SBA 7(a) Loan Helps Salon Owner Share the Glory of Sisterlocks
With the help of an SBA 7(a) loan and the SBA Emerging Leaders program, Tameka Stigers moved her hair styling salon from 400 square feet of her home to a 3,000-square-foot salon.
While pursuing a master’s degree at Saint Louis University and styling hair on the side, Tameka Stigers learned of a breakthrough styling technology called “Sisterlocks” for people with textured hair. Further research revealed an emerging market for the technology and expertise in St. Louis.
Inspired by a need to balance caring for her family with earning an income, she pursued extensive training in the Sisterlocks styling technique with the goal of starting a business. In 2009, Tameka brought Sisterlocks to St. Louis with the launch of Locs of Glory. Starting with a 400-square-foot salon inside her home, she quickly outgrew the space and realized she needed more employees.
Tameka sought help from a counselor at the Grace Hill Women’s Business Center. Her counselor helped her craft a business plan, taught her the basics of running a business and pointed her to an SBA lender for funding.
With the help of an SBA 7(a) loan, she built a custom 3,000-square-foot building to house her hair salon and spa service. Today, Tameka employs nine people and has enjoyed steady growth in sales in the last four years. She is part of the SBA St. Louis 2019 Emerging Leaders Initiative and was named the district's Minority Owned Small Business of the Year.
When asked about advice he would give to anyone trying to start or grow their business, Sasson suggested that entrepreneurs reach out to resources like the Kansas Small Business Development Center, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE, for guidance on how to identify and fine-tune their competitive advantage, communicate the value they offer to the market, and build a solid business plan.