A mum of two has used the months of lockdown to launch her own dreadlock business.
Aiysha Homer, 40, from Peterlee was working as a lunchtime supervisor at a local school, a job she loved, but money was so tight she wanted to put her creativity to something that could nurture her passions as well as enabling her to provide a more comfortable life for her family.
She decided she wanted to do something she was passionate about and approached East Durham Business Service for advice as to what the best options were.
Initially, Aiysha, who suffers with dyslexia, thought about starting a cleaning business, however during a session with adviser Hina Joshi, she identified a gap in the market to make and sell dreadlocks, which was something she already enjoyed doing.
Aiysha, who also has a 14-month-old granddaughter, said: “I loved my job but money was so tight and wanted to do something that was more inspiring, but that also could earn me more money.
“I am such a creative person and thought there must be something that I could do that would get me where I wanted to be.
“I had been wearing dreadlocks myself for a while and when Hina and I sat down and had a chat about what might work in terms of a viable business, we discovered there was a gap in the market for such a venture.
“Over the last few months, we’ve been getting everything ready for the business to launch, and now, thanks to the great support I’ve had from Hina and East Durham Business Service, I have formally registered Dreadsrock.”
Aiysha makes her dreadlocks on wooden table clamps using a backcomb and a wig steamer, with styles ranging from twist dreadlocks from single decorated dreads with beads for £10 to double ended and single ended dread sets decorated and undecorated ranging from £15 up to £160 for full sets. Custom made dreadlocks are also available.
She also has plans to introduce crocheted dreadlocks once the business is established.
Her market includes people who don’t want to dreadlock their own hair, people who follow specific styles such as goth, steampunk or boho, people who go to festivals and want dreadlocks as a one off, and to go with fancy dress costumes.
Hina Joshi, business adviser at Novus Business Centre-based East Durham Business Service, said: “It’s such a unique business that Aiysha has launched and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support her to get everything set up for it.
“She’s certainly done her research and is so passionate about what she does that I’m confident she can make a success of it.
“It’s also fantastic to see new businesses being launched during a period when so many firms have struggled. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see other new ventures get off the ground over the coming weeks and months and lockdown restrictions continue to ease.”
Aiysha received support from East Durham Business Support through the Enterprise Support in the North East European Regional Development Fund programme
If you have an idea that you think could become a viable business, give Hina a call on 0191 5863366, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.