Give it up for the one and only, Charlo sticking iffy Greene, it’s money Monday! I am here for you, whatever you need, we literally got it. Thanks for joining the conversation. Uhm, but I guess we can just start with some big questions that you guys have had about my trip to China. Uhm, as you guys know, I just spent a week in China. One of the big things that I learned from the trip, you guys have heard about the gold bands thing I’m out of everywhere. We stopped by every single place that uses gold bands on their hair, says it’s their lowest quality hair. Each of them were like, oh no. Well if we really wanted to change the bands, then we could easily just do that. Which was like, okay, well maybe there’s no weight to that Actual Gold band myth. But at the end of the day, there wasn’t a single factory that didn’t put gold bands on their garbage hair.

They will lie to you to your face while you’re actually there. So we had one meeting that we set up and they were like, we’re a factory where a factory come through. And you guys know, the point of me going was like a fact finding trip. I want to learn the industry. If I’m going to be a person that’s helping a guide, other people’s entrepreneurial, entrepreneurial endeavours in the Harris space, then I need to know everything that I possibly can about, about the hair industry. So we were there to see every layer, how everything comes together. And we definitely did that. But one of the meetings that we set up was with a company and they were super helpful. They offered to pick us up at the airport and they did. And they like met us with this standing ovation when we arrived and it was great, super hospitable.

So we get to this room and it’s like a bunch of people on computers doing Facebook and Instagram and there’s like not a sewing machine, which is how the wigs are usually made. There’s not a sewing machine inside. There is no hair like anywhere. When I was like, well, show me the hair since this is the factory. Um, it took them like 15 minutes. I don’t know if they had to run up the street to grab a couple of bundles and bring it back. But that was interesting for me to see so that I can relay to you, they will play on your ignorance as much as you allow them. I’m not saying that they’re being malicious or anything, but they know that the market on their side of things is really saturated. Um, and they’re just there to make a profit. So that’s what they’re working to do.

It’s nothing personal, but you have to actually go there and see what these people are working with before you can take anything that they have to say at surface value. Even if you’re talking to someone in their life that, yeah, I’m a rep for, um, this and this major hair company that people are used to buying from and it has great reviews. They could literally just build a website. I don’t know what the laws are like in China, but I doubt they’re even worried about all of this hair, stuff like that. Um, and have another phone number, um, and say that they’re working with them, but they could just be a backpack middleman. So that’s something really interesting we learned there may actually be benefits with working with a vendor going straight to the factory. Uh, which is something that we did, doesn’t always guarantee you a lower price.

Like anyone that is familiar with Chinese business culture will tell you it all comes down to your relationships. Um, and that’s not you just sending a whatsapp message and asking for a lower price. And I mean, sending a bunch of money definitely helps with the relationship. But the fact that we came there and we shook their hands and I think our longest meeting was like six, seven hours. Another one included us going and just hanging out in the office for like three hours and going to dinner with the entire team. Um, which is great because this is the company that we’re planning on scaling things up with. And so it was just great to see the culture. It was great that we know this company is so invested in their employees and the culture there that they take them out to dinner and it wasn’t like a new thing with them trying to flex because we were in town and they’re trying to get our business.

They are a real company that’s uh, established enough that they know each other and hang out with each other. Do I have one distributor that I’ve decided to work with? I have three. One of them is the one that can handle all the volume. They have really great quality. They have really great reviews from other business owners and from other consumers. I definitely recommend that you guys have at least one vendor. Uhm, two is good for backup depending on what you’re planning on doing in the space. What about the blue bands? There’s nothing specific about the blue bands, but I do know that for the most part, like this is the 9A quality hair. Like the silver band, we can talk about seven, eight, eight, eight and nine, eight. All of them think it’s a joke. Um, one of them was joking, you know, next year if we see someone with an 11 a, we’re just going to go ahead and roll out our 12 a line, which means they’re just gonna update the marketing and the website.

But the hair has never changed from back when it was six a and five a and, and all of that stuff. People just keep adding numbers. So a company might have like the black fans, this is supposed to be the um, the most popular like Brazilian quality, but for the most part there’s like virgin that’s really great or not virgin. There’s raw, which this company puts in yellow, not gold, vast gold. This is yellow out of all the companies we’ve spoken to that offer like raw Indian hair, they just use that as a branding thing. They see that Chinese raw hair is the best at you. Pay attention to any of the people that do like major volume and know what they’ve been talking about and had been doing for a while. Um, they’ll let you know that Chinese raw hair is likely the best hair with the quality control issues.

And all that stuff. They have to lock it in place. They just say like all of this stuff with cleanliness and with the tensile strength and just the overall quality. Chinese virgin hair is best. And then the factory that we’re working with is like our secondary or third area, whatever you say, supplier, they can make the virgin hair into any texture that you want. They just say it’ll be speed process. So that’s something that we let all of you guys know. But if you wanted the deep wave with the raw Chinese hair, then you could do that. How much should I spend on samples? I don’t know if most of the, um, like directly Chinese companies have sample packs that they offer, but I know that with us, we have our 13 texture sample pack and then we have our three grade sample packs.

So it’s all of the textures that we offer, which we encourage you to re-brand and you think this looks like Indian, then go ahead and call it Indian because that’s what your customers might want. Tell them the truth that they asked though. Um, but the Brazilian hair you’re selling is not from Brazil period. Um, none of the Russian hair you’re selling us from Russia period. Um, like out of all of the companies we spoke to, which were like some of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry, they said they’ve almost never seen hair come from anywhere, but China. Um, I think they said Vietnam Rarely, uhm, India, here and there, but at the end of the day when they’re going over with raw hair, they prefer Chinese hair and not just because it’s like China pride, but just because it’s um, it’s something that they know can stand up to what we need they hair to stand up to, which is a lot.

