Kevin Bailey and Willie Ballard:
Introducing Ladies Love Units, a dynamic duo of highly trained professionals who have combined their talents to create magic in the world of custom wig making. With a perfect blend of expertise from a cosmetologist and an interior designer, they have revolutionized the art of custom wig making in Toronto.
Driven by a passion for perfection and a commitment to providing unparalleled customer experiences, Ladies Love Units specializes in crafting high-quality, handcrafted, and customized units using only the finest materials available. Their dedication to excellence has earned them a well-deserved reputation in the industry, making them a go-to choice for clients seeking the best.
Their exceptional work has been featured on numerous platforms, showcasing their expertise and creativity. Ladies Love Units has had the privilege of having their units grace the screens of prominent Canadian shows such as The Marilyn Denis Show, Etalk, CTV Canada, and the popular Drag Race Canada Season 1 & 2. Their craftsmanship has even been recognized on the hit series Marvel DC Titans.
Beyond their remarkable achievements in the media, the talented duo has also made personal appearances on notable shows like CityLine and Breakfast Television. During these appearances, they have not only shared their inspiring story but also showcased their exceptional products. Furthermore, they have passionately advocated for LGBTQ representation in the beauty and entrepreneurship industries, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and diversity.
At Ladies Love Units, they believe in the transformative power of a well-crafted wig and the impact it can have on an individual’s confidence and self-expression. With their unmatched skills, attention to detail, and dedication to customer satisfaction, they continue to create magic one unit at a time, leaving their clients feeling beautiful, empowered, and ready to conquer the world.
Can you tell us more about the story behind Ladies Love Units and how it was
In 2014, our lives took a significant turn when Kevin’s twin sister was diagnosed with cancer. Witnessing her journey and realizing the importance of self-confidence during challenging times, we were inspired to create the perfect wig for her. Her requirements were simple yet crucial – a glue-less wig that was easy to wear, made with exceptional quality hair, and looked natural. These requirements became the guiding principles for every unit created by Ladies Love Units, even to this day.
In 2012, Willie moved to Canada, and it was through the power of the internet that we met and connected. Shortly after, in 2013, we got married. However, the immigration process we had to go through was far from easy. It was a tedious and heartbreaking journey that took almost four years to complete. But it was during this time that we channeled our energy and passion into creating Ladies Love Units, initially operating as a fully functional salon from the comfort of our own living room.
Over the years, Ladies Love Units has grown and gained recognition. Our commitment to
excellence and providing top-notch products and services has led us to be featured on various platforms. Our units have graced the screens of prominent Canadian shows such as The Marilyn Denis Show, Etalk, CTV Canada, and the popular Drag Race Canada Season 1 & 2. Additionally, our work has been showcased on the hit series Marvel DC Titans. We have also had the privilege of making personal appearances on notable shows like CityLine and Breakfast Television, where we shared our story, showcased our products, and discussed the importance of LGBTQ representation in the beauty and entrepreneurship industries.
Ladies Love Units is proudly owned by both Willie A. Ballard and Kevin K. Bailey, and we operate as a Limited Liability Corporation. Willie, a licensed Cosmetologist with 11 years ofexperience, holds 50% of the shares in Ladies Love Units, bringing his expertise in hair care and styling to the forefront. Kevin, with a background in Interior Design and Personal Lines Insurance, also holds 50% of the shares and contributes his creative vision and business acumen to the success of the company.
Initially registered as a Sole Proprietorship in 2015, Ladies Love Units transitioned into an
Incorporated business two years later, solidifying our commitment to professionalism, growth, and providing exceptional products and services to our customers.
The journey of Ladies Love Units is a testament to our love, dedication, and the desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others. We continue to create units that boost the confidence and self-esteem of individuals facing difficult circumstances.
As LGBTQ entrepreneurs and founders of Ladies Love Units, how do you see
your business contributing to the visibility and representation of LGBTQ
Black-owned businesses during Pride Month?
As a black gay married couple and the founders of Ladies Love Units, we are immensely proud of our business and its contribution to the visibility and representation of LGBTQ Black-owned businesses during Pride Month. We firmly believe that representation matters, and we strive to be a shining example of what LGBTQ individuals, particularly those from the black community, can achieve.
Through our business, we have created a platform that not only provides quality products and services but also celebrates our identities and the unique experiences of LGBTQ individuals. By being open about our own identities as black gay men, we hope to inspire others within the LGBTQ community to embrace their true selves and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Pride Month holds a special place in our hearts, as it is a time when the LGBTQ community comes together to celebrate our diversity, resilience, and love. During this month, we make a conscious effort to highlight our status as a black-owned business and emphasize the importance of supporting LGBTQ entrepreneurs of color.
We actively engage with the LGBTQ community through various channels, such as social media, events, and partnerships. We use these platforms to amplify the voices and stories of other LGBTQ individuals and businesses, particularly those from marginalized communities. By doing so, we contribute to a more inclusive narrative of LGBTQ entrepreneurship and uplift those who have historically been underrepresented.
Moreover, we take part in Pride Month events and collaborate with other LGBTQ Black-owned businesses to create a sense of unity and solidarity. By joining forces, we are able to expand our reach and provide greater visibility to all the amazing LGBTQ entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their respective industries.
In essence, our business, Ladies Love Units, strives to be a beacon of hope and empowerment for LGBTQ individuals, particularly those who are Black. We are committed to creating a world where LGBTQ entrepreneurs can thrive and succeed while being true to themselves. Through our visibility, representation, and dedication to the LGBTQ community, we hope to inspire others to embrace their identities and chase their dreams without fear or limitation.
As entrepreneurs, what have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in
running Ladies Love Units, and how have you overcome them?
As black gay married business owners, we have encountered several significant challenges throughout our journey of running Ladies Love Units. Some of the key hurdles we have faced include limited access to capital, a lack of strong business knowledge due to the circumstances in which we were raised, the immigration process for Willie, the presence of a glass ceiling, being excluded from certain rooms, and dealing with industry gatekeepers. However, despite these challenges, we have found ways to overcome them and pave our own path to success.
One of the initial obstacles we encountered was the lack of access to sufficient capital. Starting a business requires financial resources, and as individuals from marginalized communities, we faced barriers in securing funding. However, we adopted a resourceful approach by bootstrapping our business from the ground up. We made the most of our limited resources, maximizing our creativity and strategic planning to gradually invest in our business. Through consistent hard work and perseverance, we were able to generate revenue and reinvest it into expanding Ladies Love Units.
Another challenge we faced was the limited business knowledge resulting from our upbringing. Growing up, we did not have access to extensive entrepreneurial education or mentorship. However, we recognized the importance of acquiring business acumen to effectively run our venture. To overcome this challenge, we took advantage of available resources such as online courses, workshops, and networking events tailored to entrepreneurs. We also sought guidance from business professionals and mentors who were willing to share their expertise and experiences. By actively seeking knowledge and continuously learning, we developed the necessary skills to navigate the business landscape. An organization that helped us along our entrepreneurial journey has been the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE), which helps Black business owners gain access to loans and resources with the mandate of supporting the Black community.
Willie’s immigration process from America added another layer of complexity to our
entrepreneurial journey. The immigration process itself was time-consuming, emotionally
draining, and required us to navigate complex legal procedures. During this period, we had to balance the demands of the immigration process while simultaneously building and running our business. It required resilience, effective time management, and constant communication between us to overcome the challenges associated with immigration. We remained focused on our shared goals and supported each other throughout the process, ultimately emerging stronger and more determined to succeed.
As black entrepreneurs, we have often encountered a glass ceiling, limited opportunities, and a lack of representation in certain industries. There were instances where we were not invited into the “right” rooms or faced exclusion from networks that could have provided valuable connections. In response, we made a conscious effort to create our own opportunities. We sought out diverse networks and communities where we could connect with like-minded individuals and potential collaborators. We actively engaged with LGBTQ organizations, black business associations, and other platforms that celebrate diversity and inclusivity. Through these efforts, we were able to establish our presence, build valuable relationships, and expand our professional network.
Navigating industry gatekeepers presented yet another challenge. We encountered individuals or organizations who held significant influence in our industry and could potentially hinder our progress. To overcome this, we adopted a proactive approach by showcasing the quality of our products and services. We focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences and building a strong reputation within our target market. Through word-of-mouth recommendations, positive reviews, and media exposure, we gradually gained recognition and credibility. By letting our work speak for itself, we were able to break through some of the barriers imposed by industry gatekeepers.
What kind of full-service experience do you provide to your clients? How do
you ensure that their needs and desires are met throughout the entire
At Ladies Love Units, we strive to provide our clients with a full-service experience that goes beyond simply selling wigs. We understand that our clients have unique needs and desires when it comes to their hair, and we are committed to ensuring that these are met throughout the entire process.
Our dedication to creating premium custom-made units starts with our personal handcrafted approach. We believe that each wig should be more than just a wig – it should be a custom Unit that reflects the individuality and style of our clients. That’s why we take the time to listen to our clients’ preferences, hair goals, and any specific requirements they may have. By understanding their needs, we can create a custom-designed unit that is truly one of a kind.
We take great pride in the quality of our units, using only the finest raw hair materials. Our
custom-made units are constructed with 100 percent raw hair, ensuring that they are durable, natural-looking, and of the highest quality. We source our hair materials carefully, focusing on maintaining the integrity and authenticity of the hair.
Throughout the entire process, we maintain open and transparent communication with our clients. We provide personalized consultations, where we discuss their desired style, color, and any other specifications. We offer expert guidance and recommendations based on our years of experience in the industry, ensuring that our clients feel confident and informed in their choices.
Once the design is finalized, our skilled team of craftsmen brings the vision to life. Each unit is meticulously crafted with attention to detail, ensuring a comfortable fit, seamless hairline, and overall exceptional quality. We understand that our clients’ satisfaction relies on the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into every unit we create. Our full-service experience extends beyond the creation of the unit itself. We offer a range of specialized services, Unit Care Service, Hair Care Products and various merchandise to help our clients wear and take care of their units with confidence. This comprehensive approach allows us to cater to a diverse clientele with varying needs and preferences.
