Embrace Your Gray with Kerry Abner: The Entrepreneur behind the Vegan Hair Moisturizer for Gray Hair

Written by: Mikey Moran

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Time to read 10 min

The excitement is palpable as I sit here in the vibrant and buzzing Private Label Studios. 


I'm about to share a journey that intertwines embracing one's natural beauty with the thrills and challenges of entrepreneurship. 


Today, on Hair Biz Radio, I'm joined by our charismatic hosts, Mikey and Zakiyrah, who are as passionate about hair as they are about empowering entrepreneurs.


Our special guest today is a visionary in the hair care industry, someone who has embraced a natural phenomenon and turned it into a flourishing business opportunity. 


Kerry Abner, the founder of Manhattan Grey, is here to unfold his story – a tale that resonates with many but is acknowledged by few. 


Manhattan Grey isn't just a brand; it's a statement, a movement that champions the beauty of gray hair.


In a world where the beauty industry often focuses on covering up what's natural, Kerry's journey stands out. 


His creation, a natural and vegan hair moisturizer specifically for gray hair, is more than a product.


It's a testament to accepting and embracing the natural aging process gracefully and confidently. 


As we delve into this conversation, we're not just discussing a hair care product


We're discussing a narrative that challenges societal norms, empowers individuals to embrace their authentic selves, and highlights the journey of an entrepreneur who saw a gap in the market and dared to fill it.


So, as the studio lights shine bright and the microphones come alive, let's dive into this inspiring story of embracing gray hair and the entrepreneurial spirit that brought Manhattan Grey to life.

The Genesis of Manhattan Grey

As we delve deeper into our conversation with Kerry Abner, the founder of Manhattan Grey, the air in the studio becomes charged with a blend of nostalgia and inspiration. 


Kerry's journey to creating a unique product in the hair care market began much earlier than expected, rooted deeply in his personal experiences.


Kerry candidly shares his early encounter with graying hair, an experience that started as early as his twenties. 


This premature graying, a natural occurrence for many, came with its share of societal pressures and stereotypes. 


There's an unwritten rule in our society that associates gray hair with aging, stress, and a lack of vitality. Kerry's youthful appearance contrasted with his graying hair, leading to mixed reactions and a sense of discomfort. 


It wasn't just about the hair; it was about the narrative that society was writing for him, one he wasn’t ready to accept.


This personal struggle led to a moment of clarity and inspiration – the inception of Manhattan Grey.


 Recognizing the lack of products catering specifically to gray hair, particularly in the realm of natural and vegan options, Kerry saw an opportunity. 


He envisioned a product that cared for gray hair and celebrated it. Manhattan Grey was more than a moisturizer; it was to be a banner under which individuals could proudly flaunt their natural gray locks.


The journey from this idea to an actual product was challenging. 


Kerry recounts the early days of product development, filled with research, trials, and a deep dive into the world of hair care.


His commitment to creating a vegan and natural product added complexity to the process. 


Finding the right ingredients, ensuring they were ethically sourced, and developing a formula that effectively nourished gray hair without harsh chemicals was a path fraught with obstacles.


Kerry's story isn't just about overcoming these challenges; it's about the insights gained along the way. 


He understands the importance of listening to potential customers, learning from their experiences with gray hair, and incorporating their feedback into his product development. 


This customer-centric approach helped craft a product that resonated with his audience and imbued Manhattan Grey with authenticity and a genuine connection to its users.


As Kerry concludes this part of his story, there's a sense of accomplishment and pride in his voice. 


Born out of personal struggle and societal pressure, Manhattan Grey is today a beacon of embracing one's natural beauty, challenging norms, and the power of turning a personal challenge into an entrepreneurial success.

Business Strategies and Insights

In the realm of entrepreneurship, strategy is everything. 


Mikey and Zakiyrah, our hosts, bring a wealth of knowledge to the table in this arena, shedding light on the crucial aspects of business, particularly time management and the art of balancing work with creativity.


Their conversation flows effortlessly, revealing insights that are both practical and profound.


With his experience, Mikey emphasizes the essence of time management in business. 


