Success doesn’t happen overnight. Especially in entrepreneurship. For beauty entrepreneur Lia Dias, CEO of The Girl Cave LA, her success happened when she decided to go against the grain and pursue entrepreneurship while studying for a master’s in social work. Five years later, after leveraging her 9 to 5 to start her business, she is the proud owner of The Girl Cave LA beauty supply chain and owns multiple businesses.
In addition to her beauty supply store chains, Dias owns the Champ City Bar & Lounge and Juice It Up in Los Angeles. For the last 5 years, Dias has been growing and scaling The Girl Cave LA. And says that it was not easy breaking into the industry because of distributors who discriminate against black beauty supply owners.
“When I first started, I had to start small because I didn’t get the benefit of the doubt from a lot of distributors. I had to give them my money upfront and say, ‘Please work with me. I promise that I’m an honest person,” said Dias.
Related: Black-Owned Beauty Supply Stores Are Growing
Her integrity as a businesswoman and the capital she was able to save from her job eventually positioned her to claim a stake in the industry and set her up for success.
In a recent Instagram Live interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE Digital and Events Editor Lydia T. Blanco, Dias shared her journey and how she has been able to do business, pivot, and give back during the pandemic.
Lia Dias on Doing Business, Pivoting, and Giving Back
“We had to totally shift how we do business with the pandemic. We always had a website, we maintained it, and we had orders; but we had to focus our efforts on the website and running ads to basically target people to the website. We had to add a new dimension of business,” said Dias. “Now we do curbside pickup because a lot of people are not comfortable coming in the store. So, we have a person at each location that is dedicated just to go out and basically do curbside delivery services.”
Additionally, Dias says that she and her team have had to be creative about how they transitioned during this time as they respond to the needs of their customers.
Beyond the needs of her customers, Dias is making it her business to serve and take care of her community. As an Inglewood native, Dias understands the promises of upward mobility. That is why she employs black women from the communities where her stores are located. And during the pandemic, she continues to hire people as the demands for products and services increase. She is even giving away essential items to customers and community members who are in need.
Watch the full interview to learn more about Dias’ journey and how she’s doing business during these uncertain times.