One job just isn’t enough for serial entrepreneur Nailah Queen

One job just isn’t enough for serial entrepreneur Nailah Queen

COLUMBIA, Md. - Nailah Queen stands outside a collective in Columbia, Maryland, run by women of color. (Miles Grovic/Capital News Service)

By MILES GROVIC

BALTIMORE – Nailah Queen is a serial entrepreneur, a field once dominated by white males but is now diversifying in important ways.

Queen, 46, juggles a lot — she is CEO, owner and founder of two startup companies, and runs a business coaching service. She owns Regally Insane, an all-natural hair and body product company, and Royalty Escapes, a travel agency.

Aside from her own businesses, Queen works full-time for the Department of Juvenile Services. Queen runs her side businesses from her home in the Govans neighborhood in Northeast Baltimore.

To many, Queen’s workload seems overwhelming, but she sees it differently.

“A lot of times people just look at it as, ‘I just did my part and that’s it,’ but if you have enough reserve energy to do more, why not? Push yourself to do more,” she said. “If it’s not affecting your health or the quality of life or family time…I am going to continue giving because I have more.” Queen is married and has a 29-year-old son.

Queen started Royalty Escapes Travel Agency in 2015 and the business flourished until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. The pandemic led to the cancelation of travel for millions of people across the world, hurting Queen’s business and that of many others in the travel industry.

Still, Queen didn’t stop working.

During the pandemic, she kept her customers updated on the ever-changing travel regulations where some countries were closed but others were open.

Queen said her travel agency wasn’t very profitable during the pandemic, but the constant flow of information she provided helped retain customers and acquire new clients.

“If you have enough reserve energy to do more…push yourself to do more,” she said.

Brittany Wright booked her wedding through Royalty Escapes, and expressed her appreciation for Queen’s “attention to detail, flexibility, and professionalism.”

Without a permanent storefront for her businesses, Queen relies on social media for advertising and has more than 2,000 followers on Instagram. Many of her clients are family, friends or members of the community.

Queen also runs Regally Insane, an all-natural hair and body product company. She started the product line in 2020 because she couldn’t find chemical-free products that wouldn’t damage her hair.

Queen said Govans is an “underserved community” that doesn’t “have a lot of resources for organic products.”

Melecia Helwig-Henson, a customer of Regally Insane, said finding organic hair products, especially those meant for African-American hair, is difficult. “There are a lot of chemicals that are in products designed for Caucasian people that actually are not needed for African-American composition,” Helwig-Henson said.

Helwig-Henson said there are many different hair products but none have satisfied the needs for American-American hair like Queen’s Regally Insane products. “I really have not come across too many products that work as well as hers and does exactly what it says it will do.”

On top of her two startups and full-time job, Queen provides business coaching. What started as a cohort of six other women has turned into an opportunity to help aspiring entrepreneurs.

“I’m not a gatekeeper. If I know it, I’m going tell you what to do,” she said. She will charge for a coaching session if it requires her to sit down and review a business plan.

Queen said there’s one driving force behind all of these ventures: “This is my giveback and how I can make a difference, not only in my life but in their lives and in the community.”

About The Author

Capital News Service

aflynn1@umd.edu

Capital News Service is a student-powered news organization run by the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism. With bureaus in Annapolis and Washington run by professional journalists with decades of experience, they deliver news in multiple formats via partner news organizations and a destination Website.

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