Meet Ebony Delong, an entrepreneur, and mother of two beautiful girls. She is the owner of a beauty and hair business, A Nu’ Braid. Ebony is from Bronx, New York but moved to South Carolina at a young age. She has over 12 years of experience in doing hair. After high school, Ebony received her cosmetologist license and later proceeded to get her business license. With her business license, she expanded her business by developing custom wigs and her beauty products. Ebony makes all of her products by hand; she has a natural product line of soaps, beard oils, body washes, bath bombs, face masks, and many more. Her hair product line includes conditioners, shampoos, and pomades. Then there are some miscellaneous products like her dread-loc detoxes and incense. Ebony was recently able to get her beauty line in local stores, and she continues to expand her business outside of her local area. Ebony has gone through a lot in life, but she continues to push herself to stay strong and make her dreams happen. Things are on the up for her, and that is because she has a BOSS mindset.
12 Questions with Ebony and building A Nu Braid
1. How did you come up with the name A Nu’ Braid?
It’s very weird how I came up with the name. Me and a few of my friends were sitting at my table in the kitchen, and we were throwing around the name, and back then, all I did was braid hair when I first started my business. I wanted to incorporate the word braid in my business name. We were all young and weren’t taking things seriously; we were joking, and one of my friends was picking on the other one! The statement was blurted out, “OH GOD, GIRL, u need a new braid in the front.” And it just hit me! I was like, THAT’S IT! I played around with the spelling because I wanted it to look unique, and there you have it, A Nu Braid.
2. What is the purpose behind your brand?
The purpose behind my brand is to promote happiness with oneself and health. This is because all my products have nothing but natural ingredients, and it’s to better yourself in a healthy way, and they all field results. The wigs and hair products I have are to promote happiness with oneself.
3. When did you decide the beauty industry is your niche?
Well, I think I decided when I was very, very young. Like for one, it runs in my family. I have many family members in the hair industry, but I’ve had such a bigger vision over the years than to stay in one field inside the beauty industry. I wanted to be a part of it all but in a significant way by creating my own brand of everything, basically changing the game and setting trends.
4. What were the first steps you took to becoming a business owner?
The first step I took was educating myself. When I say educating myself, I don’t mean going to school even though I attended college and received degrees. It was really after college when I started reading and researching how to become a successful business owner. The internet was indeed my teacher from following inspirational business owners on social media and them giving advice and steering people in the right direction. It’s all about learning and continuing to learn on your own.
5. If you can do anything differently, what would it be?
The only thing I would do differently is to have started learning on my own a lot sooner. I feel as if I would be a lot further in my career at this point if I would have known some of the things I learned a few years ago.
6. If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
The advice I would give to my younger self would be to stay focused. I constantly got distracted by social media and things that didn’t have anything to do with my goals or business. So, staying focused on things that really matter and will make a difference.
7. You have been doing hair since we were teenagers; what drives you to keep after your dreams and goals?
I knew this question was coming, and I knew it would be the most challenging question to answer because sometimes I don’t know what keeps me going. But then I sit, and I think about everything I’ve been through over the years with losing both parents, becoming a single mother, and losing my older brother to murder. People ask me all the time how I go on. How do I find the strength to continue to be such a determined successful person I am today? And I can never come up with a definite answer. I had to learn after everything I’ve been through; life owes me nothing. Yet, at the same time, life gives me every opportunity to work for everything I want in life. My heart is full of pain because of what I went through in life, but at the same time, it’s full of love. The woman I became cost me a lot in life; it cost me relationships, friendships, and material things. At this point in life, I’m fine with that. I chose the person I am today over the old Ebony. The old Ebony and old situations made me who I am today! It made me as tough as I am today! It made me more determined to be a successful business owner. The main reason is to be an example for my children. I need to be the person they look up to for every aspect of life.
8. What are some things you like to do during your free time?
In my free time! I don’t know; I’m always doing something. To me, I love a very simple boring life, LoL! I don’t go hang out much or any of the regular stuff with free time. Most of my family stays up north, and my friends either live hours away or are just busy with life, but I text and talk to them all the time. However, when I’m absolutely free, I’m always thinking about new ideas, how to create another source of income, and building my brand. I know that’s crazy, but my mind is always on go mode; I can’t turn it off! So, when I have free time from working on the current project, I’m trying to work on something new.
9. With you being a one-man show, how do you have time for your business and personal life?
That’s a good question because I don’t know, LoL! All I can say is that you must have a balance between personal and business life. I say this because I’ve driven myself crazy on several occasions, trying to be all business and no play. I used to think making to-do lists would help me balance and do everything I needed to do, but NOPE. I try to remember everything at this point. Basically, balance! I love my personal time, but I love working and the business part of my life. I take the time when it comes along. Nothing is ever scheduled in my life; things can change at any moment.
10. What is one thing a lot of people don’t know about you?
I hear a lot that people think I’m a mean and snobbish person. I hear it all the time, and I find it to be the craziest thing ever. I believe people are so quick to label you from what you have been through, especially when people see me out in public not smiling and being serious and stuff. I’m the nicest person ever; I guarantee as soon as someone speaks or calls my name, my real facial expression changes with the biggest smile ever and all. I’m always willing to help the next. So, for the people who don’t know, I’m not a mean person, LOL!
11. What are some of your personal beauty tips?
One of the most essential beauty tips I try to follow is to simply stay hydrated. Being hydrated helps with so much: skincare and healthy hair. Drink plenty of water and try and eat right. The saying, you are what you eat, is very accurate. Watch what you are putting into your body because it has a lot to do with skin and hair care.
12. What are some of your favorite go-to beauty products?
Well, my favorite would have to be my soap. They have so many benefits and can help with a variety of different things from skincare to relaxing you.
To keep up with Ebony, you can visit find her on social media!
Facebook: A Nu’ Braid Inc
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