Co-Founder Abigail Opiah of Yeluchi By Un-ruly shares her experiences growing a startup and why liquid workers are essential for her company.
Co-Founder Abigail Opiah launched Yeluchi By Un-ruly in 2016. Yeluchi is a convenient online platform that lets black women book professional hairstyling services in the comfort of their homes. Yeluchi brings the salon experience to its clients.
Expanding from Conversations to Service
For the three years before launching Yeluchi, Abigail and her sister had been running their media platform Un-ruly, an online resource, and community for black women that are all about hair. They wanted to expand their brand by introducing a product that would be of value to their Un-ruly readers. Abigail’s goal with creating Yeluchi is to build a 360-degree experience that touches on every aspect of black women’s hairstyling routines. Currently, Yeluchi offers several services, including at-home hairstyling, styling for photoshoots and group events, and styling for weddings.
Building a Service and Experience
Since launching in 2016, Yeluchi has steadily grown and expanded from the New York City area to Los Angeles. The company has partnered with major brands. Abigail attributes Yeluchi’s success to their clients’ experiences with the service. When Yeluchi reopened after the COVID-19 restrictions lifted in New York City, Abigail notes, “We brought in over $10,000 in a matter of hours after announcing we’d be resuming services. This showed how hard we’ve worked to create a quality service and how much that service is valued. It’s not lost on us that other small businesses haven’t been as lucky as us in the wake of the pandemic.”
When asked what she wished she knew when starting Yeluchi, Abigail laughed and said, “Everything I know now. I think I was a little naive when launching our service, but at the same time, a little naivety is needed when jumping head first into something you’ve never done before.” When looking for business advice, Abigail relies on LinkedIn and her favorite business outlets – Forbes, Fast Company, and Entrepreneur. She shares, “I’ve also started getting reports from Trends. Really insightful stuff.”“Between a liquid workforce and remote working, we think we’ve struck gold in keeping our operating costs down. Our team is fully remote and spread out across the globe. We love being nimble. It really serves our company well.”Abigail Opiah, Co-Founder of Yeluchi By Un-Ruly
Being Nimble with a Liquid Workforce
Engaging the liquid workforce has been essential to starting and growing Yeluchi. Abigail notes that hiring flex workers is “the only way we could have done it. We launched Yeluchi in just 90 days with just two stylists in NYC.” Her only hesitations before using liquid workers were related to understanding the “ins and outs of the laws, rules, and regulations surrounding contract workers. What (if any) benefits could be offered to them, and how?”
Abigail encourages startups to think about whether or not to engage liquid workers to take the plunge. “Do it! Between a liquid workforce and remote working, we think we’ve struck gold in keeping our operating costs down. Our team is fully remote and spread out across the globe. We love being nimble. It really serves our company well.”
Balancing Work and Life
When asked to describe a typical day, Abigail says, “Every day must start with a scroll through Instagram, then browsing through the various Slack channels that I’m part of and skim through emails. I must get in a morning workout, and after that, it’s just work, work, work.” She says that her perfect day would involve deftly avoiding the consumption of any carbs and getting in some kind of workout – and then at work, she would cross off at least 3 of her major to-dos.
Abigail shared that if her biography is ever written, the title would be In Search Of. A toast to her future accomplishments and life would be, “She did it her way! She lived the width of her life, not just the length of her life.”
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