Young Entrepreneur Cuts Through Challenges for Hair Salon Success
Working since she was 15, Aylin Cornejo has been paving the way for her jump into entrepreneurship with the help of her family’s support and knowledge gained from overcoming obstacles.
“I have been saving my money and budgeting since I started working. Thanks to that, I was able to invest in starting my business,” Aylin said. “I think that it is extremely important to educate yourself in finance if you are trying to become self-employed.”
Aylin opened her children’s hair salon in Schererville in 2021 when she was 23 years old. Whimsy-Do’s adds a playful flair to the mundane – and sometimes scary – task of getting a haircut as a child. There are TVs to keep kids occupied with a favorite cartoon or show as well as Xboxes on-hand for screen time with an entertaining game.
The décor is designed with kids in mind with hand-painted murals all over the walls that include witches, dragons, rainbows, unicorns, princesses and all things magical.
“What I enjoy most about being an entrepreneur is it’s a never-ending journey,” she said. “There is always something I can do to improve my business and take it one step further to become something amazing! I continuously get to set new goals for my business and myself.”
She has already seen an increase in sales and staff since she styled her first head of hair. Aylin is not only the owner, but she is also a stylist that works hands-on with her team.
“The key to my success is 100% my family! I would not have been able to do any of this, or continue to grow my business, without the help they continue to give me,” she said.
Aylin also credits Jim Hubbard of the SCORE team for helping her get through her initial steps of opening her salon.
“He’s an amazing mentor. He walked me through how to start a business step-by-step and believed I could do it before I myself believed I could,” she said.
A large component of her entrepreneurial path is giving back as her family faced a challenging time when she was younger. Her parents became unemployed, and her family lost their home. They had to lean on churches for food assistance.
“We were at rock bottom. My parents did everything in their power to keep the stress of all of that off of my two sisters and me,” Aylin said. “That whole experience was a huge blessing in disguise. It taught us a lot and helped us grow closer as a family. It taught us to appreciate everything and everyone we have in our lives. Because of that, I am the person I am today.”
Aylin attended beauty school and through her student council role at school, started focusing on fundraising for families in need, which she continues today.
“I am always looking for ways to give back to families in need because I understand what it’s like to be at the bottom. It’s a scary place to be and if I can help lessen that burden for someone else, even just a little bit, I will do whatever I can to help.
“I owe any and all of my success to everyone who has come in and out of my life. I quite literally could not have gotten to where I am today without all of those people that I’ve crossed paths with in my life!”
2313 Indianapolis Blvd., Suite A, in Schererville