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Sandra Pinnock of Xandy’s talks Primal Beauty Sandra Pinnock of Xandy’s talks Primal Beauty
Sandra Pinnock of Xandy’s talks Primal Beauty

Sandra Pinnock is the founder of Xsandy’s Hair and Cosmetics. Her Lewisham based store sells a wide range of products catering for Black women and men. A resourceful business woman, Sandra has her own range of hair extensions and has recently launched her own line of products called ‘Primal Beauty’. She was featured in a Channel 4 report calling on the black community to support black-owned businesses. Ebonyonline.net caught up with the busy social media star to talk business, taking back control of our hair and beauty industry, inspirations, the splits and more.

 

EOL: Has business always been in your blood?

SP: Well what can I say to this question, yes business has always being in my blood from a child selling cakes, biscuits in school, wherever I saw a need or demand for things I would sell in. I often got into trouble with the teachers.

 

When the government ‘Supporting People with Mental Health in the community’ scheme was introduced I jumped at this opportunity by buying a house and converting it into secure placement for clients. Owning and running this business for 8years.

 

 

EOL: You were one the few Black manufacturers of hair extensions, how did that come about?

SP: I always had an interest in the hair extension industry. I notice for a long time the industry i.e. manufacturing and distributing within the UK and Europe had very few Afro-Caribbean owners and I wanted to change this. I understood what it took to succeed in a competitive commercial environment from running over eleven care homes with outreach support.nail place near me

 

I created Xsandy’s in 2008 after visiting my brother in the USA where the opportunity opened up for me to part own a hair factory based in Cambodia. So I started to manufacture my own hair line brand “Xsandy’s Premium Gold”. I then opened a hair store on Streatham High Street but had to closed this because the lack of support and fierce undercutting of prices from other high street stores. I still continued to produce my hair extension line which I now sell online.

 

 

EOL: Tell us about the opening of your second shop in Lewisham?

SP: After closing the store in Streatham I was still determined to own a beauty store, so started out in Lewisham centre with a small kiosk, until a shop came up for rent which I managed to secure. I was very happy when I opened knowing at the time in 2015 I was the only Afro-Caribbean female (there were two men but no female) in the South East that owned a Hair and Beauty Store.

 

It was not great for the first six months, I thought this is Streatham all over again, where people would pass my store and buy from the high street, or if they buy from me only to return the goods and ask for refunds saying they did not want the products anymore.

 

It was not until a customer came to tell me that the high street store was telling customers that they were willing to sell products for 50% less if they buy from their store and not mine because they were going to “crush me” and that I wouldn’t last six months.

 

I told my story on social media and the support from then on was overwhelming. The store has been going over three years now and the customers are very supportive. Our online, store is going well. I am excited to see where the next three years will lead me.

 

EOL: You’ve branched out into making hair and skincare products, what was the catalyst for this?

SP: The catalyst to this was in 20015 my hair started to break and fall out quite badly. A friend of mine told me about a conditioner suggesting this would help, I went to one of the high street store to purchase the conditioner, the guy said they did not have in stock. He then proceeded to pick a jar from the shelf saying “use this it will help”. When I look at the product it wasn’t even a conditioner, it was a jar of hair gel. I became very upset, I walk away thinking why did I allow this to happen to me.

 

I then started researching hair loss causes and treatment. My Pastor who is from Ghana gave me a black soap saying it was good for skin, I thought if it’s good for skin it must be good for hair, so I started washing my hair with it and noticed my hair started growing back.

 

As I did Physics and Chemistry at university I set about looking into developing a formula with a friend using the black soap to make shampoo. From there I developed a detangling conditioner, leave-in conditioner and skin care products using all natural ingredients. Our Black Soap shampoo won the Precious Award 2016 Best Hair Care Brand. Our Leave-in Conditioner was shortlisted for the 2018 Pure Beauty Awards.

 

 

EOL: What are some of the products in the Primal Beauty range?

SP: Some of our products include Pure Shea butter with cocoa butter, Leave –in conditioners, Shea Butter with vitamin E-oil, deep treatment conditioner, hair growth serum, raw coconut oil, Jamaica black castor oil with peppermint.

 

EOL: What is it about your products that people love so much?

SP: The products uniqueness comes from my experience from suffering hair loss through stress, and being given the wrong product for my hair. Many of the products claimed to be good for my hair and skin but are pack filled with additives and chemicals that is not good for our health, hair and skin. Primal Beauty Natural is 100%natural products has no hidden sulphate, parbenes, mineral oils. Customers love the products because it’s all natural and does what it says on the bottle.

 

EOL: Why is it important for us to take back control of our hair and beauty industry?

SP: It is important that we first understand how much we influence and contribute to the hair care industry. So with this influence we need to seek out hair and beauty stores in our community and online to create a wealth of successful business. In doing so we will begin to take back control of the industry, inspire others, create jobs and leave a blue print for our young people.

 

We may have a lack of access to capital, but some of us will eventually break through. Finding Black business owners and creators in this industry has become increasingly easier because of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

 

So it’s easier to find businesses and start-ups we want to support through social media. We can source hair and cosmetics and start supporting our own businesses one by one. With this we take back control of our hair and beauty industry build stronger communities and create jobs and wealth.

 

 

EOL: Who are some of your business inspirations?

SP: Bianca Miller Cole & Bryon Cole (my mentors)

Dean Pinnock (my husband)

Richard Branson

Ade Hassan

 

 

EOL: What nuggets of advice can you pass onto to next generation of black entrepreneurs?

SP: Whatever business you do work hard, know your USP. You never know it all listen to feedback .

 

EOL: Finally two or three things people may not know about you?

SP: I am a gospel singer, I’m a minister in church and I can do the splits.

 

Sandra Pinnock will be exhibiting her Primal Beauty range at the next Black Business Networking event, which takes place on the 25th September (6-9pm) at We Work, Aldgate East, E1 8FA. For limited FREE tickets visit www.ebonyonline.net/tickets Use promo code: Friends100 at checkout.

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