Episode 170 Featuring Joseph Ianni

Mikey Moran - Beauty Niche Ecommerce Ecosystem

Mikey Moran - Beauty Niche Ecommerce Ecosystem

Mikey Moran is a serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Private Label Extensions, a hair extension and technology company helping entrepreneurs launch and manage their brands.


In today’s episode, we dive deep into the hair and beauty niche. Mikey talked about the behind the scenes of how the industry’s ecosystem set to revolutionize the experience from shopping to upselling to delivery.

We also talked about his book, “Fearless Beauty”, which is an honest approach into entrepreneurship. This book can help you whether you are in the beauty industry or not.

Mikey's priorities in terms of training his staff -- learning how to upsell

Joseph: For those of you who are familiar with Toronto, I live relatively close to, it's one of the more high-end malls in town, which means that, you know, I periodically visit, they're not done on the routine shopper there or anything like that. But one of the, I'm calling it store just out of habit that I visited was for Casper mattresses.

And the thing that I appreciate about that store is that you don't get the impression that they are desperate to sell the mattress on the day. Then they have a healthy online ecosystem. There's a lot of brand awareness and people do sell, they do make sales, in-person. Being able to actually physically go in there and test it out and try and match for ourselves is even though you can guarantee people, oh yeah, we'll give you a thousand days. It's actually a hundred.

But you know, my point is, we'll give you a thousand days to try this out. If you're not happy to send it back, if you're like, I don't care if I'm getting the money back, I don't want to put up with this, with the hassle of this and the time and the time loss. What I think this has done is that it's given the physical space, almost like this relief where now, you know, they can justify having a physical location, not just for sales, not just for profitability, but also to present the brand in the exact precise way.

And this is what I want to ask you about is also, you know, in the, in the behavior and in the personality that you allow the staff to have, because it's one thing for staff to have beyond that on mode, or they have to constantly like try to drive sales, try to push upsells. Oh yeah. Yeah. How are you doing today? That coffee is great. You know, it would go great with that coffee at this person.

So, whereas, when that pressure is taken off, people. No focus on the brand, focused on talking about the product, focus on the enthusiasm. So can you tell us a little bit more about what it's like to train staff and what are the priorities that they really need to focus on when they're dealing with customers working with customers?

Mikey Moran: Oh, for sure. So our staff, we definitely have upsell products and that's something that actually helps our customer because before, when we sold just a wig, what they would next have to do is go to a beauty supply store and buy the glue for it, or the there's a bunch of different accessories with it. The fact that we started adding those into our showroom, all under the private label brand, which is the brand name for our retail showrooms, customers are absolutely delighted because they say, now you're the one-stop shop where I can get this great wig and all the assessors need it.

So our upsells process is not really a, you know, that the typical, like, you know, where it's just so incredibly obvious, it is more an education component about, hey, you're going to have this product, but to really get the most out of this product, we have these other items. This is how you use them. This is what you do. And you're going to have a much overall better experience with everything. And our clients really appreciate that. They love the products and it really just works. 

Joseph: It just reminded me this story. It's been a while since it came to my mind, but I did use to work at, in a store. I don't want to name names cause I don't want it to come across. Like I'm trying to denigrate them or anything, but, you know, I had to make a certain amount of you know, each day and somebody that I had known he walks in, he used to look after us when we were kids and he was kind of like a family friend. And we hadn't spoken in quite a few years, but he had came in looking for a bag and I was wrestling with the nostalgia of our previous relationship with, I have to make certain amount of sales today, or I'm not going to get my hours.

And actually the last time that I had seen him, cause that is the, at the funeral for one of his loved ones. And that I never really talked about that too. And so there's just. This debate going on in my mind of like, well, how much do I really try to sell to them? How much do I pay my job versus this relationship? He walks out the door, he didn't buy anything. I felt like, wow, I got the worst out of both of that.

