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LaPorsche Jymi, CEO, H&H Headwear

The best kind of business to start is one where you’re solving a problem. This is exactly how H&H Headwear was born. I was tired of my hats drying out my hair and my satin lined caps were the remedy. After trial and error, I have created a product that not only protects but encourages healthy hair. It also allows customers to advertise and creates jobs for young girls. My favorite part of this business is working with the girls to create a product that makes a difference.

More about LaPorsche:

1. What made you launch H&H Headwear?

It felt good to find a solution to my personal haircare problems and I wanted to share this relief with as many people as possible. Hair dryness and breakage is a pain that everyone experiences without addressing the root cause of it. Hats have customarily been used to hide a bad hair day and H&H Headwear has added value to that benefit. Now you can conceal your bad hair day while maintaining moisture in your hair.

2. What are the benefits of a satin liner in a hat?

The benefits of the satin liner are equivalent to that of sleeping on a satin pillow or scarf. Satin has a low absorbency, which helps to preserve the moisture in the hair and skin instead of drying it out which cotton is known to do. Its silky texture is ultra-soft and glides across the hair without snagging.

3. How do you create the artwork on the hats?

The hats are handmade and customized by myself and my growing team. The embroidered patches are made by my son using an embroidery machine, then sewn onto the hats by my daughter and my two new team members, who also assist in inserting the satin lining.

4. Who are your style icons?

Typically, this would be a person, but my style icon happens to be a trend. I love the classic casual style. A V-neck, jeans, and a satin lined cap is one of my favorite outfits. This everyday look is great on anybody and the comfort of the outfit encourages people to be more relaxed.

5. What’s your marketing strategy to get in front of people who will love your product once they know about it?

I’m currently focused on connecting with businesses. I would love to create hats as promotional corporate gifts for employees. I attend various networking events with CEOs and management employees who love the idea. I also collaborate with other small business owners who work tirelessly like myself and appreciate the product’s convenience and ability to protect the hair while promoting their businesses. Customers quickly understand the innovative satin feature, which is why we introduced our “Satin Lining” service. This method allows us to simply insert the satin lining into hats already owned by the customers!

6. Tell us about the women entrepreneurs you look up to.

One entrepreneur that I admire the most right now is Sara Blakely; her story and business is so impressive to me. She has had so many doors slammed in her face and obstacles in her way, but she has overcome them all. She still owns 100% of her Spanx business and has dominated her market. I plan to have the same effect on the headwear industry that Sara Blakely has on the undergarment industry. I am also heavily influenced by Inell Lipscomb (my grandmother), Oprah Winfrey, and Lori Greiner.

7. What are some challenges you face as an African-American female entrepreneur?

One of my biggest challenges is finding balance within it all. It is extremely important that we produce a beneficial, well-made product while I mentor young girls. I also handle all the back-end operations of my small business. In addition, all of this must be balanced out with the fact that I’m a single mom, a full-time employee, and an active student. As an African-American female entrepreneur, I face many obstacles, but I face them head on. Each deterrent is a lesson, a stepping stone to a higher level and a deeper connection with the people that help me along the way.

8. What can our readers do to support more minority-owned businesses?

In addition to purchasing a product or service, readers can sign up for email lists. They can also interact with us on social media by following, liking, and sharing the businesses. Some of my favorite forms of support are feedback, advice, and referrals.

9. How do you plan to grow over the next year?

I have planned to focus my growth on collaborating with as many businesses as possible. H&H Headwear is a brand, but most importantly it is a platform. We work with customers to create products that protect their hair and skin but also double as advertisement. Our growth will result in employing and mentoring additional girls, more profits, and a bigger network.

10. How have The Startup Ladies helped you grow?

Although I’m fairly new to the group, I can clearly see how it will continue to help me. I have already met some very inspiring women in the group and I cannot wait to connect with more. The Startup Ladies is a very well respected and connected organization. In the short time that I’ve been a member, I’ve attend several functions compliments of the group’s network that have been extremely helpful in establishing a solid foundation and growing my business. Kristen has been extremely welcoming, and I truly look forward to working more closely with her and the other ladies as I become more involved within the group.

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