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Human trafficking survivor builds a small business with only $400.


This venture began with just a few hundred bucks. Nakia Vestal was a teenage victim of human trafficking. She started work in beauty salons. Vestal began to enjoy her experience and decided she wanted to own her business.

Vestal was founded in 2017 with $400 DollMaker LashesA beauty salon in Houston that provides eyelash extensions services. Her client base was small at first, and she continued to grow her business from the comfort of her own home. Vestal persevered, was disciplined, and believed in her ability to transform her salon into a full-service, lash artist with her own products.

“It was just me and my lash bed. She said that she didn’t know much about marketing. All things were word-of-mouth. “I started in my kitchen at home.”

Vestal’s business was affected by Covid-19’s economic slowdown, but she did receive a $10,000 grant last year from the Covid-19 Foundation. Verizon’s Digital ReadyProgram, she attributes her growth to it.

Verizon grants small businesses that have been affected by the pandemic. This is especially true for communities with historically low incomes. Nearly 800 small business have been awarded grants totaling $10,000 for staff salaries, rents and other financial requirements.

These are the four secrets that Vestal has used to be a successful entrepreneur.

1. Request grants

2. Utilize social media

According to GlobalWebIndex54% of internet users regularly use social media to search for products. That number is expected to rise.

Social media marketing is completely free. Facebook and Instagram are now available. TikTok is your new marketing tool. Vestal stated that these tools are completely free and can be used to target any audience you want.

3. Search for resources that are free

In the digital age, you can find just about anything on the internet — from free courses and advice columns to virtual mentors and networking events.

You can find free resources everywhere. Vestal stated, “Don’t think there are stupid questions.” You have to be bold and look for the truth.

4. Be different