So, it's a challenging space, but when you're really focusing on the customer's best interests, and as you say, we have all of what you need here and you will save it here, not only money, but you also save time, not having to look into multiple stores, only for them to have their own agendas as well, because it's one thing for somebody to walk into a store, only pick up like the little accessories and not be able to buy any of the, really the major profitable products that they have in those stores. So they've got their own challenges as well. 

How much does he attribute to the quality of his product and why does he consider himself a product guy

Joseph: Here's something that I noticed. I had a few recordings with people in the hair niche. I don't think we necessarily like had an agenda for it. Sound like. It's like, oh, we got to have like, at least like 10 hair conversations. We just it's just been happening. I think this is either the third or the fourth, and it's not surprising that there's a lot of people working in because most people have experience with hair, but I haven't talked to anybody in like the sleep industry, even though most people have experience with sleep. And I think it comes to this limitation that sleep is largely an objective thing. You know, you're either getting it or you're not, and if you're not getting good sleep, there's usually some objective reasons for, but hair is style based and it's subjective, everybody has different views of what it is that they want to have on their head. So that's the observation.

But my question to you is, how much of your brands and, you know, other clients that you work with, how much of the success do you attribute to the style of the product? And then how much do you attribute to the quality and making sure that it's what they will end up getting when they've ordered from China?

Mikey Moran: It's you know, quality always comes first because at the end of the day, clients are generally styling, whatever product they get, having the trending styles and the way you can construct certain styles and wigs or extensions is a very important thing that we're very focused on.

And actually, if you're watching this and you look at me in this, like how does this guy even know anything about hair extensions, a wig, like any thing, I didn't have any experience with it. And I learned and ramp up quickly. And I usually tell people it's okay if you don't have experience in the field, you're getting into it because everyone starts out with zero experience.

So the goal is to absolutely immerse yourself into whatever that subject is to become an actor. So, you know, kind of my right hand man, his name is Dallas Christopher. He's a partner in the company and he's, I think one of the greatest hairstylists in the US, he's been a Paul Mitchell national educator for 10 years and last year, moved them over full-time with me.

So it's really about different customers are gonna have different expectations, but really you have to do the best you can on the product side, and then just have a more diverse product offering and always listen to your clients. A lot of our pro client, or a lot of our styles and products were developed by listening to our clients.

Joseph: So one of the things that you said there is, you don't necessarily have to be an expert on the subject, that expertise comes with it. And I also see an additional benefit to it, which is not going in with your own preconceived notions of what it should be based off. You know, let's just say you were an expert on it and, you know, you might have this motivation to want to focus more on how you see things rather than try to tell the customers what. It's it is something that I can see happening in this situation.

So with that said, what was it about hair in specific that, assuming that, you know, maybe there was other things you could choose for him. Was it just happenstance or what got you into the hair industry in the first place? 

Mikey Moran: It's one of those things where it just kind of happened. It was not planned. It was something I wasn't thinking about. It's actually, I was just out to lunch with my business partner and we started talking about it and started looking at the industry and researching, and I said, wow, this is a really big industry.

And we first started talking about it back in 2013, where there were very few, online retailers for hair extensions and wigs. So I said, Hey, this could be a huge opportunity here and just kind of jumped in and it's just kept growing and growing. And it's much bigger today than I ever thought I would even grow any business.

So it's worked out well learned a lot along the way, made plenty of mistakes along the way. It's not always just about, you know, I have a passion now for hair, but I didn't when I first got started, obviously in a lot of people that happens to a lot of us, you just start falling in love with the product.

I'm a product guy at the end of the day.

You know, sometimes it's kind of can be plug and play with any product that I really liked that you just become an expert in the product. You know, I spend time overseas, working directly with manufacturers. We partner on certain projects now. So it's just become something that it is every single day. This is what I do, and I love it, but what's been great about it is, you know, we we've helped thousands of people start their own hair and beauty business.

So getting into the drop-shipping side, getting into the technology side, building websites and all that, that's something that I've always been a technology guy. So this has been phenomenal and such an exciting experience to be able to wrap all this into one major project. 

