The story of Let’s Hair is so much more than your run-of-the-mill office-worker to freelancer transition.
Sure, there’s that too, but everything about the way that Agnė Kanapeckaitė built Let’s Hair from the most unlikely origins suggests a commitment to something more.
Agnė’s story is a parable on building businesses the right way. She’s a Small Business Hero and this is the story of Let’s Hair came to life with Zyro.
I’ve been a full-time hairstylist for three years now, but it wasn’t always that way.
Let’s Hair actually started life in 2012 as an internship project. If you can believe it, it was all part of a competition to create a Facebook fan page and attract as many likes as you possibly could.
In my mind, the question was: what can I create that will genuinely interest people? I wanted to make a genuinely nice project, and I decided to do something that would inspire people to do their own hair.
In the end, I didn’t win the competition, and I didn’t even know how to do hair at that point, but the idea was there.
Later on, I realized that, OK, I really like hairstyling. So, for a while, I was a serious project manager in the daytime and styling hair on the weekends.
Yes, life was fine as a project manager, but is it the career or the industry where I see myself growing? Is it the job that I would sacrifice my free time for?
I needed to change my profession.
I had started doing hair for brides and weddings, and in 2018 I went to Portugal for an extended vacation and eventually decided to move there.
At that point, I had already changed countries, so why not change it all at the same time?
I remember the moment because I was listening to a radio show called What Do People Do? It’s about freelancing and freelancers, and the host was saying something like:
‘The reason I was not happy was not that I needed to change my job. I was not happy because I needed to change my profession.’
I thought to myself, oh my god, oh my god, this is it. And that’s the point that I started crying.
There was this realization that so much would have to be done and that I would have to start all over again, but it was also a real eureka moment, yes it would be a lot of work, but that is just how it has to be.
Yes, I’m still on my business journey, but I can say that these days, I’m a full-time hairstylist for weddings, editorials, photoshoots, and commercial brand shoots too.
I’ve been preparing my business for eight years.
The whole time people were asking me: why don’t you just do Let’s Hair?
Actually, I’m pleased that I didn’t dive in with Let’s Hair straight away because I really learned a lot in my job.
Anyone that ever worked in an agency knows that it sucks in a way. It’s cool, but it sucks. It’s a tough business, and I needed to touch that and learn that lesson for myself.
I grew a lot as a person and as a professional, and because of it, I’m more successful in my creative role now.
In business, you have to think strategically, and you should always have a good reason to do something because your actions will take time, effort, and investment.
Yes, it’s true that Let’s Hair is where I can be creative, but it’s also the place where I feel safe, where I own all the responsibility, and where my clients choose me because they know who I am and they trust my brand.
My brand never felt complete on social media.
Let’s Hair is the whole wedding day experience. It’s beauty on demand.
On my website, I can show people that I’m going to be there for them. I want you to relax and enjoy the build-up to your wedding. Have a glass of sparkling wine instead of running around the city, going from one place to the next.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m positioning my brand like a trendy boutique hotel. It’s about the specialized services, the friendly atmosphere, and the cool vibes, rather than the 5-star hotel vibe.
On Instagram, I can express a little bit of that, but it’s basically just pictures, right? So, you can have the best photos in the world, and it definitely helps, but you can’t tell the whole story of your brand.
I realized that I needed a website if I wanted to take the next step up, be published in magazines, and grow further because that’s where I can express myself and make bigger contacts.
Managing my website is so easy. I love it.
First things first, I wanted to be able to do it myself. One of my relatives, who has a little more technical experience than I do, made me a WordPress website, but it was difficult to use.
The whole process was complicated, and every time I wanted to get in and edit something, I had to ask for help. With Zyro, everything is easily doable, and I can make changes immediately.
As soon as I get new pictures from a photographer, I can update my Zyro website in minutes. Whereas on my old website, the process editing was horrible, everything just felt so static, and in the end, I think that’s why I gave up.
Zyro is fast, and the websites look great.
A lot of the feeling of my brand comes from the little details. Things like font, color, and even my blog help show potential customers a little bit of my own vibe and how that interacts with my work.
My website lets me show more of myself. I feel that I can articulate my values more clearly than on any other platform, and because of that, potential clients can be more confident to say: “yeah, this is for me.”
Personally, I get that feeling from the templates. They already have such a nice design, and I don’t want to have to think about measuring the gaps between images and the spaces between letters. That’s for the graphic designers and the web developers to worry about.
With Zyro, I can pick up my website, make decisions about my business and move fast without getting bogged down with little problems because those things are already in place.
Customer service is one of the best things about Zyro.
I spent quite a bit of time making my website, and it’s still an ongoing process, but the main work took me around a month to complete.
At that time, the customer service helped me a lot. When you’re building a website, no matter how simple the platform is, you have to accept that there are things you just don’t know. That’s when you need support.
I have a digital background, but there are lots of small business owners that don’t, but I’m sure that anyone would be able to make a website work with the help that you get from Zyro.
I’m so proud of the website I’ve built.
It looks so good that I sometimes think I should raise my prices. I can’t help but ask myself why I didn’t build my website sooner? To think I used to email my clients PDF files before this.
But, the truth is that my website came at the moment that I was ready for it. I realized that my work is quite seasonal. I mostly do hair in the Spring, Summer, and Autumn, but things are pretty slow in Winter.
That’s when I started to diversify into eCommerce. Now, I sell hair jewelry and accessories for my brides.
I had an Etsy shop, and I still have it, but I noticed that it takes quite a lot of effort in upkeep. So, why not put that effort into my website and start selling with Zyro.
My next step? I want to invest in education.
On my website, the main goal is to optimize as much as I can and help the website be recognized on Google by my clients.
That means learning about SEO to attract new clients and make the website work for itself, and I will do anything in my power to do that.
Personally, and for my business, I want to study at one of the style academies in the UK to hone my skills to work on movie sets in the future.
Education also goes both ways, and I would like to create a social platform that could help people from underprivileged conditions to pursue careers and in this field.
For a long time, where I’m from, hairstyling had this reputation as something to do if you didn’t go to college, but that’s not. Every business requires professional excellence and work ethic, and hairstyling is something to be valued and treasured.
My tips for anyone who wants to start a business
I am a go-getter, and honestly, I’d probably need a psychologist to tell you why that is, but what I can say is that people will always find a reason not to do something.
If you want to break that cycle, then you have to train your mind. It’s almost like a muscle, and you have to keep using it to get stronger, but if you don’t start, you will never improve.
For me, I’m a problem solver, and I’ve been training that muscle to be brave enough to let me change when I need to solve problems.
Everyone approached things differently, and the first step is to be critical, take time to look at things, and try to change situations for the better.
I didn’t quit my job for eight years while I was building my business, and only when I was entirely sure that I could do it and I needed to do it.
I’ve tried to take all possible opportunities that came my way in my life, and that has made me fearless. I can make changes in my life because I know that I’m in control and nothing bad will happen.