The Small Business Administration estimates that approximately 550,000 new businesses open, each year, and that another 660,000 close. What’s more, only about a third of all businesses that open are expected to last to the 10-year mark. The people at CURLS, which just celebrated its 10-year mark, have learned some of the secrets to success, along the way, and what it takes to last for the long haul.
“I started out with a blueprint for what it would take to succeed in business, a full marketing and business plan,” explains Mahisha Dellinger, founder and chief executive officer of CURLS. “I also knew that I had a product that people needed."
CURLS grew from a home-based business, where Dellinger created products in her kitchen, to become a multi-million business with products available nationwide. Today, the CURLS hair-care product line is available in over 3,000 salons around the country, as well as in such stores as Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, and Sally’s.
Some of the secrets to making it to the 10-year anniversary mark include:
- Choose a niche market. CURLS saw that there was a need for products for naturally curly hair. Their hair care products, made specifically for those who have naturally curly hair, include special items for adults, teens, and babies.
- Be different. One of the things that sets CURLS apart is that the products are all natural and are made with certified organic ingredients. It’s a niche within a niche, one that helps consumers obtain products that are devoid of chemicals.
- Change it up. CURLS didn’t just put out hair care products and get lost in a shelf of other brands. They created “cocktails” that help to give the products a fun appeal, such as coconut sublime conditioner, ecstasy hair tea, and CURLS milkshake.
- Focus on availability. Had Dellinger continued to offer her products from home, she wouldn’t have the mass appeal she has today. Because she worked to get her products into big stores and salons around the country, they are now available on a broad scale, thus helping to boost sales numbers.
- Become an expert. Whatever it is that people are selling, the person selling it likely has some sort of expertise in the area. When you help people by providing solutions, they come to trust the business, as well as the products.
“I’m thrilled with the success my business has experienced in this first 10 years,” adds Dellinger. “As a female entrepreneur who has worked hard to create a great line of products, get them into stores, and promote them, I can say that I’m looking forward to the next 10 years, as well.”
CURLS has received many glowing reviews from magazines and has been nominated three years in a row for the Stylist Choice Award alongside Paul Mitchell and Redkin. Curls has also been featured in top magazines, such as InStyle, Essence, Ebony and Redbook. CURLS celebrity fans naturally grew and multiplied with Halle Berry, Zoe Saldana, and Raven Simone on the CURLS fan page.