Joseph: And you certainly created an ecosystem the likes of which I've yet to meet anybody else to compare it to, you have a partnership with Shopify. You have your warehouse, you have a influencer platform and it seems like you're not, maybe it wasn't an intentional goal, but it seems like as a result of your actions has been to have a fully functioning, sustainable ecosystem where, you know, you're not only working on, on the ground level with individual consumers, but you're working with other sellers as well.

And then you're working on the back end as well. So would you mind taking us through, I guess the process for how, you know, you go from entering into this. Well, you know, with an open mind to really running a major component of the heritage industry as it is? 

Mikey Moran: You know, it all started with getting into it. We had more of an affiliate system when we first got started, but you know, like I said, we, we listened to our customers like nobody else in the industry, we actually have one of the largest Facebook groups, actually the largest Facebook group for running and managing a hair business, with over 38,000 members, very active groups.

So I get a lot of feedback there. So it's just one of those things. We continue to listen to them. You know, we have like this affiliate model that we scratched in 2015, 2016. Everyone wanted to sell their own brands. So I said, okay, let's create a drop shipping model. Drop shipping in 2015 2016 was just starting to get hot. So I told everybody, I told the staff on Friday, about four of us guys, I got this great idea. I basically spent morning, day and night, working on setting up our first drop shipping system. On Monday, they came into work. I said, guys, this is our new drop shipping system. So we started that. They're like, oh cool.

So we'll explain. All people have to do is set up their website. We'll show them some training videos, blah, blah. Well, it was cool to have this drop shipping system, but then nobody could finish their websites. Like it was just this huge roadblock. So I was just like, holy cow, this is a huge opportunity.

We can build the websites for people because I've always been a web guy, you know, pretty much all my life. So I was like, wow, this is great. So then set up the website. Then they start asking about like branding and all this other stuff.

And today let's create our own branding division. So I create that at this point. There's nothing I don't feel like I can do then. I was like, okay, how can we further automate the drop shipping system? Let's create our own drop shipping system with Shopify. And I'll tell you, I created one way early and Shopify. I couldn't really get approved with Shopify because Shopify payments didn't really want to process a payments for hair extensions back.

Well come 2018 or late 2017. Someone from Shopify reached out to me because they saw one of my blog posts and was like, hey, we see a blog post about this. Can you come to our headquarters and talk about it? I said, heck yeah, I'll come up to Ottawa. So I got invited to the headquarters. I showed them all the data and kind of talked about the hair industry as a whole and what was going on with it and how we built this drop shipping system for Shopify. And I had a candidate because you guys weren't processing the payments, convinced them to say, okay, you can build it again. And we'll process payments. You know, ended up working out fantastic and that's continued to grow. I have big plans for it over the next year.

And then, along the way we, influence the market and got big. And I was using these other platforms and people were just pissing me off with their platform. So I said, I'll just build my own and just be focused on beauty. So it was kind of like one of those things, everyone built these like really wide influencer platforms where it's just everything I said, you know, kind of like a Craigslist.

I said, hey, I'm just going to do beauty. Kind of like Airbnb just did, you know, the housing.

So I just did beauty. We use it. We have tons of users built shop on fire app for that as well. You're definitely right about the ecosystem and it's really having control because generally you have. In today's market, you have the technology side that is like Oberlo for Shopify, right? So they are just a technology and they connect with suppliers, right. And the Ali drop ship and all these other ones where we're very unique is we own the whole process where we are actually the products shipping from USA. So no packets and all that other mess. And we are the technology. So we have the whole spectrum and everything else you need to be to be able to launch really quick. So it's kind of a unique position that we're in. 

How does he maintain a healthy profit margin

Joseph: And I imagine in as well, you also have a shipping, which is a pretty big component for all of this. So how do you handle shipping? Are you just working with say like, how after ship would do it or they just have pretty much every shipping company on the face of the planet I'll connect it to them?

Mikey Moran: So we ship all the products in house, our technology, we use a ship station, so they have an API. So some of our other platforms, you know, they all plug into ship station. It works out pretty well actually. We ship everything currently from Atlanta. But next year I'm already looking for spaces.

