Building A Braiding Business

MN sophomore turns a fun hobby she enjoyed as a kid into her own business


Most girls have experienced getting in trouble for secretly braiding a friend’s hair at the back of the classroom in elementary school or making it the main activity of every sleepover. It’s hard to pass up the opportunity to brag about your braiding skills. However, most of us don’t think about turning this into our own business. 

Madison Jensen is currently a sophomore running her own braiding business, which she started three years ago. Taking an opportunity that came her way, she continues to grow her business and learn from her experiences.

“I learned to braid hair when I was 13 [years old] in March of 2020 at a resort’s kids’ club in Mexico. Shortly after that, I went into quarantine, and I was very bored, so I started a Facebook page, Braids & More by Madison, to showcase all my braids, just for fun,” Jensen said.

This casual post is what sparked her business. Viewers of the post started reaching out to Jensen, asking her to braid their hair as a paid service. Seeing this as an open door, Jensen decided to turn a hobby into a business.

“I started getting more serious with my business and made business cards, started an Instagram account, and started advertising on social media. I started the business because I could do something that I loved while making money and helping other people,” Jensen said.

Jensen explained the support she receives from friends and family, who keep her motivated as she works hard to keep her business running:

“My sister and dad have helped me a lot. My sister lets me practice hairstyles on her and take 15 zillion pictures of her hair afterward. My dad works for a beauty supplier, so he helps me get supplies such as mannequins and hairspray when I’m running low. I am so grateful because there have been so many local businesses and people who have taken a chance on me and my business,” Jensen said.

Jensen’s mom, Mandy Jensen, also continues to help with the logistics and behind-the-scenes factors of the business.

“My role has been driving her around to different parties and events, helping her set up for craft fairs, teaching her about communication and business strategies, and just being her biggest cheerleader. It has been so much fun helping Madison get this little business going, and our relationship has grown because of it,” M. Jensen said.

With her family’s support and her consistent efforts, Jensen’s business has come a long way. Her business gets customers from birthday parties, events like prom and homecoming, craft fairs, or a girl simply needing her hair done for a gymnastics meet. She even does braiding classes.

“When I started my business, I only did a couple of styles, but now I can pretty much do any hairstyle someone requests. Also, in the beginning, I would have one person reach out every couple of months, but now I average about one person a day reach out,” Jensen said.

As she faces challenges along the way– like having to tell a customer she had to cancel or reading harsher critiques online– she learned how to get past her obstacles. This business teaches Jensen very valuable lessons that she would carry with her.

“I have learned a lot about how to manage money along with figuring out how to utilize social media to my advantage and keep track of my expenses, income, and taxes. But most importantly, I have learned how to communicate with people. I learned how to talk to adults and other business owners in a professional way. I also learned how to communicate with customers,” Jensen said.

Jensen’s confidence and accomplishments don’t go unnoticed by the ones around her.

“My husband and I are so proud of what Madison has already accomplished with this little braiding business that she built from the ground up. The primary area of growth I’ve seen in Madison is confidence and poise. Her ability to stand in front of a group of adult women and teach them how to braid is impressive at age 16,” Jensen’s mom said.

Ella Jonas, a friend of Jensen’s, helps Jensen with her business through attending braiding parties and helping braid some of the girls’ hair. 

“Braiding parties are a unique service to have a fun hairstyle while at a birthday party. Madison usually does parties for younger girls ages five to twelve that only last up to an hour or two. I really enjoyed helping and it’s fun a fun way to meet new people while doing something you’re good at,” Jonas said.

Jonas thoroughly enjoys working with Jensen and continues to see Jensen grow her business. She admires not only Jensen’s motivation but passion for her business. 

“[Madison] continues to impress me with her creativity and passion for finding things she truthfully enjoys. She’s able to engage her audience and find any opportunity to get others excited about what she does. She constantly talks about ways she wants to solve problems. I love that she enjoys doing this so much,” Jonas said. 

With Jensen’s business continuing to gain more and more customers, Jensen has given some thought to what her business might look like in the future.

“Maybe in the future, I can turn my business into a career, and either become a cosmetologist, or just keep teaching classes, and doing birthday parties on more of a full time basis,” Jensen said.

As a fun hobby turned into a business on the rise, Jensen has a bright future waiting for her.