( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Refusing to be Complacent, Latrice Rogers Went Searching for A Lifestyle that Aligned With Her Passion for Beauty
ENSPIRE Contributor: Alisha Durosier
From once being exclusive to inclusive, obscure to transparent, and objective to subjective, the meaning of beauty has evolved. In the beauty industry, where many are trying to gain entry and find their place to establish their own definitions of beauty eventually, it is imperative to stand out, to define the lines between yours and theirs. For Latrice Rogers, creator of multi-million dollar hair care brand “Goddess Lengths,” it was a target parking lot that served as the young entrepreneur’s passageway into the beauty industry.
When gaining her Biology degree from Jackson State landed her a job as a cashier at an Office Depot, Rogers found herself dissatisfied with her circumstances. The life of luxury she envisioned for herself was not her reality. So, pulling from her interest in hair care and beauty she held as a child, Rogers occupied her local target’s parking lot and displayed bundles of hair from the trunk of her car, and sold them. This was the start of her pursuit of what would grow into the Multi-million dollar company that is Goddess Lengths.
Can you be specific about what prompted your need for change? What or when was that lightbulb moment?
To be completely honest, being BROKE…You know, not being able to pay your bills or getting your car repossessed. And because I come from a small town called Canton, Mississippi, I didn’t grow up having role models, knowing doctors, and lawyers. My family didn’t have the knowledge to give me to put me on that next level. But you know, just being self-driven and seeing that I wanted more for my family and my future; that just motivated me. I kept telling myself: “‘You can’t stop, you have to keep going, there’s something better.’”
The first lightbulb moment was sitting there being broke…I remember my car ended up being repossessed, and it would only cost $1,500 to get the car back, and I couldn’t afford it. So they took my car, and that was one of those embarrassing moments, but it was like an epiphany that you can’t go through life suffering and letting people take things. You have to take control of your own destiny. Another moment was actually when I was in business, and I was one of those types of people who nothing ever worked out for, and I always felt like someone had voodoo over my life. I believe that you suffer your father’s sins, and you know papa was a rolling stone, so I was like maybe I’m getting it back from my father. So that negative thinking is what held me down for so many years, and when I dove into myself and started meditating and praying to God, He just started to open my mind.
The beauty industry is booming! With the industry so crowded, how does your business set itself apart?
Just bringing new and exciting things–I have vending machines that I bought to my space. You get negative and the positive to be one of the best things. I launched the vending machines at North Park Mall, and the CFO was recording that I had hundreds of people online trying to look at the machine or trying to purchase from the machine. So he sent it to his corporate office, and they gave me the opportunity to put the machines in every entire mall across the US that they owned. So, you know, it’s just all about giving them a wow factor.
Describe how the creation of Goddess Lengths affected you? And what did you learn from your experience building your brand from the bottom up?
I would say I’m the sole provider for my family…Even with my friends, I want to see everybody win, so I reach out with helping hands to help an individual. I’m a prime example of this can happen to you. I tell people that I am the walking blueprint– if you name it, I’ve been through it. If I can make it, you definitely can. I learned the most important thing about people– especially people being supportive and the negativity that comes with people, and meeting the right people to push and expand and pushing out the negative people that are in your life. I have many outlets, and people come to you when they see that you have something they want. I have come to realize that every person serves a purpose–either they’re going to give to you or take from you, and I had to learn that fast.
How has the pandemic affected you and your brand? Has it made a positive or negative impact?
The pandemic has actually been the most successful year. I had to become more strategic when shopping online–I’m doing TikTok to stay relevant with content that the people need to see, but for the most part, Covid has been the most successful year of business; definitely a Positive.”
How do you wish to expand your business? And where would you like to see yourself and your business in the future?
We’re going to do a few more stores across the US. The eyes are heavy on Goddess Lengths, so right now, we want to expand on it and offer the people a close and impersonal experience. I am also trying to get the new product line, E’Sensual Beauty, into retail stores, and that’s the field I’m tapping into, and it’s different it’s scary at the same time, but we are working on getting into retail stores all over the U.S, so we’re just trying to go global. I aspire to be a global brand. I want to see myself on busses and billboards, and I want to see myself and my brand on an international scale. A lot of people see me as successful, but I want a lot more. Basically, I want to be in Paris and Dubai and be global.
Are there any additional ventures you would like to pursue?
I want to get into the restaurant business. I definitely want a restaurant with a cool little vibe with hookah, you know, just with a cute little girls’ night on the town type of vibe. So I’m currently researching; maybe that is something I’ll get into within the next year or so; we’ll see.”
With an innate passion she even felt as a child, Rogers built and nourished a continuously growing empire. Establishing her and her brand as an immense force in the beauty industry.
To learn more about Latrice Rogers, visit her website HERE.