We had the good fortune of connecting with Maureen Washington and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maureen, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my success is my family and friends. I also truly appreciate my business friends who I’ve met along the way. We have helped each other grow in areas where we had more experience or seeds to share. Everybody needs seeds to sucSEED in business! You do not get success on your own, it’s all about your network. In addition to business and emotional support, you need support spiritually. Support along with positive communication has led to my success.
What should our readers know about your business?
Beauty Supply Vending sets me apart from every other vending company on the market. No other company offers the level of customization that we do when it comes to beauty supply vending. I also recognized a calling for accessible African American Beauty products. Products we use daily for our hair can be hard to find when you’re new somewhere. African Americans like myself would go off to college packing what we could for our hair. We knew it would be hard to find a store and if we did we had to figure out how to get there. So, I worked with Cynthia Hameen and Cheyney University of Pennsylvania to install the first African American Beauty Supply Vending Machine on campus. We hope to find our way into many other HBCU’s across the country. I am so proud of the beauty vending machine, and what it means for the future of African American Beauty Supplies and Entrepreneurship.
I have had my fair share of challenges spring up along the way. Thus far, I have received no loans to help support my company. I started MoBeauty Supply Vending with only one machine and $500 dollars worth of products. I always had to put my money back into the business to help it grow. Another big pain point for me was marketing and social media! It was a nightmare to have no followers in the beginning, and it was so disappointing to see that number grow so slowly day after day. I would work late at night every night engaging. I still do that every night as engaging with my community is one of my favorite parts of this business.
One of the lessons I’ve learned along the way is that although you may have a fantastic idea, you still need to put the hard work in to achieve it. Growth does not come over night because you think you have the greatest idea on earth. It’s also important not to get hung up on perfection! I want the world to know that I am not crazy about my logo. But there comes a time when you need to stop thinking your website and your logo have to be perfect. You need to stop comparing yourself to other people. My idea for Beauty Supply Vending was to give everyone the opportunity to create their own brands. Allowing entrepreneurs to put beautiful artwork on their machines helps them to be proud of their beauty business.
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.
First thing in the morning we would head over to Breakfast at Barney’s, a premiere eatery in Atlanta. We would definitely get the Lamb & Eggs, they are to die for!!
We all love to do a little shopping and my favorite area is the Phipps Plaza, which offers a great shopping experience with a quiet and relaxing atmosphere.
Next, we’d visit The Black Hair Experience. A stop there is always a must! It is an interactive museum decorated and dedicated to beauty. You’re sure to take amazing selfies that are social-media worthy.
During the evening, I enjoy a good Jazz Night and Blind Willies is the spot to go to. Located in Atlanta’s Virginia Highlands, this fun spot is always on my list of places to visit. Their motto is “too much soul to control.”
During those warm summer nights, my friends and I enjoy a little rooftop vegging and hanging out. There’s nothing quite like watching the Atlanta skyline twinkle while catching up with good friends. My favorite spots for this are the St. Regis and the W Hotel.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yes, indeed I want to dedicate my success to my son John Brown Jr. MoBeauty Supply Vending would not be possible without him. Despite many struggles and sacrifices, he has always given me the strength to keep going. Whenever life has knocked me down I would say “I have to be brave and strong so that he would be proud of me.” No one will ever know the strength of my love for him. He is the only one on this earth that knows what my heart sounds like from the inside. Every day, I thank god that he is MY SON.
Instagram: Mobeauty Supply Vending
Reaux Woods Photography