Wendi Levy: Hair Care Pioneer Behind Mixed Chicks
Not even Coronavirus can bring bad hair days to this entrepreneur of curly tresses.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people had to learn to do things for themselves. Those who frequented gyms had to figure out at-home workouts, those used to eating out had to brush up on their cooking skills, and those who used to run to the hair and nail salon had to find new ways to maintain their beauty. While times have been tough, beauty guru and co-founder of Mixed Chicks, Wendi Levy, had to adjust in the same way. Her beauty empire, which has products in stores like Target, Walgreens, and CVS, was temporarily halted by the virus. However, she encourages people to see the positivity in it all.
“We’re all down right now,” Levy says. “So, nobody’s winning the race. The race is on pause, so really use this time to love and be present and learn from it so that we can make healthier, wiser, more caring choices when things return to the new normal.”
Coronavirus Effects on Life and Business
Thankfully, Levy’s family, which includes her employees, is healthy and haven’t been diagnosed with the virus. But, Mixed Chicks has taken a temporary hit since most customers have resorted to online shopping and don’t go to the stores to see the products on the shelves. But that’s OK, she insists. The change in consumer shopping habits allowed Levy and her team to focus on improving their digital presence and online platform. “Online is where all the action is right now,” she says assuredly. “Everybody’s bored, and they’re shopping at home.”
Quarantines have eased, and many businesses are opening up, still, Levy wants to cater to those online customers the best way she can. For her, it means remaining humble and doing what’s necessary for her business and her employees. Since orders to beauty supply chains and mass retailers stopped, she has worked to get client shipments out.
Levy and her staff work staggered schedules. She accepts only scheduled deliveries two days out of the week, and then five of her staff members work staggering shifts to pack online orders. Levy then drops the shipment to a post office or FedEx for delivery to the customer. The process is familiar to her; she used to do it all the time when she first started. “We grew and had staff for that, you know,” she recalls. “Now, it’s nice to revisit and wear these old hats.”
What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? Levy and co-founder Kim Etheredge tell how they launched their business in this USA Today interview…
Reaching Out for Help
Like many others, Levy sought the government’s help to cover financial expenses during this tough time. Thanks to the legislation that was passed by the Senate as a result of the pandemic, Levy’s business will benefit as they planned to keep all their employees. She’s still a little wary, though. “I’m not sure what the impact will feel like in two months, three months down the line. I’m not sure,” she wonders. “Because you know, a lot of places won’t reorder for a long time. And that might be a ripple effect that might hurt worse than now.” Still, the bill has given her hope in an uncertain time and hopes that other businesses take advantage of the assistance.
Treat Employees Like Family
Levy considers her employees as family, and although they were working only one day a week during the pandemic, she still managed to pay them a full salary. “I just couldn’t imagine running the other way. Maybe if we had such a large corporation that didn’t allow me to work so closely with my employees for so many years, then I could do something like that.”
One bit of advice she would give to the government is to hold large corporations accountable. Specifically, in the case of Mixed Chicks, the halting of payments by large corporations for invoices that were already past due before COVID-19. She also thinks the government should provide more assistance to independent contractors and undocumented workers. “They are the backbone of the economy,” she says.
We Will Overcome
Levy says that we’ve been through other tough times, and we will make it through this as well. She hopes that this downtime helps to heal families and encourage people to be present in the moment. “People will read books … they will listen more deeply,” she says. “That’s the positive change that I’m hoping for.” For more about Wendi Levy and her pioneering hair products, be sure to read our Mixed Chicks article on Throomers.com.