By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
Shayla Nicole Hatcher is all about the side hustle—whether it’s hosting a podcast or selling her own lip shades—and she’s not one to knock another person’s hustle.
“Going into business, you’re not going to know everything you need to know, but don’t let that be a hindrance,” she said. “Don’t let anything hold you back, just do it. Make more moves and fewer announcements.”
That mindset enabled Hatcher to start not only her line of lip products, The Shayla Nicole Collection, but also her podcast, “Side Hustling Entrepreneur Realizing Opportunity (SHERO) Convo.”
The 31-year-old Birmingham native currently works for the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, but she shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to her business.
“I want to do everything,” Hatcher said, “from being an entrepreneur to a dermatologist.”
Part of her success comes from finding her passion. She started her business and podcast because she is passionate about helping others and empowering them to do what they love.
“It sounds so cliché, but what is your passion? What is the one thing you can talk about all day and not get tired of talking about it? What can you do all day and not get tired doing it? What just lights you up and sets a fire under you? Then, just do it. Just jump in and do it,” Hatcher said.
As a child, Hatcher was very creative. She and her cousins would make wigs out of paper. For their baby dolls, they would make fake tuna salad, using pencil shavings and Elmer’s glue.
“My grandfather worked at a paper company, so we got all kinds of paper like poster boards, construction paper … so my cousins and I would take the paper and make little strips to band around our hair. Then we would cut other strips and make wigs out of the paper,” she said. “I was just always creative and always into something.”
Hatcher’s creativity is part of the reason she started her own line of lip products—lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip liners with types ranging from matte to extra glossy. Another reason: she wasn’t always comfortable wearing certain shades, so she wanted to create something she and other women could look good in, too.
“I’ve always been a lip gloss type of person because I’ve never been comfortable wearing certain shades with my skin tone,” she said. “One day my coworker, who happens to be white, gave me a lipstick she had purchased. I took it and liked it, so I took a picture of myself wearing the lipstick and posted on social media. Everyone started asking me, ‘What is that lip shade, and where did you get it?’ Then it seemed like every girl on my timeline had that lipstick.”
That gave Hatcher an idea: “I was like, ‘OK, wait a minute. People are listening to what I’m saying.’ At this time, I was infatuated with lip shades and lip liners, so I wondered if I could probably develop my own.”
Hatcher said she talked to her mother, and they looked for manufacturers, as well as developed colors for the product packaging. Before launching, Hatcher worked on her project for a year. During that time, she focused on her branding strategy, doing everything from creating her own logo to developing her website.
Though she had already launched her collection, Hatcher still wanted to learn more about business. When she heard about REV Birmingham’s Co.Starters program, she knew it was a great opportunity.
“Even though I was already in business, I then went through Co.Starters, which helped me further develop my business,” she said. “They help you find niche customers and the right price point. … They helped me learn more and showed me how I could really expand.”
After launching her lip-shade collection, Hatcher had another idea about what she could do next. Via social media, she asked friends to help her with a name without giving away what she was planning: “When I decided that I wanted to do a podcast, I posted on Facebook and said jokingly, ‘I want to do something, and I need a name. But I don’t want y’all helping me with a name because then you might think I owe you something.’”
Hatcher said she received a message from one of her Facebook friends who wanted to help anyway. Once her friend suggested a name for her podcast, Hatcher said the ideas just started flowing.
“As soon as I wrote down SHERO, it sounded like an acronym to me. SHERO stands for Side Hustling Entrepreneur Realizing Opportunity. And Convo is just short for conversation,” she said.
Hatcher’s “SHERO Convo” podcast features women she sees as sheroes, women who are in business. It’s all about celebrating women and their “side hustles.” Episodes feature different Birmingham businesswomen, some of whom Hatcher met through Co.Starters. The second season is about to start, and Hatcher’s first guest will be a woman who makes custom earrings.
The “SHERO Convo” podcast is done every few months, five to eight weeks at a time, and can be found on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.