I had the pleasure of interviewing Shampoo Papi, a 2019 Instagram star. Who managed to touch thousands of people around the nation and multiple countries with his hilarious and inspiring videos. Within 4 months of beginning his brand has been featured in two fashion magazines, casted in a commercial and will be featured in the NYC Time Square Billboard.
Tell us a little about your brand and how you’ve come to this part of your career
Its crazy, the power of social media is real. I legit woke up one day as Shampoo Papi. In a short time, my name and brand reached across the US, and multiple counties around the world. I began detailing cars via social media and literally just being me making crazy, hilarious and entertaining videos caught like wildfire. Once I saw that I could not only do a great job at satisfying people with detailing their cars, I saw that I could turn this into a business for myself. Its crazy because in my logo, I am wearing a du rag. A big risk I took with that, but what an amazing symbol that it stood for men of color who wear du rags still can run business for themselves. When I lost my job, I lost everything financially. I probably was in the worst phase of my life. I got up off the couch to go detail cars and clean peoples houses for $60 to pay bills. I was working in 100 degree weather this past summer to do what I had to do. I cant even tell you how empty I felt knowing I quit my job in the middle of a wedding, and to come home to your fiancé and cant even pull $20 out of your pocket to go out to eat with. As a man, that’s a empty feeling. But I still got out there and did my detailing on a empty stomach to make money, even if it was only enough to bring a two piece home from pop eyes and a grape soda. And I was happy hustling, and it means a lot to me to be able to climb up the ladder as I am doing. I came straight from the street, bills were stacking up, the cable was turned off, we couldn’t even pay for our utility bills. Im proud of me, I remained so humble because back when I hit the darkest place of my life I still was at my happiest. Having a bright attitude in a dark situation brings your far. That’s why I love my brand, Shampoo papi saved my life.
Why do you think people believe in you?
I’m constantly trying to inspire people by being transparent with my story and my life. I think the one thing that really stands out about me is that I show all of my life to my followers. The good and the bad. I never try to act like things are all good in my life, even when I struggle, I embrace the struggle. I trust the struggle. I want people to know that everything won’t be packaged pretty at first, but when your happy with a crumb and the universe sees that you’ll be blessed with a full loaf of bread. My heart really desires to provide people opportunities. It’s hard enough, trying to accomplish making name for yourself. I’d like to be that bridge for people one day.
What are your current goals?
Shampoo Papi is ready to take on the entertainment industry, hey man I want to get into fashion, music, and art. Im a jack of all trades, Im ready to do it all. I have recently been featured in two fashion magazines and casted into a commercial that will be airing this month. Im really excited to break into the entertainment industry as it has been a long lasting dream of mine. Im looking for talent representation to manage my acting/modeling career and get the gears going. I love drama, and comedy. Actually I think of myself as a dramatic comedian. Those are two big goals of mine, to be able to play both roles in either a feature film or a scripted TV show. I’m for sure working on my digital foot print in the modeling industry by doing work such as print & runway. Im ready to do it all. Although my followers want me to have my own reality TV show, they tune into my Instagram stories everyday, I receive so many messages everyday from all of the world saying that my Instagram is there own personal TV show. Im either sharing stories about my life, making hilarious videos or making inspirational videos for people. Either way, I love all of the people thus far who are rooting and cheering me on.
What good have you done with your following/success? What do you want to do in the future with your following?
I make a difference in this world because there are entirely to many people in this world for me to only think of myself. Im constantly giving, it never ends. Back when I was a kid in grade school, my mom would give me $5 every day for lunch. And everyday I would buy someone else food, I remember my mom being so angry but proud of me. I would pack so many snacks and bring them to school and give them to anyone who was hungry. I was only 7 at the time, I was raised right. I owe that to my mother. Ive been jobless for quite some time now, and during my respite I initiated a back to school drive for M-E-S-A Charter High School and chose one lucky teacher from the school to promoter. I raised $500 via social media and bought a bunch of school supplies for those kids. Its in my blood, to be a philanthropist. One day I’ll promoter foundations and local endowment to fight hunger, open a barbershop and provide free hair-cuts for the homeless. Provide medical services for the international kids. I know one thing, I thank god with the shit I’ve been through I’m happy my life struggles never wipe out the innocence and pure love I have for people.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
I think a highlight moment in my career thus far was when Daymond John, ABC star of Shark Tank had a contest for five lucky entrepreneurs out of 1 million to win his Daymond on Demand classes for free. Well I was one of those five who won, I couldn’t even express how happy I was to have won those courses. I still put majority of the lessons he taught into my career path. He’s a very calculated person and I enjoyed speaking with him and learning the lessons he taught me. The best moment was when he reposted a video of me on his Instagram page in my cap and gown when I completed his program. It was a moment of wow someone of his statured noticed me, I have to keep going. And since then Ive been keeping my foot on the metal. If there was one thing that Daymond John taught me is that there is no way you can drive a parked car. You just have to keep going, even if the odds are against you.