We will be opening up a showroom kind of showroom in the front distribution in the back, you know, probably five to 10,000 square foot facility in Vegas. So that's 2022. His goal is to open up Vegas. So all the west coast shipments will be coming from Vegas. It'll cut down the shipping costs and shipping times a lot more happier customers.

And then for 2023 will probably be something along the middle line, like a Chicago, Houston, Dallas, somewhere where we have a big market, as well as we can do the shipping from there from a logistical standpoint, you know, that's, that's really important to me because. The customers that order hair extensions want them immediately generally a very last-minute purchaser.

So instead of trying to change the customer, we have to fix ourselves in our business by being able to serve the customers better. And that is basically kind of an Amazon model where Amazon has warehouses everywhere. You know, we'll eventually get to that point, but we like to own the real estate as well.

Moving forward, we do have some leases, but moving forward. So the shipping part is very important that, and you know, that kind of segues into people like, wow, you have four locations soon to be four locations in Atlanta. I said, yeah, I'm going to have six. And they say, oh wow, that's huge. But you know, getting into e-commerce and how it all ties in, which is something that I think over the next five years, people are going to get into a lot more, but it's not as big now is basically I'm casting a web all over Atlanta.

Within 2022 many orders that are in Atlanta that are actually ordered online, they will be delivered within one hour because I have the web all over Atlanta and Atlanta is the largest market for our products. Basically a, one of the drivers, you know, there's Uber rush. We've talked to Rhody, who's actually has a pretty good system. So like a roadie will pick it up. So if it's in Northern Atlanta, they're not going to pick it up from our main hub. They're going to pick it up from our store. That's in Northern Atlanta to deliver only 10 minutes away. You cut your costs time and everything else.

So basically in 2022, when I'm done with my whole Atlanta ecosystem and one hour shipping, which is soon going to be the expectation, I think it's going to be something that people are going to be, our clients are going to be really excited about, and then we can move it to other cities while we got to start in Atlanta first cause we're here.

Joseph: With getting something within an hour. I can see like a few specific scenarios where that, that would be ideal. Like if somebody has an event that night. You know, and they have to get there, kind of have to get that extension. So I can certainly understand situations like that. But is there a goal? So I understand that is your goal for that to be at a norm. And you want that to be like the thing that customers are going to be able to routinely expect? 

Mikey Moran: Currently. And that's where you have to be careful because of the expectation. So currently we're doing more of a manual process where we're reviewing the order, the distance from where we are, and we're actually reaching out to the customer directly.

We actually have one of our managers call and say, hey, you know, Ms. So-and-so, it looks like you ordered this product today. Thank you so much. Now I know you generally would expect this to ship today and you get it in one to two days. But we're working on a new program where we can get this to you within the next hour or two. Are you going to be at this address where you ordered the product and would it be okay if we got it to you in the next hour? Oh my God. Like these guys, the customers are freaking out and you also have to think a lot of our clients are hairstylists. So what hairstylists have to do is they have to, they make money behind the chair.

Every time they have to leave the chair to go get a product, that's costing them money. If they know that we can get them to the hair and they don't have to keep driving. I mean, people take Uber's to us all the time. You know, if they know that they can get it within a certain time period and they can continue to make money where on the back end, we're supplying with the products. It's a huge win for everyone. 

Joseph: And then with the cost itself of the delivery, even I in my 102 class that I had, that I pegged myself in. You know, once if a truck or a plane or ship, the more volume you can put onto it, the more, the more profitable it is. Whereas if we're talking about really like one extension here, that seems to me, like this is going to be the biggest challenge for us to maintain a healthy profit margin.

So does this fall to the drivers to be, to be wise about their pickups, by making sure that they pick up enough products and that they're delivering is the onus on you to make sure that the cost of delivery is, is the worthwhile? 

Mikey Moran: Great question, because what we look at now is if an order is $50, it doesn't really make sense to do this right, because there's just not enough margin.

