It’s well past midnight CST and past 1am in New York.
I’m hunched over my laptop and Sharon and I are DMing each other back and forth on Instagram, trying to make the most of every minute that passes by when we’re not both getting sleep. I’m sending her interview questions; she’s responding via voice message, and I’m scrambling to transcribe them.
Sharon Cohen, founder of @highlinewigs, or ToppersbySharon.com has taken Instagram by storm.
She’s amassed almost 11K followers and has a strong IG influencer network that consistently raves about her wigs and toppers.
For a niche that traditionally didn’t have much recognition and awareness, it’s huge.
She gets hundreds of messages every day from women that ask her questions about her hair pieces and sends her testimonials on life-changing her wigs and toppers have been to women – but how much do we know about Sharon herself and the journey behind building Highline Wigs?
Good thing you asked because I’m here to slide into her DMs and ask.
Q: Starting from the beginning, when and why did you start Highline?
“First off, thanks for interviewing me. I hope these questions can help other people get to know me on a personal level. I used to be more active and had more time to get to know my clients on a personal level, but it’s been so busy lately. I hope you can get to know “me” through these questions.
I started my business in 2015, but I grew up in a house full of wigs and toppers. My mother has been selling wigs and toppers, I’d say for the past 15+ years.
We’re Jewish and a lot of Jewish women would cover their hair when they marry – with a beanie or scarf or wigs – doesn’t really matter – everyone has their own preference. Not all Jews do it, but a lot of us do. So we both started selling to the Jewish community, to those who wanted to cover their hair for religious purposes.
And I was always kinda good with hair and makeup. I would always do my friends’ hair and makeup growing up for weddings and parties – I always had good hands for that stuff. So then, I just started buying and selling more [hair] online, focusing on Ebay.
After I got married, I worked as a paralegal for a real estate bank attorney representing the banks for 3 years. I actually really liked that because I happened to do real estate before that [job] and I always grew up wanting to be an attorney, but school wasn’t really my thing [haha].
Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t have to go to grad school or anything like that.
I was slowly growing, but not as much as I thought I would be within the Jewish community. I actually found I was growing more within the hair loss community. At the time, I didn’t know that such things existed – I was only 18 at the time and had no idea about hair loss.
My initial clients were going through chemo, and then I had clients with trich[otillomania], and eventually those with alopecia. There are so many types of hair loss that I can’t even list…I know so much about hair loss, even though I don’t suffer it myself.
People always ask me, why are you so interested in this? Aside from the business aspect, I happen to really love the job. It’s very fulfilling and rewarding to be able to help those that feel like they can’t go out of their house one day, to be able to go outside and smile.”
“It might seem cliché, but if you saw even a quarter of my messages I get on a daily basis, it’s so inspiring and beautiful.”
“I really do love what I do. I wake up in the morning, feel fulfilled, and am excited to begin the day.
As stressful as it is, it’s really nice and I’m so happy I do this. Everyone knows I love my job because I’m always talking about it.”
Q: What are some important lessons you’ve learned since starting your business?
“From a business aspect, I’ve learned that social media is everything, especially these days. I think the Instagram hair loss world has dramatically soared since I’ve been on it. Every day there’s a new IG account dedicated to hair loss, which is really nice for the hair loss community and special.
I think since hair loss bloggers have purchased from me and women like you [@the_strandie] talk about it, I would say I grew a lot from IG.
From a personal aspect, I’ve learned that I can’t please everyone. I started out being a major people pleaser, and I still am, I really just want everyone to be happy and satisfied. I’d say I’m pretty easy to work with, if someone’s really unhappy I want to try to make it work for them. “
“But sometimes, at the end of the day, there’s just some who [Highline toppers and wigs] won’t work for and I just have to tell myself I can’t please everyone in every circumstance.“
“I’ve also learned I must take breaks because I could literally work all day if I could! And I really would because I really really love my job – but I also have to remember that I have a son, and a husband, and friends and family and a social life so it’s really important for me to (even though I’m recording this at 1:06am) to shut off at 5pm and set limits for myself.”
Q: What does a day in your life look like?
“I wake up and I bring my son from the crib into my bed with me. I give him his bottle and we just cuddle and hang out for half an hour. And then I prepare his lunch while he’s looking at Youtube on my phone and then I take him to his school.
He’s in school from 8:30-4ish and within that timeframe, I’m literally hustling to try and get as much done as I can. It’s a lot of shipping and listing, while my assistant Raquel washes all the hair pieces.
After 4pm, I get my son and I kind of disappear off of social media and work from 4 to 6:30pm. I’m cooking dinner for my husband and son and doing family time because that’s really important to me.
Unless it’s REALLY busy and I tell my husband that I have to get some work done in my office. Then, he’ll take care of dinner and put my son to sleep, but usually, I’m hanging out with them.
My husband happens to be in PT [physical] school so he’s studying a lot. He comes home late sometimes and is constantly studying, which is kind of nice because I love working too [haha].
So from 7 to about 3am, I’m just doing what I do during the day – I wash pieces and style them. I’ll cut and color a lot at night, answer emails, and process returns and exchanges. I’m trying to work on that 3am thing – I’ve been good for a week and a half. I try to go to sleep around 12:30 or 1am now. I’m also trying to find assistants so I can have more of a break and personal time too.”
Q: What do you like doing in your free time?
“In my free time, I like to relax – I love vacationing, traveling, eating (I’m such a foodie), and having time with friends and family. I like doing pretty much anything that doesn’t have to do with work and get off the internet and social media. As much as I love work, I also love putting it aside and doing other things that I love and enjoy.
I also just moved into a new home seven months ago and I have a little garden in the front, so I’ve been learning how to garden. It’s pretty nice and relaxing because your hands are just in gloves and no one can bother you. I love learning about different plants. I’m pretty bad at it now, but hopefully, I’ll get better at it soon.”
Q: What’ something we would never guess about you?
“Something that people don’t know about me, at least on social media, is that my name is actually ‘Sha-Rone‘, like Sharona without the A, not Sharon.”
“But growing up, my teachers and colleagues would call me Sharon anyway. So it’s not like I would roll my eyes when I hear it – I’m used to hearing both names – but my friends and family know me as “Sharon”.
Suran: Whoa! Yup totally thought of it as how everyone else says Sharon, good to know [hahaha].
Sharon: [hahaha] it’s totally fine, toppers by Sharon sounds way better than toppers by ‘Sha-rone’, so keep on calling me Sharon.”
Q: What’s your favorite hair color or piece in your collection?
“My favorite color, and I’m sure a lot of people, are my Lexie colors. They come in so many different colors – my light, my dark, my regular – even my sunkissed is a form of a Lexie.
I just love balayage and it’s so in style. It’s a trend you can really wear also because you don’t have to change your whole hair color. As long as the top matches and the lowlights match the top, many people can just wear it without having it be an exact color match. It’s definitely one of my favorites.”
Q: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
It’s a gorgeous island and I’ve never been there once with bad weather so it is really nice and relaxing. I was just there in January and I hope to go again soon.
I love traveling and vacationing even though time and schedule (mine and my husband) usually don’t allow it so sometimes I’ll take a mini-break and run to Florida. As long as I can get some sun, I’m good because New York winters are brutal!”
Q: Favorite meal?
“For a quick bite, I love pizza, it’s quick and easy to go. I usually don’t catch breakfast or lunch and sometimes forget to eat altogether, so if I get a second, I’ll run out and get a pizza. I love salads – with any meal I have, I need a side salad because it’s so refreshing to me.
I love Chinese food, I love steakhouses, if I didn’t mention this before, I’m a humongous foodie.”