He shares his strategy of working intensely for a set number of days and then dedicating time to travel and creative pursuits. 


This 18/12 schedule – 18 days of focused work followed by 12 days of travel and creative activities – is not just a routine but a philosophy. 


It underscores the importance of giving space for creativity to breathe and grow, an aspect often overlooked in the hustle of entrepreneurial life.


Zakiyrah, equally insightful, adds to this by highlighting the significance of consistency and the use of technology to aid time management. 


She discusses various apps to help entrepreneurs stay on track, manage tasks, and maintain productivity. 


This blend of discipline and technology paves the way for a more structured yet flexible approach to business.


Kerry, resonating with these insights, shares his own journey of balancing a 9-to-5 job with his entrepreneurial endeavors with Manhattan Grey. 


His story is a testament to the fact that entrepreneurship does not demand an all-or-nothing approach.

 

Kerry illustrates how he navigates this dual path, dedicating his evenings and weekends to nurturing Manhattan Grey while managing his day job. 


His approach involves meticulous planning, prioritizing, and maximizing his time outside the traditional work hours.


The conversation then shifts to the current trends in the hair care industry, especially in the post-COVID-19 era. 


There's a consensus that the industry, like many others, has seen a slowdown. However, this period also brings forth opportunities for creativity and innovation. 


Kerry, Mikey, and Zakiyrah discuss how brands are now forced to think outside the box, work harder, and be more creative to achieve the same results as before. 


They touch upon the importance of content marketing, brand value, and adapting to the changing economic landscape.


Adapting and staying agile has become more critical in this challenging time. 


The discussion reveals how the slowdown can be a blessing in disguise, offering a chance to build systems, create new ideas, and prepare for the following acceleration.


For Kerry, this means focusing on building his brand, refining his marketing strategies, and planning for future growth.


As the section wraps up, it becomes clear that these insights are not just strategies but life lessons. 


They underscore the resilience and adaptability required to thrive in the ever-evolving world of entrepreneurship.

discussion on time management and creativity

Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

The entrepreneurial journey, while exhilarating, is fraught with challenges and uncertainties. 


With his down-to-earth demeanor and relatable experiences, Kerry offers invaluable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those juggling full-time jobs alongside their business ventures.


Kerry emphasizes the importance of using time judiciously. 


He advises that weekends and off-hours can be golden opportunities for business growth. 


His mantra is simple yet profound – "you don't need to quit your day job to start a business. "


Instead, focus on efficiently utilizing the time you do have. He underscores that success in entrepreneurship isn't necessarily about large, significant actions; it's about consistent, small steps taken over time. 


Kerry's approach serves as a beacon for those overwhelmed by the prospect of starting a business while managing a full-time job.


Another crucial aspect Kerry touches upon is the role of community support and influencer marketing in growing a brand.


He shares his experience of reaching out to individuals through social media, particularly those who embraced their gray hair, to build an authentic community around Manhattan Grey. 


This grassroots approach helped him refine his product and build a loyal customer base rooted in shared values and experiences. 


Kerry's journey underscores the significance of building relationships and leveraging influencer marketing, not just as a promotional tool but as a means to genuinely connect and engage with your audience.


But perhaps the most vital piece of advice from Kerry revolves around the significance of research, customer feedback, and the continuous adaptation to customer needs. 


He elaborates on how he conducted surveys and engaged with potential customers to understand their needs and challenges. 


This customer-first approach enabled him to create a product that resonated with his audience. 


Kerry's story illustrates that successful entrepreneurship is not just about having a great idea; it's about ensuring that the concept is a mere argument for real needs in the market. 


He stresses that listening to your customers, understanding their pain points, and being willing to adapt your product is critical to creating a sustainable and thriving business.


As Kerry shares these insights, it's evident that embracing the entrepreneurial spirit is about more than just business acumen. 


It's about passion, persistence, and a deep understanding of the people you serve.


This spirit has propelled Manhattan Grey forward and is an inspiring example for budding entrepreneurs.

The Future of Manhattan Grey

As our conversation with Kerry Abner unfolds, it's impossible not to feel the palpable excitement about what lies ahead for Manhattan Grey. 


