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Amber Fillerup started her blog in 2010 when she was starting her career as a hair stylist. Over the last eight years she has made a name for herself as the “Queen of Instagrammable Hair,” amassing a loyal following of over 1.3 million Instagram followers and 16 million-plus views on YouTube.
Fillerup was one of the original influencers, long before being an influencer was a coveted career path, organically gaining a fan base of women following her for home, family, style, and beauty advice. After having her children, Fillerup experienced extreme hair loss which led her to never leave the house without wearing extensions. She came to find out that many of her followers experienced a similar situation after having children, but were not informed on best practices on how to wear, buy or take care of extensions. With her hair styling expertise and large platform, Fillerup decided to offer a solution for those who needed to combat their hair loss. In 2016, Amber founded Barefoot Blonde Hair, a premium line of clip-in hair extensions that offered a range of lengths and over 20 colors accompanied with educational tutorials on how to properly use the extensions. The line sold out within 72 hours of pre-sale and within the first-year, and is estimated sales eclipsed $1 million.
Fillerup shares how she turned her own personal problem into a solution for millions of women.
Yola Robert: You have over one million followers on Instagram that come to you for hair advice and inspiration. You started your account when you were a hair stylist to share your tips and trends on your feed. How has having a platform empowered you to start your own business?
Amber Fillerup: Since launching Barefoot Blonde eight years ago, not only have I grown as a person (with age and
experience), but also in learning how to deal with the negative people that come with having a public platform and presence. I’ve largely benefited from the positive women who follow, encourage, and support me, and have truly been so blessed to see the incredible effects of when women work with each other instead of against each other. I feel really lucky to have such
an amazing community of readers and have gained a lot of confidence from feeling their support. Without this confidence I don’t think I would have had the guts to start Barefoot Blonde Hair!
Robert:What problem did you face as a new mother that inspired you to start Barefoot Blonde Hair?
Fillerup: It was a few things! One of the biggest was definitely all of the hair loss I experienced after having my babies, and how great it made me feel when I put in my extensions and instantly had thicker hair. It made me feel pretty, which is so important for a new mother as your body is experiencing so many changes. I wanted other women to feel that confidence boost. Being a mother is a full-time job, and I also noticed that my beauty routine needed to be quicker than it previously had been. I was really inspired to offer women simpler, faster solutions for hair extensions while still providing great results. This is why we launched our BFB Fill-ins and our BFB Up! They are perfect for anyone who wants great hair but needs to get ready in a hurry.
Robert: What advice do you have for new mothers when they face roadblocks that they can’t find solutions to?
Fillerup: As a mother, I have really tried to just listen to my own intuition. I have so many outside voices telling me how I should parent and I really just want to listen to myself because no one knows my kids as well as I do. Whenever I am faced with challenges and don’t know the answer, I usually reach out to my sisters, sister-in-laws, mom, and close friends for advice. Really anyone who I know has mine and my kid’s best interest at heart.
Robert: I imagine being a mom of three and running a business can be tough. How do you balance it all?
What advice do you have for working moms on finding balancing a family and a career?
Fillerup: I really couldn’t do it all if I wasn’t incredibly passionate about what I am doing. So I think the most important thing is finding something that doesn’t feel like work. Whenever I get free time to myself I usually pull out my computer and work on my projects because that is what I genuinely enjoy. It is also really important to delegate tasks that are eating up too much of your time. That was one of the hardest things for me to learn to do, and looking back I worked for too many years
without a team. Once you put in the effort to build a team it makes all the difference. It is a combination of my husband being so supportive and involved, having a great team to help me and being able to have a flexible schedule. Because I am the owner I am able to have more flexibility, so I often spend the days with my kids and work at night when they are asleep.
Robert: What’s next for the Barefoot Blonde Hair?
Fillerup: We are working on a rebrand that will launch early next year and come with some new products that we are really excited about! Stay tuned!
Robert: Now knowing everything you know, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Fillerup: Don’t worry what people are thinking about you because they are just thinking about
themselves. Do you.
Robert:What is one failure you have been able to turn into a success?
Fillerup: I am a very trusting person and when I first started blogging I had the mentality that everyone was going to do the right thing and had each others best interest in mind. I learned quickly that you need to have your guard up need to protect yourself so you don’t get taken advantage of. I have had to learn to be tougher, more direct, and stick up for myself in situations that make me uncomfortable. I think the times I had been screwed over early on have really helped me know
what to look out for now, and have also helped me see through some of the BS.
December 13, 2018 at 07:01PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs