Business Spotlight: San Diego Entrepreneur Kam Howard Launches Royalty and Reign Hair Extensions

San Diego based entrepreneur Kam Howard, has worn hair extensions since she was a teenager. Her decision to add on to her naturally long, thick mane, is plain and simple—she doesn’t particularly like being bothered with her hair. And wearing hair that doesn’t grow out of our head is, well, sometimes low maintenance.

Kam Howard (seated) showcasing products.

 

San Diego based entrepreneur Kam Howard, has worn hair extensions since she was a teenager. Her decision to add on to her naturally long, thick mane, is plain and simple—she doesn’t particularly like being bothered with her hair. And wearing hair that doesn’t grow out of our head is, well, sometimes low maintenance.

“One of the perceptions about wearing a weave or hair extensions, is that we don’t want people to think we’re bald or that our hair is not long or “good hair” explains Howard.

“It should come as no surprise that I take exception with the term ‘good hair’ however, I will acknowledge that certain textures can sometimes be more manageable.  My goal is to lessen the amount of time that I put into my appearance, so therefore, I choose hair options that are more manageable.”

Howard, is the owner of Royalty and Reign, an online beauty suite that recently launched on September 1, 2018.  The company offers 100% premium human hair that is minimally processed to create natural hair patterns that rival mother nature.

Prior to going into the hair industry, Howard, a former American Airlines flight attendant, successfully ran other ventures—including a catering and wig business, both of which she still works on, when time permits. An entrepreneur at heart, Howard says, “I’m always looking for the next thing I can try my hand at.”

Royalty and Reign came about after working in sales directly under the president of a Korean owned company based out of San Diego, CA that she accidentally found out about while she and her cousin were Google searching key words for jobs in the hair industry. While working with the owner, he saw that Howard had an aptitude and knowledge for the hair business, so he took her under his wing and taught her basically everything he knew about the multi-billion dollar hair industry.

According to Mintel, the black hair care industry is valued at more than $2.5 billion, but that statistic doesn’t include products such as hair accessories, wigs or electric styling products. So, the industry is actually worth much more. Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/17/black-hair-care-wigs-weaves-extensions-salons.html

Under the Korean owned company, Howard traveled the world many times over working in sales with factories in China and Korea, which ultimately led to a promotion with her being over two divisions and all entertainment and all foreign accounts. 

Though not a stylist, Howard shared that she’s designed tons of top pieces and worked hand in hand with master stylists on many block-buster Hollywood projects including TRON, and a couple of Superman films. She’s also worked on the reality TV show Rue Paul’s Drag Race, to name a few. She takes pride in having a good rapport with the celebrities, while making a name for herself in the hair business. “It was a wonderful working relationship.” She says.

Howard admits that it was extremely challenging working under her former boss, and she was fed up with his constant abusive behavior towards his employees.  In fact, she actually witnessed him punching another employee while the employee refused to defend himself for fear of losing his job.

After working with the company for three years, she decided that enough was enough. Howard decided to leave her very lucrative position. 

“The lesson and blessing in working with a person that is great to learn from, but not a good person, is that it gave me the wherewithal to strike out on my own and become my own boss.”

Prior to branching out on her own, she reached out to a woman on YouTube who owned a hair distribution business based out of Atlanta, and continued to work for her for six more years.

When asked why she thought more African-Americans are not in the hair distribution business, Howard had this to say, 

“Koreans have somehow gotten a monopoly over the hair care business. Unfortunately, the system has changed and is not set up for blacks to be involved in the industry.  We can participate in purchasing, but not the design, manufacturing and sourcing.”

According to an article in forbes.com, African-Americans contributed to 85% of all sales in the U.S. beauty industry in 2017 though they represent only 14% of the population.

From years of learning the in’s and out’s of the business, Howard’s plan is to have a seat at the table with established Korean
“monopolies,” or better yet, shake them up.

Her knowledge of the tiers of hair is apparent as she explains the quality and textures from the extremely rare raw virgin, to the fine Remy hair from India that has been sacrificed at a Temple, to the synthetic Yaki hair which comes from an animal  found in the Himalayan region.  Depending on the type of hair, the cost can range from $40-$400.

Now her own boss, in an industry where black women are among the largest consumers, Howard has a lot going for her especially since she knows her product and her consumer. We want to wish Royalty and Reign and Kam Howard continued success on her new business venture.

For more information check out Royalty and Reign at RoyaltyandReign.com

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2 COMMENTS
  • SHIRLEY SCHOENECK October 15, 2018

    Congratulations, Kam!! Best wishes for amazing success in your new venture!! XOXOXO

  • Quentin Smith October 15, 2018

    Great article!

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