One of the most thrilling prospects is the potential partnership with Private Label, which could significantly expand the brand's reach. 


This collaboration hints at bringing Manhattan Grey into physical stores, marking a significant milestone in the brand's journey. 


The thought of seeing Manhattan Grey on shelves, accessible to a broader audience in a tangible, touchable form, is not just a growth strategy but a dream turning into reality for Kerry.


Expanding into physical stores through Private Label is more than just a business development; it's a testament to the brand's ethos and resonance with the public. 


This move signifies a shift in the beauty industry, highlighting a growing appreciation for products that cater to natural and unique beauty traits, like gray hair. 


For Kerry, this expansion is about scale and accessibility, bringing Manhattan Grey closer to its community.


Looking further into the future, Kerry shares his vision for Manhattan Grey’s growth. 


He talks about exploring potential new markets and product lines continually innovating to meet the evolving needs of his customers. 


Kerry's approach to growth is methodical yet ambitious. He understands the importance of staying true to the brand’s core values while adapting to new opportunities and challenges. 


This balance is crucial in an ever-changing industry like hair care.


Kerry also hints at the possibility of diversifying the product range, considering different hair textures and needs within the community of gray-haired individuals. 


This expansion could include products that complement the existing range, offering a more holistic approach to gray hair care. 


By doing so, Manhattan Grey is poised to be a product and a comprehensive brand that caters to all aspects of gray hair maintenance and styling.


The future of Manhattan Grey looks bright, with growth plans that are both ambitious and grounded in the brand’s core mission.


 Kerry’s passion for his work and a clear vision for the brand’s future set the stage for Manhattan Grey to become a household name in natural hair care.


As we conclude this section, it's clear that Manhattan Grey is more than just a business for Kerry; it's a journey of passion, resilience, and innovation. 


The brand's potential expansion and growth reflect Kerry's dedication and the growing demand for products that celebrate natural beauty in all its forms.

modern and dynamic office space

What A Journey!

As we wrap up this enlightening session with Kerry Abner, the founder of Manhattan Grey, it's clear that his journey is not just a story of creating a product; it's a narrative of resilience, creativity, and embracing one's true self. 


Kerry's experience, from grappling with societal perceptions of gray hair to launching a vegan hair moisturizer specifically for it, illustrates a powerful message: Embrace your uniqueness and turn it into your strength.


Key takeaways from Kerry's journey are numerous. 


His innovative approach to balancing a full-time job with entrepreneurial aspirations is a beacon of hope for many aspiring business owners. 


His importance on community support, influencer marketing, and continuously adapting to customer feedback is a testament to his business acumen. 


His vision for Manhattan Grey – from potential partnerships, like the one with Private Label, to expanding into physical stores and diversifying product lines – reflects a brand poised for significant growth.


I encourage our readers to support and follow Manhattan Grey's journey. 


This is more than just a brand; it's a movement that celebrates the beauty of aging naturally and embracing our true selves.


Kerry's story is a source of inspiration, showing that any challenge can be transformed into an opportunity with the right mindset, creativity, and determination.


As Mikey and Zakiyrah, our vibrant hosts of Hair Biz Radio, conclude the episode, they remind us of the power of storytelling in business. 


They encourage listeners to continue engaging with their podcast, a treasure trove of insights, experiences, and lessons from various entrepreneurs in the hair care industry.


For those interested in learning more about Manhattan Grey, exploring their products, or simply being part of their journey, you can find them at:


Manhattan Grey's Website: Manhattan Grey's Official Site


Social Media: Manhattan Grey on Instagram


Online Availability: Manhattan Grey products on Amazon and Walmart


And for more enriching conversations and insights into the world of hair business, don't forget to tune into Hair Biz Radio. You can find the podcast and its engaging episodes here:


Hair Biz Radio: Listen to Hair Biz Radio

Kerry's journey with Manhattan Grey is more than a success story; it's a source of inspiration and a roadmap for anyone looking to embark on their entrepreneurial journey, especially in the dynamic world of hair care.

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