Business owner becomes first African-American woman in Lake City to hold US patent

LAKE CITY, Fla. – While the pandemic forced many businesses to shut down, one Lake City woman is celebrating her new found success despite the challenges.

“My brand is bigger than I am,” Shanekia Bing, owner, and founder of Alirra.

Shanekia Bing, a Lake City wife, mother of four, business student, owner of a hair salon and hair product line has become the first African-American woman in the city to have a U.S. Patent and Trademark for her hair product line Alirra.

“When I say that girl got a trademark. I’m still shocked this is a whole blessing. Who does that? That’s nobody but God,” said Bing.

Bing’s journey started in 2016 when her hair product line was officially established.

“With that product hair crack, because that was the first product. When hair crack was born it was because of all those issues I was having with me and my girls and that one client. And I told her ‘Hey I’m a secret don’t tell nobody.’ Eventually, it just kept growing and growing and here we are today, it was meant to be,” said Bing.

She says her daughters were the inspiration behind the product.

One of Bing’s daughters has Sickle Cell Anemia SS and had a lot of difficulties with her hair until she created a product that would work not only for her family but for everyone.

“Even though it worked for me, my family, and it worked for one client, I still didn’t really trust and believe in the product until I got another client and another client and another client. And people were like ‘What are you using on their hair? What are you doing?’ and then ‘Can I buy that?’” said Bing.

After starting the US Patent and Trademark process back in 2017, Bing’s efforts were halted due to a class action because of a similarity in names with another brand that started the process right before her.

However, Bing didn’t give up.

She found a lawyer and officially got her patent and trademark more than 3 years later this February and received the physical copy a week ago.

She credits the pandemic, to giving her the resources she needed to reach this milestone.

“Covid became a blessing to my business, because of all the resources that were being handed out,” said Bing. “You don’t want to build a business and you don’t own your business. So that’s not what moguls do. Moguls own everything about their business.

Bing reminds those who are wanting to do the same for their business, that you are the only thing standing in your way.

“You are your only hindrance. Those things only come to actually grow you up and make you better because at the end of the day if it was supposed to stop you, you would have stopped by now. But if you continue to grow through your hurts, grow through pains, and grow through all the setbacks and temptations you can do just what I do,” said Bing.

She also recommends finding a patent lawyer to help facilitate the process.

Bing now mentors those who are interested in pursuing the same dreams.

“No matter what you go through, hold on because there’s always something greater on the opposite side of anything you’re experiencing right now. Don’t just hold on to it but grow through it,” said Bing. “Because as you grow through it, you’ll be able to look back and see where you come from and be like ‘Oh My God. I literally have a trademark’. Like all that stuff it produces something it’s just not I’m experiencing things, it’s pushing you to where you’re supposed to be.”

You can find the link to Bing’s products here:

https://www.alirra.com/

https://www.facebook.com/nekbing.Alirra


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