So actually right now, definitely when we do this, we're losing $5 $6 per shipment, relative to, you know, the shipping costs that is actually collected. Okay.

So I have to think of it as almost a marketing expense for that extra $5, $6, $7, because the customer experience is something they've never experienced in the hair industry before by getting it so fast, you know, they're posting it on social media, like, oh my God, I got it. I got my hair in an hour, like, who does this?

So it depends on how you in your head as the entrepreneur and owner or whatever, you know, how you really pitch it as, and, you know, you remind the customer about like, hey, make sure you share your experience. You have to, you have to kind of nudge them a little bit politely. It goes a long way. I mean, how much do you pay someone with thousands of followers to post something that they purchase something on Instagram, a lot of time, most purchases aren't getting posted, but when you do something in an hour, they're so excited and the expectation is as exceeded so greatly.

They're more than happy to do so. I dunno, it's a good dollar, dollar average, therefore, the marketing expense, right? 

Joseph: Yeah. I mean, if you're willing to, this is my understanding of it, if you're willing to treat it as a loss leader, it's, you know, it's one thing for that to be okay. You know, we sell them on that, but then, you know, they can come into our store, but not only is it about coming to come into a showroom, but it is also maybe them becoming influencers themselves and realizing that there's so much more opportunity available to them.

So somewhere, you know, there has to be in marketing somewhere. There has to be a calculated risk. And if you can actually integrate with still delivering on the product. That's a pretty good way to handle the situation I got to say. 

Mikey Moran: Yeah. You know, we also have a wholesale system, so we partnered with one of our manufacturers overseas, and the goal is to, you know, they pay the real ship in price.

So shipping overseas, whether it's one, two wigs and it's, you know, $22 to ship or 10 weeks, and it's 30, $40 to ship. The goal is to start also being able to on certain orders, be able to get those orders to the clients where they expected to show up in a week, because it's coming from overseas to get it within that short time period as well.

We could actually make a lot of extra money on the shipping cost that was charged for the delivery. They are more than happy to have it delivered in an hour. They're not even worried about what they paid for shipping because they expected to get it in a week because it's a much lower cost per product.

So they're getting the deal of a lifetime online. But if we can exceed the expectation there as well, it is 100% game changer because I said, you know, our local showrooms and competition, our competition is not here in the US for hair. The competition is China is mostly China. You know, they have football fields of people that literally, and I've been there.

They literally sit there all day. They are absolutely blasting people on WhatsApp, on Instagram, DMS, DMS, all this stuff contact all day, they go to every one of your followups contact, every single one. Those are our competition. I'm not worried about the people in the US to be honest. 

Mikey's book "Fearless Beauty"

Joseph: Having talked about the hair niche for a good little while here. I've come to realize that we really want to make sure that we bring the book in, into all of this, because I think a lot of what we're talking about is in relation to it.

So the name of the book is fearless beauty. Quick warm up question. Before I get to the main one, which is, you know, where did the, where did the name for that come from?

fearless beauty book

Mikey Moran: That's a good question. So I was working with my publishing company on that and said, okay, we've got to come up with the name. And I was like, okay. It was, it's one of those things, how I name, businesses and everything else. Generally, it's going to be two words and, you know, you have to think of one that kind of is more descriptor.

And one is kind of more that physical thing, which is, or beauty is not necessarily physical, like physical products. So I just kind of had to put two words together that really made sense. And for me, it's all about being fearless and entrepreneurship because a lot of hers are held back from doing amazing things as entrepreneurs only because we're scared.

It's not that we don't have the capability to do so we're just scared to do so. And then beauty being in the beauty industry, you know, it's funny the book, if you read the whole book, you'll notice that it's not necessarily, I'm not sitting in. Or, you know, I didn't write all about beauty it's but when you do your first book, you really have niche down.

Otherwise you're not going to sell any copies. So I'm in the beauty industry. So I figured, okay, well, because I did a lot of research how to do a successful book. So I said, okay, it's gotta be talk about beauty because people will, in the beauty industry, it'll be an easier sell before, you know, people know my books are good. So it was just about being fearless in the beauty industry. It just made sense. 

