Building confidence and friendships with Bladed Love

In honor of Women’s History Month, FedEx is spotlighting three female-owned businesses who were recently a part of the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab, a program created alongside Accion Opportunity Fund to help small businesses owned by women and people of color develop an e-commerce presence.

Because we’re committed to helping women everywhere get the tools they need to succeed, FedEx has opened applications for the second cohort of the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab now through April 1. This program will provide key insights and learning opportunities to help female small business owners venture into e-commerce and expand their reach with customers.

In this three-part series, we’ll take a deep look into the first cohort of women, how their experiences have shaped their businesses, and how their journey to success is helping them to uplift other women and minority communities along the way.

Our third spotlight comes from Taquisha Jallah’s Bladed Love (formerly Hair Love, LLC). Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Bladed Love is a permanent makeup studio. Taquisha, the founder and CEO, is a Minnesota native who’s been working in the permanent makeup industry since 2017.  Bladed Love provides high-quality permanent makeup solutions to create beautiful, full, natural brows and lips. Bladed Love caters to professional women of color who share a love for all things beauty. 

Tell us about your business:  

Bladed Love offers semi-permanent makeup and brow services like microblading, hyaluronic lip enhancement, brow shaping, ombre eyebrow powder and so much more. We cater to the professional woman of color who needs to look her best but doesn’t have time to waste in front of the makeup mirror. Our main focus at Bladed Love is to provide customizable results for every person’s unique skin tone and offer an exceptional level of customer service that leaves everyone feeling special.

How was your business impacted during the pandemic?

Unfortunately, because the business revolves around techniques applied to the face, there was no safe way of doing business during such an unsafe and unpredictable time, so we were forced to shut down and remain closed for four months.

What led you to apply for the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab and what did you hope to gain by participating in the program?

I applied for the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab because it honestly seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to take my business to the next level. We participated in weekly lectures and connected with other like-minded small business owners. Sometimes the journey to entrepreneurship can be lonely, so being able to network with other small business owners in the midst of a very isolating pandemic was beneficial for not only my business but also for my overall mental health.

What were the most impactful lessons and/or sessions from the program?

The ones that stood out the most were “Driving E-Commerce Conversion,” “Introduction to E-Commerce Shipping,” and “Preparing for the Holiday Season,” to name a few. However, it was the session with Aisha Crump, owner of Honey Baby Naturals, that was most impactful to me. Hearing her story firsthand definitely gave me the hope, motivation, and encouragement I needed to remain diligent in my business, especially during challenging times. I saw myself in Aisha—both as a woman and as a minority—and how, despite the odds, she was able to excel and achieve success. That gives me hope for my future!

How did the program contribute to a successful holiday season?

Because my company has undergone a full rebrand, including a name change, my main objective for the holiday season was brand awareness. Thanks to this program, especially the lessons taught on holiday preparation, I feel confident that I could use this new information for any holiday, not just the month of December. Now I’ve got the tools I need to have a successful holiday season for the entire year!

What have you applied or incorporated into your business since graduating from the program?

I’ve started to think more as a business owner, not just as a service provider. The program has given me more of a holistic view on what it takes to run a successful company, along with the confidence to call myself a business owner.

What advice do you have for other woman-owned small businesses who are considering applying to this program?

Do so immediately! This program has so much to offer. Regardless of where you are in your business, there’s something for everyone. These relatable and easily digestible lessons will help you reflect, implement, and grow both your business and your self-confidence.