Latoya Grindley, Staff Reporter
She rose to instant fame internationally when, in 2008, she became a the first Caribbean woman to win a gold medal in the 100 metres at the Olympics.
Since then, she has been blazing up tracks as she continues to raise the Jamaica flag high. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, known to many as a professional and successful athlete, has now added businesswoman to her number of achievements.
Officially launching her brainchild two months ago - Chic Hair Ja, Fraser-Pryce, through her business, retails 100 per cent virgin hair and products to care for these extensions.
"We retail different types of hair, namely Indian, Peruvian, Brazilian and Cambodian. This is mainly because Jamaican women are made up with different personalities and styles and this move reflects that. Whatever style you choose, we have a different texture and feel, so you get the opportunity to choose the type of hair that blends well with your hair".
A diva herself, who places much emphasis on appearance, Fraser-Pryce is set on catering to women who are like-minded and just want to feel and look beautiful.
"To be honest and frank, we are targeting all women who aspire to have that chic look at an affordable price. Whether you want to track your hair, a full sew-in or even clip-ins, we cater to all women and all personalities, " she says.
The store setting also screams chic with a touch of elegance, which is a true reflection of the vision of the business.
"The store's decor represents being stylish and also simple. You don't need a lot to enhance the beauty of anything. It mirrors a slick and classy look that most women go for in everyday lifestyle. The style was inspired by 'my simple yet make and impression' look".The layout also facilitates a comfortable shopping experience for clients. From a hoisted display, guests can actually have a hands-on experience with the various types of hair before purchasing. And if standing gets a bit taxing, then there is a sofa to complement the overall experience.
There are also plans in the pipeline to expand the in-house services. And this includes having a hairstylist in place, for which a space has already been designated.
"The in-house stylist will be there for women to get their hair done on the spot. But this will only be done by appointments, to give each person that quality attention in fabulous style," Fraser-Pryce said.
Currently in Moscow for the IAAF World Championships, Fraser-Pryce admits to having a hectic schedule because of athletic obligations. However, she makes sure that she is not left out of the loop as it relates to decision-making and important business happenings. She remains integral in the operations of the business, but charges core responsibilities to her husband and staff for the day-to-day operations.
"While I'm away competing, I am still up to date on the daily operations of the store. My husband is pretty much doing a lot of the work. And my team headed by Keashie Simpson is hard-working and very professional in seeing to it that we uphold our fantastic customer service and the day-to-day running of the store," she said.
But how does she manage to strike a balance with making key business decisions while focusing on athletics?
"Balancing my responsibilities as an athlete with launching my new business has been time consuming. However, my entire life is based on prioritising the things that are important and beneficial to me. My athletic training comes first, so I do nothing to hamper that. Also, my husband, Jason, has been instrumental in everything, limiting the amount of time I spend on the road, and he ensures that I am not overextending myself," she explained.
Preparing to make Chic Hair Ja a valuable and successful business venture, Fraser-Pryce shared with Outlook the attributes she possesses for running a business.
"I definitely think some prerequisites for ensuring a successful business are being optimistic and hard-working, patient, and never losing focus or the passion that started it all. I am guided by patience, as greatness can never be rushed, it takes time time to grow and time to work. What God has planned will happen; we just have to put in the work and watch the tree blossom".
Chic Hair Ja is located at Shop #24, Barbican Business Centre, 88 Barbican Road. Telephone: 978-8704, 399-8836.
You can also find it on www.facebook.com/chichairja.
Photos by Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer