For Paris Zyyon, the dream of owning a business wasn’t just a goal that she set for herself; it was a way to include her family in her plan to create long-term generational wealth. Thanks to a small business microloan, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Community Ventures (CV) was there to help. When it came time to choose a name for the new African-American hair and beauty product endeavor—Lulu Luxi—Zyyon wanted to honor the woman that inspired her entrepreneurial spirit: her grandmother Jennie Louise, a specialist in braiding hair. The brick-and-mortar business that specializes in hair extensions, weaves and wigs opened in Franklin, Kentucky (south of Bowling Green, close to the Tennessee line) in September of 2021.
During a 6-year stint in the Navy, Zyyon launched her first home-based body scrub business. “It didn’t go well,” she remembered. “I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t have anyone to guide me.”
This time Zyyon teamed up with her brother, a cosmetologist who found himself out of work during Covid as well as her mother, a full-time factory worker seeking a less physically demanding way to make a living. The budding entrepreneur sought out the help she needed to make this endeavor a success, learning business basics from her SCORE mentor in what she described as “an online military-style business boot camp.”
Having contributed all the personal money at their disposal to launch Lulu Luxi, the family approached German American Bank about additional funds they needed for inventory. The bank pointed the trio to Community Ventures, who was able to provide them both guidance and the needed loan.
Zyyon describes Lulu Luxi as having “all the beauty basics” so that customers don’t have to drive more than 20 miles to the next closest beauty supply store. But plans for 2022 include expansion into a larger space that will accommodate hair stylists and other beauty professionals. “We want to be a one-stop shop,” she explained.
The family envisions Lulu Luxi having a positive effect on the town as they plan to create a scholarship fund and host community events that will benefit the children of Franklin.
When asked what advice she would give to others with entrepreneurial aspirations, Zyyon was quick to emphasize a slow and steady approach.
“The main thing is to not rush into it,” Zyyon stressed. “People have ideas and want to hit the ground running, but you have to plan it all out. Have a set plan and stick to it. Be dedicated to it, and don’t slack off. Have your head on straight. I’ve always been ambitious and focused, so having a game plan came naturally to me.”
For more information about securing an Small Business Loan through Community Ventures for your new or existing business, contact Lew Whalen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (859) 231-0054.
Connect with Lulu Luxi on Facebook and Instagram or call 270-253-5021.