Inspiring Conversations with Adrienne Berry of BerrySleek

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrienne Berry.

Hi Adrienne, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I am an Inglewood Native and growing up, I knew I always wanted to help people in my community. I attended King/Drew Medical Magnet Highschool where I thought I wanted to become a pediatrician ha. That obviously didn’t happen but I did what was necessary to get to college and I was accepted into UCLA. I was on track for med school with a Psychobiology major until my sophomore year in college. I was an C average student and for me that wasn’t acceptable, so I changed paths and decided to major strictly in Psychology and minor in African American Studies. My grades increased exponentially, I loved all my classes, and I felt like I was making all the right moves. Fast forward to 2017, I got my B.A. in Psychology and it was time to enter the real world. So at this point, my only two options were Grad school or work. I decided to work because I wanted a break before Grad school, I wanted to start building a financial portfolio for myself as well as cut down some of my tuition loans before I added graduate loans.

Work wasn’t easy, I had very random jobs for like a year and a half after graduation, nothing that sparked my interest, nothing close to what I saw myself doing in the next five years, just a job that helped me pay bills. In addition to my jobs, I always was braiding hair. Braiding hair has always been a side hustle for me, I enjoyed it, I started doing hair since middle school, I still have clients from high school, and I was even in my college dorm styling all my peers and staff. One of my last jobs was this call center and I hated it so much. So after so many days of coming into work moping around, I told myself I need to make a change because I refuse to live life where I go to work miserable every single day. I started to reflect on my passions, what I like to do, and how can I make money from it.

Then I decided to focus on hair. I created a business plan for BerrySleek when I didn’t even know what a business plan really was. I planned out my prices for hairstyles, where I was gonna look for wholesale hair extensions, how much I’m going to sell them for, what I’m going to market and how often I should market, and financial goals for BerrySleek. I went to the county to register my business with the city of Inglewood and by May 2018, BerrySleek became legal entity. After I had a clear vision for BerrySleek, I did what I was most scared to do and that was quit my job. I believe my biggest fear came from the unknown and not really knowing if I can make a sufficient amount of money by doing hair full-time, but what really helped me make my decision was talking to my grandmother. She’s a very spiritual woman, a mentor and guide for me. She reminded me that having faith in what I really want will always come forth to me. And in this year of 2021, I do not regret this life change at all!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
BerrySleek definitely was not a smooth road. Before I even got to BerrySleek, I had to put my ego aside because I had this degree from the top university in the nation and here I am doing something totally different from what I got a degree in. For a while, I didn’t want to do hair full-time because I didn’t want it to seem like I wasted my time at UCLA but I had to open my eyes and understand everything happens for a reason. I still have all my connections from UCLA, many of them are my clients, and I still continue to get clients from there even though I graduated years ago. Aside from my psychological challenges, financial challenges were another obstacle. I did EVERYTHING by myself. Paperwork was expensive, samples for products were expensive, setting up a website was expensive, it’s a price tag on literally anything you can think of when starting a business so I applied for a small-business loan with my bank and that helped me breathe for a second. Now I’m just paying back those loans in addition to my tuition loans.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about BerrySleek?
I am the owner of BerrySleek. BerrySleek is an online beauty retail store in addition to protective hair services (braids/twists, hair extension installs, etc.). I sell hair extensions and fashion hair accessories. What makes BerrySleek stand out from other hair companies is that I offer kinky extensions that mimic African American hair. Most hair extension companies offer straight, wavy, and curly textures that customers with kinky hair will have to manipulate their natural hair in order for it to blend. Manipulation can ultimately lead to heat damage and breakage which is counterproductive for “protective styles”. I’m most proud about BerrySleek’s consistency and growth. I haven’t changed the type of hair provided and my audience is continuing to grow. It feels great to know that BerrySleek, something I was unsure about, has so many supporters.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
In the next 5-10 years, BerrySleek will have its own store. I see BerrySleek being a beauty supply store/beauty bar. Product expansion is also on the list. I’m working on formulas for hair products and looking for manufacturers for tools. I also want a bigger team, hopefully I can get a fully employed team. As of now, my team are my friends who volunteer most of their time and I also have influencers who help me create content. So I definitely see a lot of growth for BerrySleek in the next couple of years!


  • Hair extensions $40-$125/per bundle
  • Fashion Hair Accessories $5-$20
  • Braids $75-$300
  • Wig/Weave installs $120-$150

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ife Oluyide @ifster (feature/personal photo) Mark Williams @questionmarkk (palm tree photo)

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