Swingin Inches swinging through the pandemic

Daija White, owner of Swingin Inches. Photo courtesy Daija White

Entrepreneurship is an extremely difficult field to enter, especially for people of color. However, Daija White, a third-year Tallahassee Community College student from Miami who is majoring in pharmacy, launched Swingin Inches at the age of 16 in 2016.

Throughout the past century, hair styling has been one of the most prominent ways for Black women to gain financial independence in American society.

“I love cosmetics and looking good,” White said.

The unique name Swingin Inches came about because “your hair is supposed to flow, no stiffness, inches because I love long hair,” White said.

Daija White prices and hair sold by Swingin Inches. Photo courtesy Daija White

White sells high-grade hair, body wave, loose wave, straight, deep wave, straight lace frontals, and curly lace frontals in 12-30 inch lengths.

“I loved my body wave hair and I got my hair earlier than expected. I can’t wait to put in my next order,’ said Lazaria Hodge a third-year Florida A&M allied health student.

Starting a business is far from easy and finding inspiration can be challenging, but White’s motivation comes from her desire to be successful. “I wanted to be financially free and not have to work for others,” she said.

The main challenge is consistently and adequately marketing and promoting to bring in more customers. “My favorite thing about being a business owner is being able to have control over my hours and workload,” White said.

One report found that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses have been shuttered by COVID-19 compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses, according to National Demographic.

Contrary to the rapid downfall of thousands of Black-owned businesses. Swingin Inches continues to prosper and increase in revenue and sales.

People are showering Black-owned businesses with support in the wake of protests against police brutality. The sudden attention on inequality in America has spun numerous online lists spotlighting Black-owned companies for people to support.

“On one hand, this is what we’ve been praying for. This is the support we’ve wanted for so long,” said Jonae Harris, a FAMU student and the owner of Nikini Swimwear. “But it comes after such horrible and disgraceful acts. It comes after all these Black men and women have been killed by cops.”

White has been in business going on five years and has learned lessons on dealing with customers, promoting products, and how to go about handling Swingin Inches.