This interview was conducted by Lime Magazine.

What drove you start a career as a successful business women?
Back in 1999, whilst studying my BA in Business studies I really experienced the financial strains of university life and being a single mother, nursery fees had to be paid even though I was a full-time student and so I looked at how I could make extra money to get by. This period was definately a difficult time for me financially and the driving force for me to start up a business.I always wanted to be able to provide the best for my child and knew I had to work hard to do this.

Tell us about your brand hair2inspire?
Hair2inspire is a retail and wholesale supplier of virgin remy hair extensions and lacewigs which has been operating since 2008. We specialise in supplying premium luxury products that are made from 100% virgin human Hair. What differentiates us from a lot of the suppliers in the human hair market is that all of our hair is 100% human hair and it is all sourced from the country of origin: Our Peruvian Hair is from Peru, our Brazilian hair is from Brazil etc. We do not stock the imitation human hair that is flooding the market which is simply just sourced from China. The name Hair2Inspire was born from a desire to communicate that we as women need to realise our high net worth and acknowledge our beauty. Not just the external beauty but the internal beauty too – as that is what defines us as people. Many women lack confidence, Hair2Inspire wants to inspire women to want to look and feel beautifully confident, if your hair looks good, you feel good, hence our slogan: REAL Hair that inspires REAL beauty!!

Lime Magazine Interview with Hazel Chawapiwa of 2Inspire Network

What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I would say staying focused throughout all of life’s challenges. For a long time I felt such disappointment in myself for not achieving the things I felt I should have at a particular stage in my life and felt like such a failure, but having a strong support network got me through this time and I was able to see things clearly again, get over it and move on! I think we all have a tendency to dwell on our disappointments, whether they are personal, professional, or physical but we all need to learn to accept our limitations and embrace what we have done in life, and not what someone else thinks we should have done. Once you stop dwelling on the past, the sky is the limit and you realise you can do anything you put your mind to.

How do you maintain your entrepreneurial spirit?
Passion. I genuinely enjoy business. If I have an idea, the adrenaline starts to kick in and I want to see my idea grow. I understand that there is risk involved in running a business and that sometimes things fail but this does not deter me, I like a challenge. How do you balance being a working mum?Wow, this can be difficult at times but Ive found that having a good routine in place really helps you to try and get a good work/family/life balance. Also spending quality time with your family is really important, it is gratifying and a great stress relief. The business world is very fast paced and so time out is definitely a must. May 2012 saw the birth of The 2inspire network, what are the main aims of this initiative? a company which will allow women to connect, support , empower and inspire each other and one that will create platforms for women in business to promote themselves.”

What can people expect from events like the 2inspire Ladies Day?
A great feminine experience which is a fun day out due to the various number of things there are to do and attend on the day such as fashion shows, make-up classes, a shopping arena and a pamper corner. We also want it to be an opportunity for women to connect with like minded women and to be empowered by the various workshops and amazing women that are present at the event. Our first one in August was a great success with just over 200 in attendance, we have had fantastic feedback so far from visitors which is inspiring us to plan for the next one. Feedback from exhibitors has also been great as they have all stated that the event was a great platform for them to promote and increase awareness of their products and services.

What projects are you working on for the rest of the year?
The response to the LAdies day has been so great that we already have people requesting to be a part of the next one and so we are looking at possible dates. In addition I have had several requests for me to take the event abroad so this is also another possibility. Anything is POSSIBLE!

Who do you admire in the world of business?
There are so many: Oprah and Richard Branson are definately at the top of my list but there are alot of local business woman whom I admire too because I know what they are dealing with in their personal lifes yet they are still making it happen.

Share one of your favourite inspirational quotes.
There are just too many so i have given you two:-)

  • The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “Fall seven times, get up eight” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hazel Chawapiwa
2inspire Network
+44 (0)7590 622 501

For those with upcoming as well as wedding planners, the Brides of Culture Multicultural Exhibition will be taking place on September 8 2012.

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AfroCosmopolitan is the No.1 black and Afrocentric Online Magazine that prides itself with the showcasing of African fashion and lifestyle through posts, photos and events. Our main topics are about fashion, but we also post about beauty and other general topics related to the lives of the African man and woman.

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