As Augusta University’s annual Alumni Weekend approaches, the university is celebrating alumni entrepreneurs. Taylor Mitchell, a 2015 graduate of Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is the owner of Slaylorgang, a service-based beauty suite located in Savannah.
Tell us about your business.
I honestly got started in makeup on a complete whim. I’ve always loved makeup and had no problem doing my own. Eventually, I graduated to doing my makeup on Facebook Live, where a lot of my followers encouraged me to start taking faces.
I offer an array of beauty services ranging from bridal makeup to brow enhancements and waxing. I recently graduated with my esthetician license, so that opens up new doors for me in the services I can offer in the state of Georgia. I’m very excited to start facial services and chemical peels.
Skin has become a huge passion of mine, and I find myself now leaning toward being more skin-focused. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing makeup, but I’m more concerned with what’s underneath the skin, rather than what’s on top of it. I’ll always love doing makeup because that’s where I get to showcase all my creativity, but the overall health of your skin is what’s really important in the long run.
In the beginning I was really reluctant to start, because I didn’t want people to ruin the love I had for it. I didn’t want people to turn something I really enjoyed into something that felt like a “job.” I can honestly say in the four years I’ve been doing this, I don’t feel like I’ve went to work even one day. I absolutely love what I do.
What struggles have you overcome while being an entrepreneur?
Whew! The entrepreneur struggle is so real! I’m really running a one-woman show here. Sometimes keeping everything well-oiled and running like it should still trips me up.
Keeping up with inventory, emails and inquiries has me running around like a chicken with my head cut off at times. I’m so much better at keeping a weekly tally and staying on top of the things my business needs, because in the beginning, it was really hard for me to transition into being the boss.
The whole time I was in school (and the earlier part of my adult life), I was a worker bee doing my part to make things work for the team and being a team player, but now it’s just me — so that took me a while to get used to that. I had to realize that I’ll always need a team, so I hired my mom! It sounds funny, but she helps me with everything and things are running so much smoother now!
What skills did you acquire while you were a student that prepared you to lead a business?
I learned a lot of the business skills I have now from my sorority. Being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. taught me so much. I didn’t know anything about running a business before I became a Delta and had to participate in NPHC. Though sororities are fun, at the end of the day, they are a business. How to set up my bank accounts, social media marketing, bookkeeping and networking are all things I learned through Delta and being active on campus.
I’ve held several events and worked with other business owners in Savannah. I’m grateful to have had that business etiquette prerequisite while I was in undergrad. It made me a much more confident businesswoman, and I pride myself on doing good business. I’m so grateful to AU and my sorority for giving me that confidence that I need as an entrepreneur.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
I’ve learned so much while on this rollercoaster! The No. 1 thing I’ve learned in business is that it’s not always what you know but who you know.
Networking is key! I was a busybody in college, so I was doing something or talking to someone. I never met a stranger. It really benefits me now because those same people I met in college book me for makeup for events now. It’s a blessing!
What sets your business apart from others?
What sets me apart from other people is my personality. My mom always said I could talk to a tree, if it would talk back — so I definitely use it to my advantage.
People love me and I love them. When you talk to me, you can really tell I love what I do and I’m happy to be servicing you.
Passion really will take you a long way. I struggled in past jobs because I honestly just didn’t want to be there. They didn’t make me feel like I had any purpose, and I was unfulfilled. That’s not the case here at all. My business is my baby, and I truly love what I do.
What is something surprising that people wouldn’t guess about you?
Originally, I wanted to work in radio. I wanted to be the next Wendy Williams. I worked at the radio station on campus for JagStation! It was the best, but after I graduated, I couldn’t get my foot into the door anywhere and the dream kind of fizzled out.
What advice do you have for current students?
Make as many connections as you can! Leave no stone unturned and try any and everything that interests you. For example, in Spring ’13, I took a class on witchcraft and magical beliefs. I have no regrets and that’s because I refused to miss an opportunity to do anything.