abusive relationship really changes you and it can destroy you if you allow it to. You look in the mirror and you don’t know yourself when it’s over and the smoke clears. But it’s all about how you get up again and not staying down.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
As of now, I specialize in all things hair. I like to consider myself a one-stop-shop. I sell hair, I do hair, I construct wigs, and I am currently working on a hair care line and a lace glue system. There is really no limitations for me. I try not to box myself in. I love the beauty industry because there will always be something new to learn and that’s what keeps my interest. You can never be done learning in this business unless you want to be done. I think I’m most proud of designing my own website and graphics on my own. I am my marketing team. I taught myself how to code websites to cut costs during quarantine. I also started my website the beginning of quarantine and sales are successfully increasing during a pandemic. As well as my YouTube Channel! I think what sets me aside from other brands is the fact that I continue to learn and want to get better and better and my top tier customer service. People don’t understand that just simply being nice and available for your customers really goes a long way.
What were you like growing up?
I was very outgoing and I loved to be creative. I went to Freedom Theater here where I majored in dance. I always participated in drama club in elementary school. And in high school, I always choreographed fashion shows.
- Website: www.thebambilifestyle.com
- Phone: 2679359839
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebambilifestyle/
The Bambi Lifestyle