It was literally hotter than July when I showed up at Sally Beauty headquarter in Denton, Texas this summer to give my presentation to the beauty team about why a partnership between tgin and Sally Beauty made sense. The 110 degree weather was definitely more suited for a two piece bikini and flip flops then a black sheath dress and high heels. This experience left me wondering how do people in Texas go to work, the mall or anywhere for that matter. I say this coming from Chicago, where we are home to temperatures of -11 in winter, but I digress.
Thanks to a long time connection from the beauty industry, I was blessed with the good fortune of being personally introduced to one of the key decision makers at Sally Beauty at an industry conference. This introduction in turn led to a few emails being exchanged, which in turn resulted in an invitation to present our line for consideration to a team at Sally Beauty headquarters.
Getting into a national retailer, however, is never this easy or quick for that matter. At least for us, it hasn’t been. Like with Whole Foods, Ulta, Target and many other retailers (small and large), we had reached out to Sally Beauty MANY times before. For the past two years, we had been sending emails, leaving voicemails and mailing samples, but we never received a response. Not a No Thank You. Not a We’re Not Interested. Not a Not at This Time. Just Nothing. Silence. . . .
With over 2,800 stores worldwide, including stores in every state in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, Sally Beauty has a remarkable footprint in the beauty space. I had always thought a partnership with Sally Beauty made perfect sense given its size, its reach in the professional salon community, and most recently its growing commitment to carrying product lines that cater to textured hair. While this relationship was ideal in my head, we weren’t making any headway on our own.
However, in business, just like in life, no response or no progress does not mean things are not working in your favor. It also doesn’t mean that God isn’t working on your behalf; lining up everything you need to have, everything you need to know, and every person you need to meet at the appointed time. But, like they always say in church, Delay is not Denial.
When our products hit Target shelves in 2015, I had no clue what to expect. We had been selling online, and to a number of local health and beauty supply stores nationwide, but getting into Target was a whole different ball game. It has been a great relationship and I have learned A LOT along the way. Have I made some mistakes? Yes. Would I do some things differently? Yes. Were there things I wish I knew before we went national? Most definitely.
After years of waiting and following up with no response from Sally Beauty, I got a call out of the blue from an industry contact asking me to meet them at a conference two weeks later. There would be a possibility for us to meet with a key stakeholder from Sally Beauty. My contact had been watching our growth on social media, and put in a good word for us based on our relationship and her belief that we could handle the opportunity. With very little details, I booked the ticket and waited for more information. All along, I never saw things happening this way. But sometimes, the right people show up on your behalf and things are working in your favor behind the scenes, without you even knowing it.
When the opportunity to finally sell to Sally Beauty presented itself, not only did we jump at it, but we were ready for it.
Ready with the Pitch.
Ready for the Launch.
Ready for the Marketing.
Ready for the Promotions.
Ready for the Markdowns.
Ready for the Chargebacks.
Ready for the Weekly Reports.
Ready for the Paperwork.
Ready for the Forecasting.
Ready with the Right Questions.
Ready with Answers to the Hard Questions.
Ready to Say Yes.
Ready to Say No.
Unfortunately, I was still not ready (nor will I ever be) for that hot ass Texas weather in the middle of summer.
In hindsight, I’m grateful that we received the silent treatment. The unresponded emails, the unreturned phone calls, etc. turned out to be a blessing. The year that we spent building and learning with Target, and the many years we spent prior to that selling online and to local health and beauty supply stores, gave us the opportunity to grow our customer base and improve upon our business operations. Although God could have blessed us with Sally Beauty, Ulta, Whole Foods, CVS, Walgreen’s and Walmart all at once, I’m now realizing more than ever – things happen when they are going to happen, and how they are going to happen, at the appointed time.
This realization has not only given me peace and comfort in my professional life, but in my personal life as well.
As I get older, I realize it’s good to have a plan. Sometimes, however, things don’t go according to plan and the plans you have made for yourself are not necessarily the one’s God has in mind for you. I’ve learned that waiting, while incredibly annoying, can be in your best interest and will teach you to trust HIM. We all will go through a season where we will be tested and our patience will be tried, but breakthroughs come when and how they are supposed to. God is always getting you ready some way, somehow.
Finally, I’m also learning there is major truth to the phrase New Levels, New Devils. Sometimes, I wish I could be like “God, I’m cool at this level, because these new devils are a B*TCH.” But the waiting, the testing, the pressing, the trusting and the praying ultimately give us the strength to deal with what comes with promotion. Right now, I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to you.
So, again, we all have our Target or Sally Beauty in our heart. That one thing we’re waiting and praying for. It could be a new job that pays more money, a bigger house, a baby, a husband, a new business, a healing from a disease, a restored marriage, but know that your season of waiting is meant to draw you closer to God, teach you the lessons to equip you for the next level, and strengthen your foundation for growth.
TD Jakes once said if you’re going to build a skyscraper it has got to have a strong foundation. Life’s tests, curveballs and delays are all about strengthening our foundation, so that you can move higher in life and deal with what comes with positions of greater authority.
So stay steadfast, stay strong and know that Delay is not Denial.
For a complete list of Sally Beauty stores carrying tgin products click here.