We had the good fortune of connecting with Shatima Aisha Simmons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shatima Aisha, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve been a licensed hair stylist for over 15 years. I’ve wanted to create an affordable luxury human hair extensions line for my clients. I thought, a one stop shop would be ideal. When my clients would book an install appointment, I noticed most times the hair they bring was of horrible quality. In 2019 I then decided to start an online company “Ordinary Hair” so I could provide the best quality extensions and services for my customers. It was the best decision I could’ve made.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
At the tender age of 16, I landed my very first job braiding hair at a barber shop. While in HS. I took up Cosmetology for free! I’ve always known I wanted to be a hair stylist. I graduated with my license at 17 years old and immediately applied to JC Penney’s Salon. I stayed with the company on and off for 18 years (currently still employed part-time) and decided to venture off into self employment. While juggling both entrepreneurship and part time work, I’ve learned that your skill will continue to grow. There’s always something new to learn in the beauty industry, which is why I never stopped. Starting “Ordinary Hair” online luxury hair extensions, I’ve had to overcome my fear in failure. Not every business start up will succeed and success doesn’t come overnight. I had to have patience and a vision of what would become of this brand. I now see it and am fearless for what’s to come in the future.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being from the “Big Apple” and transitioning to San Diego, I can say the tacos are the best!
First stop is Louisiana Purchase for some Lemon Pepper Catfish, or Fried Crab legs, good vibes only.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Growing up as a kid I would go to this one particular hair salon and tell my mom “ I want to be like Crystal when I grow up”. Crystal was the salon owner and stylist of formally known “Black Starr Unisex Salon” in Queens NY. She was young, talented and always had my hair together! I would ask to sweep the salon after hours just to learn more. I loved watching the various styles she would do on my hair and I would try to re create it on my friends or myself. Looking back I can say, Crystal has been my biggest influence on wanting to be where I’m at today. A proud successful business owner and hair stylist. I want to give back to my community like she did. I want to encourage other young kids to follow their dreams and never stop until they make it to the top.
Yelp: Ordinary Hair Studio