Richard Shoyemi -- he's young, gifted and is already making a name for himself as a celebrity stylist. Now he's branched out into the world of hair, selling his own brand of extensions to the stars and members of the public alike, Yasmin Vivarelli finds out more
Still only 23, Richard had his first bite into the fashion styling world when he was just 16. He used to attend his local youth club and one day they had a fashion show in which he got involved by customising clothes. The rest as they say is fashion history as now he's gone on to style notable celebrities like Pharell Williams, Ms Dynamite, Kano and N Dubz.
When it comes to his new business venture, Richard says that his involvement in hair was accidental. 'People would stop me to ask about the hair I was wearing and the celebrities I was styling would also complement me on my extensions, so it seemed a natural progression to turn it into a business.'Styling the stars
Having such a large celebrity clientele, and access to people through Facebook, Richard gained customers for his business. Now he has celebrities like Ciara and Mariah Carey wearing his self-branded hair. 'I was already in the circuit of fashion, make-up and hair, so this is all a natural extension of what I do.'
But surely you need some knowledge of weaves in order to sell it? 'From a young age I was always around hairdressers so it was easy for me to learn and gain knowledge about all different hair types,' says Richard.
As he explains the brand is called Sho Sho Hair, after his surname.
'I chose Sho Sho because it's all about showing off the hair and being proud of who you are.'
He purchases the hair from Brazil and Moscow and it is 100 per cent Brazilian and Russian human hair. The lengths vary from 10 to 36 inches and it's available in different textures -- wavy, spiral and straight. He also offers something quite different, called the 'Mulatto hair', which is a natural texture suitable for mixed-race clients. Prices vary on the length, for example, the spiral pattern in 18 inches costs £59. Richard said: 'Because selling hair is not my main income, I wanted it to be affordable but also good quality.'
All hair sales are carried out via his Facebook page as the Sho Sho website is currently under construction. This approach works for Richard as his styling reputation has led to him having a massive online following.
When we visited the page we noticed that there was always positive feedback from satisfied customers. 'They always tell me that the hair is really soft,' and this he believes is one of the factors that makes his hair different from other brands out on the market today. And having celebrites endorse the hair can't be bad for boosting business either.Living the dream
Richard describes the way he styles celebrities as being original. 'Every celebrity has their own style and that is a good thing because it means they're being true to who they are.' In which case he must have a favourite celebrity to style? 'I really enjoyed styling Kelis and Pharell but I have to be diplomatic and won't admit to having favourites.'
While his main career is styling clothes (which he loves doing), Richard admits that he has learnt so much about business from selling hair. 'It has taught me something completely new.' When growing up, many people told Richard that he would never be able to achieve what he wanted but he has proved the doubters wrong. Richard says: 'Nothing is impossible in this life, so do not give up on your dream!' He also admitted that fashion styling and selling hair is just one part of the dream and that he is planning to branch out even more. He has always been interested in working in television, and is looking to do something for E4 very soon as 'this is just the beginning.'
If you want to keep up with Richard or find out more about Sho Sho Hair as well as purchase it, visit his Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/richardshoyemi