Is there an actual difference between what’s called Brazilian Malaysian Peruvian? Nope. Um, they see whatever you guys like, they see whatever is trending. I’m almost willing to bet money next year you are going to see so many raw Indian hair’s being offered by Chinese companies on Alibaba and on aliexpress. I can almost guarantee you that because like I said, what that one company, it was basically all of them just on their computers on Instagram. They’re just looking and seeing what you like. They know that you guys like wigs, which is why like this this way that I got, they rated this their hip to whatever it is that we like. They know that black culture is where it’s at. And so that’s what all they, that’s what they’re spending their time doing is seeing what we like. And then if it says that next year we like Guatemalan hair, then guess what?

This formerly Brazilian hair is Guatemalan and they won’t blink twice about it. And they’ll laugh with you if you actually come into the office. Like Brazilian. No, it’s Chinese. And another thing I thought was really, really cool. Um, if you go to an actual factory, like there’s, if I wanted them to make this into kinky street, then they would, and it would only take maybe two or three days depending on what other orders they hadn’t placed before me. So that is a plus with connecting with the factory. Will you get lowest pricing? Probably not because these factories aren’t just factories anymore. They’re direct to consumer. Everyone is on Instagram trying to sell their hair. Everyone’s on Facebook. Everyone’s in your inbox trying to sell you hair. But if you do connect with one of these factories, you might not be able to lock in the lowest pricing cause they are now competing not just with other factories but with actual retailers.

So bear a little hip to what they can charge, um, or that they can charge more and just get more of the, um, the margin at the end of the day. But if you wanted to make this into like deep, wavy or something like that, um, that’s something cool. So that’s another reason why we have them on our list of suppliers because we can come up with anything. And I’m really excited for these Beyoncé wakes that we’re going to roll out. Really excited. How did I find all of the factories that I have a translator or guide? I did not need a translator. One of the companies that I worked with for a while that was being really weird about me stopping by the factory. Eventually when I said I was going to tell people to go ahead and refund every single purchase I’ve ever made with them like thousands of dollars because they’re bullshitters.

You said you were this, you said you were a factory of itches in China and now you want to go, no, I don’t think so. So once I let them know that, then finally like after a lot of back and forth, they were like, okay, here’s the address but you, nobody speaks English there so you have to bring a translator. And at that point we were like getting packing our bags and getting ready to fly back out. So I would have needed a translator for that situation. But um, that just showed me that they weren’t the people that I should be working with. Long term, we’ll talk about the factory visit now. I can start off by saying that I am just shocked and awed by the amount of work it takes into putting these together. I don’t know if it’s just this factory, but I’m assuming not because it like they just have a system down and it’s a whole bunch of grown folks that are like settled into working here.

So they’ve been doing it for a little, but I watched this lady place every single hair on two front tools and wigs by hand. Um, I watched the guy and it wasn’t just one lady, it was like the ladies are where they are and then the sewing machine and section over here, but they’re like these boxes of the hair that’s been cleaned and conditioned and straightened out and all that stuff. But it’s just hair, not on a weft or anything. And so this there like three sewing machines just all perfectly lined up and like a fan to catch all the extra hair and he’s just like placing the, the hair and it’s just, it’s a machine. But people are an integral part of making every single bundle, placing every single strand onto these units. I thought I was going to walk in and see like the closure machine where they have a piece of lace and they just, oh shoo close

you’re done. No, it was, it was grandma placing these hairs and tying the knots one by one. I appreciate the, the hair production process so much more seeing everything that goes into it. Um, as far as the acid, like 90% of the stuff that you are going to buy has been washed an acid and they’ll explain why and they’ll explain the process. And for the most part, most of the hair’s been like acid bathed or washed in acid except for the raw hair. Um, they said if anything they’ll just condition it. So then we go downstairs where they wash their hair. My boyfriend was with me and like we’re talking and stuff and we get down there and we’re like right next to these pools of liquid stuff. And the guy asked my boyfriend a question and he just like, well, like he had to stop himself from throwing up.

Like that’s how bad the smell is. I don’t know if that’s the ash slate or the conditioner, but the smell is strong. And then another place that our main place that we’re working with, um, will show you like their styling room. So we’re going to be rolling out these custom units to our wholesale clients on a quarterly basis and we, we in cause we’re partnering with them, um, have this room where they take the full units or part leased units and they go through and style them so that I’m also super excited about c those are the re those are the things you couldn’t get access to if you hadn’t stopped by and just walk past the room like, oh what do you guys do? What I’m here. Oh, custom styling everything. Let’s talk. That is another thing that makes this trip invaluable. Did you find anyone making soap top wigs instead of lace?

Absolutely. We wanted to make sure that we went to China, locked in all this information locked in our strong supply because we’re going to be scaling like none other. Can I suggest any questions to ask during whatsapp to ensure they are a factory? I would suggest you say, Hey, I’m in China. Can I stop by Ben? If they’re like, yeah, come through and be like, oh, I’m just joking. I’m actually planning a trip or something like that. But they have to actually like the company that ghosted me. Once they found out I was actually in China, they are partly who helped me plan the trip. They just never thought I was actually going to hop on a plane and come to China. So it wasn’t until I was like, Hey, I’m out here. Here’s my hotel. Come through. Can I come through where? Where are you at? It wasn’t until I was like beer that they actually backtracked or backpedalled or, or stopped responding altogether. I know that people face time, they’ll face time inside of the warehouse or they’ll face time in someone else’s factory. You have to actually get there. You have to like, there’s no way for you to know if they’re an actual factory or if that’s their factory. If you aren’t there, like they w they will lie to you. It’s crazy. Crazy. But now you know, now you’re empowered. That’s just what it is.