Diishan Imira, CEO & Founder of Mayvenn Hair Extensions, an offline-to-online retail solution for the salon industry joins Enterprise Radio.
Listen to host Eric Dye & guest Diishan Imira discuss the following:
- Can you share your background before you started Mayvenn?
- Why did you decide to get into the hair business?
- Can you explain how your brand is supporting community growth, specifically with women of color?
- Why did you create the Free Install Program and how is it different from anything else out there today?
- What is your advice to other brands and founders seeking funding?
As an Oakland native, Mayvenn CEO & Founder Diishan Imira understands the importance of economic mobility and building from the ground up. His experiences as a Hampton University alum led him to go on to attain his MBA in International Business.
He later studied in Brazil, France, China, and Ethiopia, further solidifying his professional background in international trade, logistics and supply chains. Yet, his work in Shenzhen, China laid the groundwork for what would later become the creation of the largest Black-owned hair extension company in the world. It wasn’t until his sister, a professional hairstylist, asked him to buy her extensions from China that the idea for Mayvenn was born. It was a space, he immediately realized, that was not touched by technology in a meaningful way.
Founded in 2013, Mayvenn has generated over $80 million in revenue and recently closed its series B round with a $23 million investment. To date, the company has raised $36 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and Essence Ventures with other investments from Serena Williams, Steve Stoute, Andre Iguodala, Jimmy Irvine, Cross Culture Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Impact America, and Core VC.
As an offline-to-online retail solution for the salon industry, Mayvenn is a technology company re-shaping traditional distribution models. They provide web and mobile point-of-sale applications that allow salons and stylists to retail products without having to buy or hold inventory. The company empowers the 95% of African American salons that do not retail their own extension and wig products. This commerce solution eliminates a salon’s cost, opening a new revenue stream for their business.
As a result, Mayvenn is more than a hair company to Diishan. It’s a movement. He believes in delivering quality products to consumers and empowering community growth by supporting women of color’s innate talents and unique points of view.
To bring this mission full circle, he launched Mayvenn Install in May 2019 – the latest development in the company’s dedication to helping hairstylists develop entrepreneurial talents and grow their own businesses – all while making beauty accessible and affordable for all. With the launch of Mayvenn Install, the program allows customers to buy hair directly from the company online. Then, Mayvenn matches customers with a local stylist who will install the hair for free – all for the cost of the hair itself. It is essentially hair + service (shampoo, condition, braid down, sew-in, and style) for the price of one. Currently, there are over 25,000 Mayvenn Certified Stylists in over 250 cities across the USA with a goal to reach 500+ cities by the end of the year. In the next 3-5 years Diishan plans to make Mayvenn the largest “distributed salon” in the world.
Diishan’s current interests are in technology and especially how it relates to global commerce. He speaks conversational Mandarin and currently lives in the Bay Area.
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