The one idea that set Mikey apart from the industry

Joseph: According to your description, you had one idea that set you apart from the industry, and that was your advantage. I think we might've talked about it, which is your ability to build out the whole infrastructure yourself. That's my educated guess on it, but if you can tell us what was it that really sets you apart from the industry? 

Mikey Moran: Really I think we do a better job of listening to our customers than anybody. I mean, it really comes down to everything that I built was because it was a need of one of our customers.

And day in, day out, I listened to our clients and we are so client focused. And I think that's what's really helped us for our business because people know we actually care.

You know, whether you're walking into the showroom, the online experience, the shipping experiences, if something goes wrong, we put a plan in place stuff to fix it. We just don't keep touching, not hot stove. So I think that's something and then being allowed to, after all the different projects I've done over the last, you know, my whole life of entrepreneurship, it's allowed me to be able to build out and get the teams to help build out all the products and services we offer to make someone successful in the industry.

Joseph: And this is something that's that stuck out to me because you've made it very, you made a very careful and conscious effort to receive the information, receive the feedback from your customers and make sure that their needs are being met and equally conscious efforts, not to try to influence their behavior, try to tell them what they want.

What I'm wondering is if any of that has happened anyways, if it was maybe unintentionally you unintentionally found some way that you were actually changing the conversation of. And that's just, you know, the hair niche, as far as the industry has had an influence over? 

Mikey Moran: Nothing too much to do with the actual hair products, because people are kind of set on what they like. But as from a technology standpoint, I definitely have been pretty adamant about, you know, the one simple thing I actually talk about in my book is getting on the right platform. You know, I do not know people that are successful e-commerce on Wix sites. People get on Wix because they spend a ton of money on marketing Squarespace ton of spend a ton of money on marketing.

Like I said, an earlier MailChimp's right over here. They sold for a lot of money, but honestly, MailChimp as a e-commerce provider. Or for a newsletter and email provider for e-commerce. I don't think they're a good service anymore. You know, I even told them, cause I see some of the MailChimp people, I was like, you guys lost focus. You know, for me, it was mostly a technology play where I said, initially we really recommended WordPress and Shopify.

Now we're pretty strict on just recommending people to get on Shopify. And in a lot of it comes down to the ecosystem. Shopify has built is hands down. I think the best, you know, the products and services that Shopify themselves offer like 24/7 customer support for $30 a month.

That basic program, you can't beat that, you know?

So that offloaded a lot of the customer service that WordPress, because it's like you get on WordPress, you have a problem. They're always contacting us. There's no one else. Unless you hire some expensive developer, they have no people are lost. People in the beauty industry aren't necessarily all tech savvy, so they need some extra assistance. That's where Shopify came in. So it was more of a technology recommendations of what we really thought was good relative to like actual styles or products. 

Joseph: Yeah. Well, what I will say, just from my own point of view, I've had next to no experience with Wix or Squarespace either, but I do listen to you know, a fair amount of podcasts.

You know, Squarespace does tend to come up a lot as a sponsor. I do see a lot of Wix advertisements on YouTube.

And I think what I found about those platforms is that they are more geared towards people who have like preexisting brands where they're, you know, the individual is the, is the brand. If they have a presence on YouTube or something like that, then they tend to lean more towards those websites because they want to maintain a consistency in the way their brand looks.

So that's what I see them doing, but I agree with you. It doesn't have the same brass tacks that Shopify does. Shopify gives people the means to build their brand from scratch. And I think utilize the other social media platforms as well to help it create their own. 

Mikey Moran: Yeah, Shopify is big. I love Shopify being a publicly traded company because they need to continually innovate and make money as a platform to appease their investors. So it's something that they're always pushing. They're always going to push the needle with technology, which I think is so important.