Looking ahead, what are your future goals and aspirations for Ladies Love
Units? Are there any new initiatives or developments that you are particularly
Looking ahead, we have ambitious goals and aspirations for Ladies Love Units that revolve around expanding our services to the medical hairloss industry making a positive impact on individuals facing hair loss challenges. We recognize the emotional toll that hair loss can have, particularly for those going through major illnesses like cancer. Our aim is to restore confidence and provide a sense of normalcy during these difficult times.
To achieve this, we plan to focus on two specific target groups: cancer patients and women experiencing hair loss. For cancer patients, we are fortunate to be located within close proximity to renowned cancer centers like Michael Garron Hospital in Etobicoke. We see this as an opportunity to offer our specialized services to these patients, providing them with options for hair replacement and restoration. To ensure that these patients are aware of our presence, we will engage in targeted advertising campaigns, reaching out to doctors, therapists, and patients in these centers. By doing so, we can provide support and assistance to those in need, helping them maintain a sense of normalcy and confidence during their cancer treatment journey.
In the case of women experiencing hair loss, we understand that many are unaware of the
causes and available treatments. Our goal is to change this by incorporating hair replacement services into our existing offerings. By doing so, we aim to transform what could be a distressing experience into just another day at the salon. We want women to feel comfortable and relaxed in our salon while receiving our specialized services, knowing that they are in the hands of skilled professionals who genuinely care about their hair loss concerns.
Can you share any insights or advice for individuals who may be interested in
starting their own business in the hair industry, particularly those with a focus
on providing unique, personalized products or services?
When embarking on the journey of starting or running your own business, it is essential to listen to that little voice inside you. As owners of Ladies Love Units, we have learned that this voice is often the source of our vision and the driving force behind the outcomes we achieve. It is unique to each individual, representing their dreams, aspirations, and personal perspective.
Throughout our entrepreneurial journey, we have encountered naysayers who questioned our plans and offered their input. It is natural for people to express doubts or skepticism, especially when faced with something unconventional or outside the norm. However, it is crucial not to let these voices deter you from pursuing your dreams.
Remember, you are the one who can truly see the full potential of your vision. You have a
unique understanding of your business, its purpose, and the impact you aim to make. Trusting in your intuition and staying true to your vision is vital. While it is important to consider feedback and advice from others, ultimately, you are the one who determines the direction and success of your venture.
By staying focused on your goals and maintaining belief in yourself, you can overcome the challenges and obstacles that may come your way. Embrace the lessons learned from naysayers as an opportunity to refine your strategies and strengthen your resolve. Use their doubts as fuel to prove them wrong and show the world the power of your vision.
Remember, the path to success is rarely linear or without obstacles. It requires resilience, determination, and the ability to persevere in the face of adversity. By listening to your inner voice and remaining steadfast in your dreams, you can navigate these challenges and bring your vision to life.
Starting a business in the hair industry can be a rewarding endeavor, but it requires passion, dedication, and a deep understanding of your target market. By focusing on uniqueness, quality, personalization, and building strong relationships, you can position yourself for success in this dynamic industry. Remember to continuously learn and adapt, and never lose sight of the importance of providing exceptional customer experiences.
Identify your niche: Consider factors such as specific hair types, hair loss solutions, or
customized styling options. Finding your niche will help you differentiate yourself in a crowded market.
Research and understand your target market: Take the time to thoroughly research and
understand your target market. Gain insights into their needs and preferences, This will help you tailor your products or services to meet their specific demands, ensuring that you provide valuable solutions that resonate with your customers.
Focus on quality and personalization: In the hair industry, customers appreciate products and services that are of high quality and tailored to their individual needs. Invest in sourcing top-notch materials and prioritize craftsmanship. Whether you’re creating custom-made units or providing personalized styling services, ensure that every interaction with your customers feels unique and special.
Build strong supplier relationships: Building relationships with reliable and quality suppliers is crucial in the hair industry. Seek out suppliers who can consistently provide you with the materials and resources you need to deliver exceptional products or services. Establishing trust and maintaining good communication with your suppliers will contribute to the success and reliability of your business.
Embrace marketing and branding: In order to stand out in a competitive industry, it’s
important to develop a strong brand identity and invest in effective marketing strategies. Create a visually appealing brand that resonates with your target market and communicates your unique selling points. Utilize various marketing channels, such as social media, online platforms, and collaborations with other likeminded businesses, to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness.
Foster strong customer relationships: Building and maintaining strong relationships with your customers is key to long-term success. Provide exceptional customer service, listen to their feedback, and consistently exceed their expectations. Encourage customer loyalty by offering loyalty programs and personalized recommendations.
Continuously learn and adapt: The hair industry is ever evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies. Continuously educate yourself, attend industry events, and network with other professionals to expand your knowledge and skillset. Adapt to changes in the industry and be open to incorporating new innovations into your business.