For most of us, opening a business with our best friend is a pipe dream. But for celeb stylists and BFFs till the end, Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri of the Nine Zero One Salon, forming a brand together was an obvious next step. The two solidified their partnership in friendship and business by launching In Common Beauty, and with new products on the way, they’re filling us in on everything you need to know if you plan on going into business with your friend.
The Launch of In Common Beauty
Launching In Common Beauty made sense for Nikki and Riawna. As Nikki explains, the two “do everything together, literally!” Because of this, creating In Common Beauty pretty much had to happen, especially because Riawna and Nikki had bigger plans for making an impactful change in the industry. “We wanted to give people instant gratification towards healthier hair while helping out our fellow hair artists as much as possible,” says Nikki.
(via In Common Beauty)
The duo’s latest launches, Clear Haze Universal Shampoo, Velvet Cloud Universal Mask, plus three in-shower treatments—Mended Sea Strengthening Enhancer, Mojave Rain Moisturizing Enhancer, and Static Silk Smoothing Enhancer—were inspired by the idea that healthy hair starts in the shower. To use the products, gently wring out excess water and spray your enhancer (or mix of enhancers) of choice generously from roots to ends and do not rinse out after shampooing. Let the mask sit for at least three minutes and rinse out for hair that “feels like new,” says Nikki. “Kind of like skincare, the benefits compound over time, for your healthiest strands yet. The line is meant to physically help the hair and we want people to instantly feel a difference,” adds Riawna.
From Besties to Work Wives
There are so many amazing things about working with your best friend, but for Nikki, the real difference is not having to say anything at all. “She gets me! Whether it’s a good day or a bad day, I don’t have to explain myself, she understands. We fill each other’s gaps when needed. When I can’t get the words out right, she can. But we always have the same end goal in mind and together, we are determined and dedicated to getting there no matter what.”
As far as downsides, Riawna explains that the days of girl’s trips might be numbered going forward. “We can never really vacation again or take the same time off together. One of us always needs to hold down the fort.”
Perhaps the most crucial part of going into business with a friend is making sure your goals align. Nikki explains that both she and Riawna hope In Common Beauty acts as a bridge for inclusivity and accessibility. “Our goal is to create a brand that is luxury yet inclusive to everyone. We also want to give back to independent artists and the salon community by having no minimum order quantity, not having to buy the entire line if they don’t want to, and allowing all salons and independent artists to carry the brand without barriers to entry. Everyone deserves healthy hair, no matter who they are or how big/small your salon may be.”
(via In Common Beauty)
Going Into Business With Your Best Friend
If you and your best friend have been talking about starting something together, there’s no time like the present to hit the ground running, as long as you share the same values and know petty arguments won’t impact your brand. “Do it,” says Nikki. “If you have a like-minded bestie, absolutely go for it. Make sure you respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses and communicate at all times. Figure out what you do best and what they do best, and thrive and build off of each other.”
Before getting started make sure you’re on the same page in terms of priorities and make a friendship pact. Having a business together may get complicated at times, but know that the business you share is separate from your friendship. “For us, friendship comes before business,” stresses Riawna. “Owning a business is such a huge workload and it’s literally 24/7. The emails, texts, and DMs we send to each other never stop and never have a time frame, so make sure to set aside some personal time to talk to each other about stuff other than work.”
No matter what happens with work, you need to make BFF time. “When you own a business together, you need to plan and block off time for BFF time, just like your would a meeting. Add it to the calendar! Remember, your friendship is what started the business, the business didn’t start the friendship,” shares Riawna.
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