Give me the three best qualities of your brand
I get to do what I love the most, I get to make people laugh. I get to just be me. I enjoy just being crazy and letting loose. I’ve always been a free spirit, class clown. But I truly love bringing people joy. That’s what The Shampoo Papi experience is all about. That’s the best part about being Shampoo Papi. I have freedom to be who I want without having to worry about who will say what about me. I think that’s why so many people gravitate towards my brand. I’m unapologetic, and I don’t hide who I am. I have so many supporters around the world, and I enjoy bringing them along the journey with me. Even when I fail, lose or struggle I make that clear, that’s what keeps me and my supporters close. I don’t have to act like I’m winning or create the persona that I have it all. I just get to be me. I think people on my Instagram gravitate towards me because of how transparent I am with my story. I’m a influencer who consistently inspires people to be the best versions of themselves.
Being a entrepreneur is a 24/7 job, how did you get ready for that?
I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life. I’ve always been gifted with people skills, charisma and confidence. I was always on some sort of journey of trying to fix a problem, and add better value to it. That’s what natural entrepreneurs do. I never in my life “conformed” to the idea of having to work for anyone, which is why I spent majority of my life job hopping, dropping out of school, failing every class and never was able to be consistent with the traditional “Go to school, get a job” life. Which by the way, there’s nothing wrong with working a 9-5, I just want to make my own dreams come true. And that won’t happen if I sell 40 hours of my time each week to an already established company. Hey, Ill take the risk and spend 24/7 making my own dreams, goals and accomplishments come true.
Which current public figure, are you inspired by or appreciate the most?
Tyler Perry is a huge inspiration of mine. I mean, his story alone and his perseverance to make it makes me want to go harder in my own craft. He’s a man that never had his hand out, he made opportunities for himself. I truly respect that, from being homeless to building his very own Hollywood Studios in ATL providing people opportunities from all backgrounds is my goal in life. What I enjoy mostly about Tyler Perry is that he doesn’t sing a sad song, he embraces what he’s been through and instead of using his platform to remind people of what he’s been through, he allows others to tell their story. The man is without a doubt selfless, and incredibly successful. I can only aspire to be a quarter of who he is and achieve what he has accomplished. He definitely deserves more credit.
How do you handle stress ?
I’m still figuring that out, I mean I have my days where I need to isolate myself, no phone, no human contact I just need to shut down and spiritually recharge myself again. If my spirit is off, I won’t preform to the best of my abilities. In the moment of stress and I feel the pressure on my back, I have to take a strong look at the situation and assess how am I going to tackle the issue at hand. I have a strong support system that I lean on, so times during stress. I’m never alone. I’m forever grateful that I have more people than less that I can turn to in times of need.
What are the three qualities you feel an entrepreneur must have ?
1. Every entrepreneur needs to be a leader in their own lane. Doesn’t matter the size of your industry, if your out there waiting on someone to give you an opportunity, you’ll be waiting forever. The goal is be your own boss, and then provide opportunities for others. I myself, don’t ask for permission. I set a goal for myself and I execute. As entrepreneurs you need to know your industry, find a problem and fix it. Entrepreneurs are constantly creating and innovating. There is no space in between. 2. Having thick skin is a vital quality you need in the game, understand hearing “No” doesn’t mean you stop, or you have failed, it means make everyone who ever said no regret it. Go harder, you’ll be surprised how many times we hear “no” and end up somewhere else in life looking back saying I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. Trust the process, just think. If you only hear “no” or “you failed” once or twice in your life, compared to someone who hears those words 200 times there level of hunger and vision of success will be greater than someone who hears the word no once and gives up. 3. Authenticity is major. You are the face of your brand, and its important that you stay true to it. There’s no reason to be or act like something you aren’t. Being authentic is what sets you apart from the others.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself owning the second largest film studio in the country. I want to be a well established Actor/Model and film director making classic feature films, while also during the course of that journey being an actor in some hit scripted television shows. Keeping my fingers crossed that Ill be giving my speech for my Oscar award. To have achieved the journey of self love and happiness. Ultimately, 10 years later I want to look back and know that I have inspired people around the world. To never stop dreaming. They do come true.