Fly Female Entrepreneurs

Maya Smith of The Doux Revolutionizes The Beauty Industry With A Love For All Things Retro

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Maya Smith is an International Master Stylist and Founder of The Doux Salon and hair care line now available in Target. With over two decades of styling experience, Maya dedicated countless hours to cracking the code on curl care, maintenance and expert styling. When it comes to caring for one’s natural hair and styling it, Maya is the best there is. Learn more about this artist, including what she thinks about the surge in Black women-owned businesses and what she can’t live without, today on In Her Shoes:

In Her Shoes: What was your career path prior to getting into the beauty industry?

Maya:  I’m an “O.G.” hair stylist. I’ve been a licensed professional since my senior year in high school.

In Her Shoes: From 1997 to 2017, the number of Black women-owned businesses in America has grown by 605%. Why do you think this is?

Maya: I think as Black women, we are not only more conscious of our buying power, but recognize our influence in the marketplace. Each woman’s success seems to inspires the next. We’re inspiring each other to create more products and services that represent our interests and reflect our world view. The only way to do that is to invest in ourselves.

In Her Shoes: As a wife, mother, and beautypreneur, what’s your “secret” to juggling it all?

Maya: My secret to juggling has been mastering the art of knowing what balls to put down. I am mom of 5, so my day is typically a mix of carpool, curls, and conference calls, which can be a lot to keep up with. I’ve developed a stellar team of trustworthy people to tackle the things that I can’t, and I’m never too proud to ask for help. I’m learning that as a woman, I can have it all, but I’m the one who gets to define what “all” is.

In Her Shoes: What is one of the biggest and most unexpected lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

Maya: It’s okay to say NO. I’ve had to retrace my boundaries and be more concerned with maintaining the integrity of my brand than saying yes or doing what’s popular.

In Her Shoes: We love the funky, 90’s vibe on your packaging. What inspired you to take this approach with your branding?

Maya: What most people don’t know is that I’m also the creative director and designer for my brand. Because I developed The Doux in my salon, it was important to remain authentic and to allow my brand to be a reflection of my personal aesthetic. From our trade name to our use of bright color, The Doux is an amalgam of my love for hip hop, pop art, and all things retro.

In Her Shoes: When you find yourself in a creative rut, what are some of the things you do to push through?

Maya: As an all-around artist, it’s not uncommon to experience burn-out. When I feel “stuck” or uninspired, I shift my focus to another area of my creativity. For instance, when I feel overworked in the salon, I go home and paint. When I’m tired of painting, I write or decorate.

In Her Shoes: If you could have any celebrity or historic figure as a client, who would it be?

Maya: Erykah Badu. She’s my hero.

In Her Shoes: What are three things (tools, apps, etc.) you can’t live without?

Maya: Shazam, my glasses, and my Felicia Leatherwood detangling brush.

In Her Shoes: Are there any exciting plans for The Doux this year we need to know about?

Maya: We’re definitely the new kids on the block, but you can expect to see much more of us this year. Our hope is to bring a lot more color and creativity to this industry.

To learn more about The Doux click here or follow the brand’s journey on Instagram @ilovethedoux!

As a New York City beauty PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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