We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Idio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, how does your business help the community?
Hair By Akoni’s is a global hair and beauty consulting business that sources hair extensions and wigs, creates natural hair care for texture hair for both men and women, and helps hair and and beauty companies source products and manufacture in China.
We are an essential business because we help small and big business thrive through product development and manufacturing in Asia. During this pandemic, we received a lot of business because many people started businesses. Because of shipping and manufacturing challenges brought on by the pandemic, many established businesses hired us to help them navigate the storm. Because we have over 6 years experience on the grounds in China, our team was able to still reach manufacturers and shippers during the quarantine.
Because of that I am proud of how our businesses helped other businesses keep going.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Before starting my hair and beauty consulting business, I studied law and began working in the legal industry in various areas. The common factors for me were consistently contracts and business. I always knew that I didn’t want to be a traditional lawyer, but if it involved business, I was interested. Therefore, determined to pursue business, I left corporate America and moved to China.
Of course there were challenges: language barriers, living abroad alone, doing business in China, physical displacement due to the global pandemic of Covid-19. When the borders closed, right before mandatory quarantine, I was not able to renter China and do business so I had to return to Texas and regroup my business. I was a bit nervous and frustrated because I thought that everything that I built was going to crash.
But the blessing is that I got to pivot my business from solely selling branded products to really boost my consulting services Imagine, if I was having troubles with my manufacturing, shipping, and sourcing, then there were millions of other businesses who were struggling too and more likely had no clue of what to do. The bright light lit in my brain and said: Stephanie you are essential. These businesses need your experience and expertise of entering China. You have a cheat code and they don’t.
I was able to leverage my relationships with manufacturers, and shippers in China to help other businesses thrive. I really felt like I found my purpose in my business.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would go to Bishop Arts and walk around – Shoutout to Oakcliff. I love the artsy culture and vibe and it is one of my favorite places to be. I would next go to the museum district downtown and visit the DMCA, the Perot Museum, and the Dallas Contemporary Museum. I love a good museum of art and science.
Next I would mosey down to Shops of Legacy and Legacy West in Plano. What an international vibe. I love the luxury leisure that exists there. lots of walking and people watching, eating, and shopping. There is an inconspicuous lake right in front of the Marriot Hotel in Shops of Legacy that I love to visit.
If I were hungry, I could go for a Mod Pizza- cauliflower crust with mozzerella, lots of peppers, roasted garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Other than that, Buckeyes, authentic Indian or Chinese.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shout out to Colby Hazouri. If he never invited me to China, I’m not sure of how my business story would have begun.
Other: Consulting: www.hbasiaconsulting.com
Photography – Christa Eguzquia Make Up- Iheoma Aharanwa Hair- Keira Jones