Some people don’t mind working for others. Some just need to own their own business. Michael Woods is one of those.
Michael and his wife, Ramona, started Ashtae Products, 27 years ago.
“It started on a dare where my husband was getting all types of offers – this was 29 years ago – of $100,000 $150,000,” Ramona said. “I mean, the offers were really big. And he didn’t want to work for anyone else.”
They named their haircare products company after their two daughters, Ashley and Taylore.
“When we started, there was success but it was hard because we didn’t have the executive hat on. We were just sales people,” Ramona said “We didn’t know the mechanics of handling the money.”
They knew they had products that worked for everyone.
“Regardless whether they’re black, white, Chinese: if the hair is super curly, we are the product for them,” Ramona said of some of their specialty products. They have others that work on everyone’s hair.
“And we were selling, however, things were hard. We were losing everything fast. And I went to the welfare department. I went to the welfare office and, I’d never been there, I didn’t know the rules, right? I discovered you got to get a number. I went, picked my number, had a seat and I’m sitting and I’m wondering, ‘How did you get here?’” Ramona said.
She says It was then that God spoke to her and reminded her that this situation wasn’t permanent.
“I started calling customers. I started getting orders,” Ramona said.
And, as they approach the end of their 27th year, they’re doing more than $2 million in sales.
“And my message to every business owner out here in this community: It’s not your fate, it’s just a state,” Ramona. said
See their products in this Small Business Spotlight.