Fly Female Entrepreneurs
Publicist-Turned-Beautypreneur Tahira Wright On Living & Loving “The Cut Life”
By In Her Shoes Contributor: Brianna Arps, @briannaarps
There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that at least 9 out of 10 women on Instagram have either come across #TheCutLife or are fans and followers of the account itself. Talk about influence! For four years now, The Cut Life (@TheCutLife) has blessed our timelines with the sassiest snapshots of short hairstyles galore all while expanding to become an “it” brand within the beauty industry.
Just how did co-founder Tahira Wright and her business partner manage to rally over 1.2 million “short hair stunners” through the realm of digital media? Grab your notebook and pen, because In Her Shoes has the inside scoop and more!
In Her Shoes: From music publicist to beauty industry power player, describe the process of switching gears and now working on your second passion project, The Cut Life, full time.
Tahira: I’ve always known publicity would be a stepping stone to another entrepreneurial pursuit, but I never imagined it would be in the beauty industry. I felt creatively stifled, and the idea literally popped in my head one day. I’ve worn my hair short for many years and truly lived The Cut Life. What started as a hobby on Instagram, has turned into an actual business. It became clear that I needed to transition into The Cut Life full time as we began growing so quickly. I love what I learned in PR but I’ve never looked back.
In Her Shoes: You co-founded The Cut Life back in 2013 with Garmai Momolu. Since then, your team has grown to include creative director Maya Table, blog editor Marian McPherson and a host of contributors. Can you speak on the importance of teamwork and knowing your strong suits when embarking on a joint venture?
Tahira: It is vitally important to have a team as passionate as you are about your business. I like to hire people who offer an expertise that I’m not able to execute. It helps to keep us from stepping on each other’s toes. We also don’t do micromanaging because we’re a small team. You have to show up and show out or get out.
In Her Shoes: What is a day like in your shoes?
Tahira: My days vary, but typically, I start the day with checking my email. Following up with brands regarding partnerships and collaborations, discussing content ideas with our Creative Director, organizing shoots for product reviews or actually being in shoots myself. Believe it or not, I still post to our IG accounts @thecutlife & @thecutlifemen as well as our other social media accounts. My role is multifaceted as the co-founder/CEO, and my personal brand has developed greatly as well. I’ll host red carpet events, interview celebrities on-camera for The Cut Life TV, speak on panels, host beauty/lifestyle events and more. Each day brings its own joys and challenges, but I love what I do and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
In Her Shoes: The Cut Life essentially owns the space for all things short hair. At what point did you realize that you had struck gold not only with your idea but also in regards to monetizing the brand?
Tahira: I realized we had something early on when a brand was willing to sponsor our launch event when we had well under 5K followers because they simply believed in the idea. From there, we remained consistent with the overall aesthetic of our brand and watched the numbers increase significantly. Oftentimes, we gain 2K+ followers per week!
In Her Shoes: What do you think makes The Cut Life relevant today? What advice would you offer someone who is looking to start something similar while utilizing the power of social media?
Tahira: The Cut Life is and will remain relevant because women have been cutting their hair for years. Our core demo is black women, ages 18-34, but we celebrate women of all ethnicities, and with all hair types/textures, and lengths from bob to bald. Women will always have a conversation about their hair, makeup, fashion, etc. It’s not going anywhere; the dissemination of info just changes over time.
My advice for launching a business on social media is to identify a niche, do your research to determine your target audience, be consistent about posting, engage your audience, post quality images that reflect your brand message and most importantly be your authentic self. The Cut Life is my lifestyle and it’s very real to me. Find what’s real for you and go for it!
In Her Shoes: Alongside branded merchandise and hair products, what more should fans expect from The Cut Life in 2017? We’re crossing our fingers for a podcast, perhaps?
Tahira: We actually have The Cut Life Podcast, which airs every Friday! We re-launched on Valentine’s Day, and you can find the link on our website, www.livethecutlife.com. We’ve also released a Stylist Planner and Brand Builder Workbook in partnership with beauty entrepreneur, Maja Sly, owner of the Pretty Hair franchise, and co-star of WE TV’s “Cutting It in the ATL.” The planner is also available on our website, livethecutlife.com. Our next phase is to definitely develop a mobile app, while continuing to create quality content that represents for the short hair stunners!