Over the past few months going to DC promoting the brand, we have begun to come across a unique set of individuals, other young entrepreneurs creating brands and products that deserve recognition. We will begin a series called Brand Spotlight. Our first installment is Alexandra Smith of ShopALS and the GoodHairBlog. A native of the Montgomery County, the way she conducts business is simply impressive. I could elaborate more but then this interview wouldn’t serve it’s purpose…
How would describe the business and the services you provide?
ALS is a brand that represents vibrant creativity. I am in the business of giving my customers handmade quality pieces that have been created with love, by me! I’ve also added a few contemporary items, like metal rings that can’t be found in the states to give my shoppers some extra variety. My main goal is provide my customers with quality creations and service, while leaving them with really big smiles on their faces after opening their ALS package.
How and when did you get started? Also, when was that moment that you knew you should turn this love of yours into a business?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. The first time I realized that I can make stuff and sell it, I did. My entrepreneurial efforts started in middle school. I used to make tee shirts and custom jean jackets back in the day. I sold them straight out of my locker, LOL! The hustle was real at about 13 years old for me. Once I got to college I took an entrepreneurship class that changed my life. My professor was great and he encouraged me to take my final project, which was a mockup of a hair care line, and make it a reality. So, I did. My first business was Safi; a natural hair care line that catered to curly/coily haired folks like myself. I made all natural products in my mama’s kitchen for about 2 years and my line flourished in what seemed to be overnight. I am in the midst of revamping Safi to have it coincide with my blog, The Good Hair Blog. I plan to re-launch in the Fall and I am very excited about it! However, ALS is a lot different from making hair products. I’ve been around creativity most of my life. My mom is very creative and actually has her own high end jewelry line; she is my biggest influence when it comes to creating. My mom tried to get me to bead for the longest time and I was not interested, at all! Early last year I started exploring my creativity and tweeting here and there about my new venture to spark people’s interest. I got a great response and after months of contemplating branding something different business wise I decided to go ahead and launch ALS August of 2011. ALS are my initials and I wanted to not only brand myself but things that I like. I figured that giving people a little bit of me, in that sense would make the creations more special and meaningful. Thus far ALS has done great and I haven’t even hit my one year mark yet. I’ve made over 2,500 creations, most of those being bracelets. For me this line of work makes me extremely happy!
What makes your customer experience unique?
I like giving my customers special attention when it comes to their purchases. Many of them wear my work daily so it’s important for them to know I appreciate their business and that their items are made with love and handled with care.
Your operation seems well-rooted in catering to the customer and stellar customer service, would you consider this your niche? Niche? I am not sure I will call it that, mainly because I am not much of a people person. In reality, I am actually very reserved and kind of shy until I get to know the people and space around me. However, I know how I like to be treated as a customer. I mean, I shop too and I support other creator’s crafts as well, so customer service is indeed important to me as a seller and a shopper. Folks work hard for their money and I am honored that some choose to spend it with me. It’s only right to treat my customers the way I want to be treated when shopping with someone and that’s with respect, attention and interest.
What other endeavors are you involved in?
I am a natural hair blogger and Full Time mommy )
What can we expect to see in the future from the shopALS brand?
To be honest, I am playing that by ear. God is leading this journey so it’s only right that I take my time and let Him work. What He has for me is for me and I cannot wait to see where ALS will be in the future. The minute I know so will you. xo
In conclusion, Alex and her brand ShopALS are certainly on it’s way to becoming a household name. Locally, there are starting to be very few that DONT have an ALS piece. With recent purchases from prominent musicians, locally and nationally known, actors and actresses, it’s only a matter of time. Surely, this will not be the last time you hear of this brand…