An Interview with Founder Hana Johansen of Gee Hair

Hana Johansen Founder of Gee Hair

Meet Hana of Gee Hair

Hana Johansen is the co-founder of 100% natural remy hair extension brand Gee Hair. She and her sister Cindy started the brand as a side hustle almost 8 years ago whilst studying at university. Since then, Gee Hair has gone from strength to strength and now even celebrity hairstylists frequently use their hair extensions when styling clients’ hair.

1.Can you explain to us how the idea for your business came to you and how the whole process kicked off?

My sister was a beauty therapist with a small beauty room which I helped out at while I was at university. Overtime she started ordering in lashes, hair extensions and other similar products to also offer to her clients. Out of these new products, the hair extensions were by far the most popular, but we noticed how old fashioned everything in the hair extensions industry was. After doing some research we noticed how every hair extension brand seemed to sell the same hair extensions and there was no real creativity. That’s when we decided to go on a mission to improve hair extensions!

We started by reinventing one piece/halo hair extensions, then we moved onto the multiple sets and made them more seamless and also invented a hair hanger. We have so much more to come too. There’s certain products I’ve been working on for years now that I’m super excited about launching, but want to make sure we have them perfected before putting them out there.

2.What were the biggest challenges you faced when bringing the idea to market?

We’ve faced so many challenges since starting because we had zero business experience at the beginning. I feel like everything started off as a challenge so it’s hard to pick just one. Some examples were finding the right manufacturer (which included a lot of trial and error), creating the best marketing angles and more.

It’s really challenging when you’re a small business. We’ve invested so much time and money into developing and improving our products, which has then not left us much resource for marketing! It’s all trial and error for sure, and overtime we’ve learned a lot from experience. 

Bringing a completely new product to the market has also been a challenge, because people can often be somewhat resistant and skeptical at first. This is where our reviews speak volumes luckily, and for us we’ve found that’s definitely helped to get our products out there. 

3.Where do you think good ideas come from and what inspires you?

We get a lot of our ideas from our own personal inspirations on a day-to-day basis. We’re always researching the latest hair trends, keeping up to date with everything in the industry and looking for inspiration everywhere – not just from celebrities or models on the runways, but from real genuine people we feel inspired by. We also ask our customers what they like and don’t like to find out exactly what’s working and what’s not and see how things can be improved, or see where gaps crop up that provide new opportunities. Our relationships with our customers is really important to us and definitely a huge part of what influences what we do as a company.

4.What are your company’s values and why are these things important to the business?

Customer satisfaction is at the very top of our list of priorities, and one of the most important parts of this is ensuring that all of our products are the highest possible quality and reasonably priced. We handcraft all of our hair extensions and design them to be easy to use, care for and as comfortable as possible.

Another key part of what we do that sets us apart from our competitors is innovate! We’ve absolutely transformed the notion of the traditional hair extension and evolved them into newer more superior designs that solve so many issues people often face with traditional styles.

5.What is next for your brand?

We’re currently in the process of going into wholesale and are beginning to target countries outside the UK, building our customer base in countries such as the US, the United arab Emirates and Australia. We’re also launching two new products this year which we’re so excited about and have spent a long time researching and perfecting to get the stage we’re at with them now.

6.What one piece of advice would you have for someone just starting out on their business journey or currently going through a setback?

Mindset is everything. From my experience, I think it’s best to challenge your mindset on setbacks to see them more as positives rather than negatives. I used to be really disheartened by setbacks and obstacles, but now I either see them as lessons learnt, or see that they happened so that something better could fall into place. 

I believe that everything happens for a reason and it’s important to trust the timing in your life. If it’s not happening right now, then maybe it’s because you’re not ready for it. Just keep going and improving and everything will fall into place if you work hard for it.

7.What resources and tools do you use to remain productive or up-to-date on industry trends etc?

Social media for sure! We work closely with a lot of influencers on Instagram and other social media platforms. We also use social media as a tool to help us engage with our customers and potential customers to help us to constantly improve and evolve. Keeping up to date on these sites also keeps us aware of the latest trends in the hair and beauty industry, which are always worth staying in the loop with.

More info on Gee Hair

Brand Name: Gee Hair
LinkedIn handle:
Twitter handle: @GeeHair_Ext
Facebook handle: @geehairextensions
Instagram handle: @geehair