By: Lavanya Kathirgamanathan
Published on September 2, 2022.
The youth of Generation Z have become some of the world’s most impactful leaders in today’s self-made small business scene. They have utilized their hobbies, passions, and favorite sources of entertainment to drive their success.
According to a study from Nielsen, a business service that gives insight on audience measurement, 54 per cent of Generation Z are interested in starting their own company to make a living.
For insight, Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, is the generation that was born from 1997 to 2012. This generation is also more progressively digitized than previous generations.
The majority of Gen Z use social media and enjoy creating content on various platforms. Whether it is sharing their own personal experiences, making people laugh, or promoting their own business, Gen Z rightfully proves that social media leads to personal and professional growth, enabling the youth to make valuable business decisions. Both Gen Z and millennials, who were born from 1981 to 1996, make up more than 57 per cent of those who have started online self-made businesses.
Diamond Dillon, a university student and a Black female business owner, started a hair care line this year that has been in the works for a couple of years. In 2022, she decided that it was the appropriate year to kick start her business. With the help of social media, she is striving to start a new path for herself by creating content that promotes her products.
This has enabled her to step out of her comfort zone and exemplify an entrepreneur that shares her personal hair care routine with the world. She advertised her hair care product on Instagram, creating reels and tutorials demonstrating how to use the oil and explaining how it has benefited her hair growth.
Initially, Dillon’s hair care line started as a product for personal use. She started to research ways to induce rapid hair growth for her own benefit. She would also experiment on her own hair using homemade recipes that she originally formulated.
“I got the ingredients myself and started using them at home, and you know, so many people saw. I eventually started to sell the oil,” explains Dillon.
Hair care is something true to Diamond’s personality and her own concept of self care and love to feel empowered. She decided to create a recipe using oils designed specifically for her own needs and concerns, as Dillon is someone who struggles with trichotillomania.
“Another reason why I started my hair care line was because I struggle with trichotillomania, which is an anxiety disorder. So, I pulled my hair out a lot which makes me pretty much have little bald spots here and there, so I needed something that would grow back my hair, like, really quick,” she says.
Dillon mentions that she had a plan in place before creating her brand. She took time to visualize the products and how she wanted them to look in order to live up to her vision. She explained before her launch that she watched numerous YouTube videos and researched heavily online about the best way to market a product. Keeping these tips in mind, Dillon added her own flair when talking to vendors, stepping out of her comfort zone to create a business that would be profitable and something she is proud of representing.
“I have ingredients coming from India, Chile, Mexico. . . some are even domestic so from Canada and also from Jamaica. You know it was a whole process, honestly, it really made me come out of my comfort zone too,” says Dillon.
Although she has not started shipping worldwide, she hopes to start shipping internationally as her business picks up.
Dillon discussed the meaning behind her brand name Diamond’s Choice.
“I feel like it is just a reflection of me, honestly. Even with the name that I went for—it’s called the 24K growth oil, and my brand name is Diamond’s Choice, of course, so with that being said I kind
of went with just how my name is Diamond. It just gives a luxurious feel to it, like with the name,” continues Dillon.
She also explained that the brand is all about embracing your hair in its natural state, kinks and all, while learning about your hair when it grows.
When Dillon started her hair care line, she received plenty of encouragement from people around her, especially her family.
“I shared the oil with my family, and they used it. They loved it, so they were all here for me. They are actually my number one supporters,” she says.
Dillon’s main message that she wants to spread to customers about her hair brand is to work towards self-improvement, have perseverance and patience when the odds are against you, whether it be going through a difficult hair journey or other aspects of life.
“The main message is trusting the process with hair growth. Your hair is not going to grow overnight, of course. We do have the oil to speed up the growth, then, you know, kind of help your hair grow, but it really is a process. What we want to encourage is trusting the process of your hair and also learning about your hair,” states Dillon.
Dillon explained that there is a lot of misconception in the media when it comes to Black hair, what it is capable of, and how it should be taken care of.
“The tips I have for young Black people that are starting a business is honestly just to go for it. You will face challenges; it is going to be challenging in the sense that you have to learn to do everything yourself. You have to be your own designer. You have to be your own manufacturer. You got to make the product. You have to really put in those extra hours and really believe in what you’re doing, so that you can really see [success], ” advises Dillon.
You can shop Diamond’s Choice here.
Lavanya Kathirgamanathan is one of the Writers for this year’s publication at Black Voice. She’s a recent graduate from Toronto Metropolitan University, where she studied Journalism and will further her education in Human Resources at George Brown College. Lavanya has experience writing for multiple publications and has her own food blog on social media. Lavanya’s main goal as a writer for the Black Voice publication is to showcase Black excellence within the community, and in the city of Toronto.