You know, all the integrations with now Tiktok and all the social platforms, like you said, is huge. You know, they're a huge company, so they can contact whoever platen new platform and be like, Hey, we need to do an integration right away and just keep up with everything. And they're always going to yeah. Shopify as the big ones. So it just makes sense.

Joseph: No, that was a news to me as well. In this conversation is that Shopify, I didn't expect there to be working relationships with people such as yourself who are handling the product infrastructure.

In my naivety, I guess I just thought that Shopify really just focuses on the backend. And then as far as products go, people are, are kind of on their home. They reached out to you, they, they, they were willing to work with you and you had to cross a certain threshold, I think, for them to be able to do that.

So just remind us what exactly is that threshold and like w how would somebody else maybe in a different niche be able to cross that threshold? What is it exactly that makes this partnership at that, at that scale? 

Mikey Moran: Well, actually, it's funny because when we first started talking to them, our main privatelabel, extensions.com, our main website was still on WordPress.

When we started working with them, it was not even from a, the aspect of we had all this other business. So the threshold was, we were basically not on Shopify at all. So after we built this, and then I saw Shopify was really pushing the needle 2018, 2019, I'm really 2019 on everything. We switched our entire platform over to Shopify plus, which was a major move.

I mean, I spent over a quarter million dollars in 2018, just on blogs. Right. We published a thousand, you know, probably average 2000 word blog posts in 2018, a thousand. I lost 75% of my SEO, just switching over to Shopify. It's a lot of it's come back, but it's taken two years to come back. I actually had someone from Shopify.

You know, they get weird about who it is and names out, but I have someone from Shopify, they actually came down to Atlanta and worked out of my office for a week, just was watching everything we do and was just really impressed. So they can report back to the, the teams. And he noticed that I was using square.

And he's like, Mikey, why are you using square? I was like, man, they have a great point of sale. I was like, I looked at Shopify, but there's some, a few things that you guys need to improve. He goes, man, it would be great if you got on Shopify. And I said, you know what? Let's go upstairs on order all the equipment.

Now it's like, I'll just wait for Shopify to update everything. And I mean, just our point of sale, we process millions of dollars of transactions a year. And Shopify loves transactions. Like, you know, it's, you know, we know shop pay and all that is really Stripe. Shop pay installments as a firm, but they still get a cut of all that.And so it's just easy money for them.

So as you start processing more volume, then they start to really like. It depends on who, you know, like going to the conferences stuff, which now we can't go kind of sucks, obviously. Cause it was probably right down the street from you, Shopify unite, but really it's just, it's not just Shopify it's anything in business is building relationships. And you have to be really good at building relationships with your partners and everybody you work with. So you guys can do more together. So really it's not just how do you work with Shopify? How do you work with more people? It's just be stronger at building relationships. 

The value of hair according to Mikey

Joseph: So this one, with everybody in their hair needs, should I speak to, I always want to ask them, you know, how do we really talk about the true innate value of hair? I mean, it's one thing for it to look pretty, but, you know, there's more to it than that. It gives people confidence. It gives people a sense of their own autonomy.

When one of them talked about how, you know, somebody was a cancer survivor and wore a wig to reclaim some of their identity that they felt they lost after chemo. So from your point of view, you know, perhaps up speak of an individual who bought an extension and it really made a difference for them or a wig. Or you could also talk about, you know, influencers that you were able to really boost the platform for. So, from your point of view, what are the true values of a pair? I know it sounds so corny when I ask it like that, but it is what it is. 

Mikey Moran: No, it's true. I mean, hair is so important to so many people, right? So the cancer part is really close, too close to us. At private label, we have people within our organization that have struggled with cancer, me and myself, two times dealing with cancer. Luckily I caught it early both times. Otherwise the first time I'd definitely, I would not be here today. There's no way.

And so cancer is something that's really important to us. We've actually donated hundreds of wigs over the years and done different things for people. You can see when we bring someone in that's maybe a cancer patient or something, we'll do like a prom makeover for someone that just needs. Some people just need that, like that extra something, you can see it in their face, like, and just how they feel and the confidence and everything else.

And that's why for me, I'm never about what style someone should wear, short hair, long hair. It's just whatever you want. Like what's gonna make you happy. That's what's most important to us. But that gets, that gets, you know, important part about our business too. We do as much as we can to give back to our community that supports us, within our Facebook group, I actually give a laptop away every single week, a brand new laptop.

A lot of people are trying to run businesses just from their cell phone. And you're at a huge disadvantage. I think you would definitely agree. You can manage a business from there, but you can't really build a business from a cell phone.

Joseph: Check for updates. Like if there's a fire, you'll find out on your phone first.

Mikey Moran: Right? So it just goes into everything we do within the business. It's really, to also help people in our clients and, and hair is an important, obviously an important component of that as being the product. It's something that is just so important to people. Both men and women, that it's amazing to be able to make them really happy.

And especially because we're, we've done a really good job at our price point of offering the types of products that, you know, you're generally in the US you'd be paying a lot more for, but because we've reinvested the business, we don't have like a mortgage on our main property and all this. We can be really affordable for a lot of clients.

And what we've also done is, as much as I know hair and I'm like, okay, this is the best hair. This is what everyone should be wearing. Not everybody can afford this. So we have some other really good, low cost options because a lot of people just don't have the budget, right. So you have to be very conscious about, you know, not everybody has the privilege of buying the best hair and all this other stuff.

I mean, I supply hair to, you know, we don't talk about who our real clients are, but some of the biggest names that everyone follows that were like really long hair, I'm kind of the guy that a lot of people go to. I mean, talking the top, most followed celebrities in the world have worn hair that's from my office, you know? So it's just giving people what they want and just doing it.

Joseph: That's amazing. There is one pretty, and I'm not like a massive fan of, but once we turn off the recording, I'm going to ask you to just shoot that one in the dark. I won't actually, you probably not going to want to tell me it'd be to the confidence.

Mikey Moran: I would tell you. I can tell you off camera. I don't care as long as it's not recorded, but you know, we don't really flop like a lot of people in the hair industry. They really flop who their clients are, but because we're behind the scenes of a lot of people, like we're good. We don't need to do that. We're not posting all these. It would help our business. But it would also alienate our business on the backend because we're alienating the clients that we supply that are supplying to the big celebrities.

How to get started with the hair niche

Joseph: One more on subject. And then I'm going to give you one other one. That's more of like a line down question. It looks like I'm going to steal you for a few extra minutes. I hope you don't mind? Excellent. Love it. So for people who are interested in getting into this, they think that the hair niche is a good place for them. How can they, you know, enter this ecosystem we've created and get themselves started there. 

Mikey Moran: We have a bunch of websites. You could first start by going to privatelabelextensions.com. You can see the drop shipping system at dropshipbundles.com.

We have privatelabelbranding.com. They all link together. If you want wholesale private label, wholesale.com.

So, you know, there's links to all the websites to kind of go all, go through it. But we've built a lot behind it. I'm actually working on starting a hair brand from scratch and doing like a YouTube kind of documentary on it.

And then at the end of the documentary, I'm giving away the hair brand. So that's on my YouTube channel hair, business blueprint, which has been fun, making these videos and seeing all the comments and everything else. That's something I'm definitely going to be working on more in 2022 is the YouTube channel.

Because once again, very powerful and more people are on YouTube now than ever. So yeah, that's an easy way, the main websites, and then you can kind of you'll, you'll go down the rabbit hole of information cause we've got a lot. And, you know, the key is before you get too excited about it and say, oh, wow.

You know, I want all of these people that maybe could buy hair from me is make sure you spend some time educating yourself about the products, everything that's involved, because yeah, we do make it easy for you to set up your brand that does not mean you will be successful. It takes a while to be successful, no matter how many tools you have. And that's where a lot of new entrepreneurs get lost and kind of, you know, hit failure because they think it's going to happen overnight because it looks like that on Instagram. 

Joseph Ianni
Joseph Ianni

Debutify is the easiest way to launch and scale your eCommerce brand.

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