If NaturallyCurly were a person, it would finally be able to drive.
It was 16 years ago this month that a concept conceived at a brunch became a web site for people with curly, coily and wavy hair. When I think back, there’s no way I could have imagined the amazing journey that we’ve taken since we first scrawled out ideas for the web on cocktail napkins. Our concept was basically a wish list of all the things us curly girls wanted for ourselves - a list of curl-friendly products (it was a painfully short list at that time), stylists who actually knew how to cut texture rather than pulling out the flat iron, and a place for people to share their stories and tips.
We enlisted my neighbor’s 13-year-old son to create our first web site. And then we launched it. Amazingly, people found us. Lots and lots of people from all around the world – people of all ages, ethnicities and texture types. We became an epicenter for a conversation that had been waiting to happen for decades.
It still boggles my mind that this huge population of people – more than half the world’s population - was basically ignored by the media, by haircare brands and by beauty schools. Just from a business perspective, it doesn’t take an MBA to know that there was huge potential. Actually, we didn’t even have a business plan when we created NaturallyCurly. It was pure gut.
Sometimes, that’s how the best things happen. Passion and guts.Lots of creative entrepreneurs with passion and guts joined us, creating some of the most innovative brands on the market for curls and coils. And many of our CurlTalkers went on to start their own blogs and YouTube channels, amplifying this conversation even more so that what some dismissed as a trend became an unstoppable movement. It’s a movement that includes women – and some men – that has brought together people from all different backgrounds, connected by their common desire to embrace their texture, whether it be wavy or super coily.
Of course none of this would have happened without the amazing people who have been involved along the way – the people who believed in us when others laughed in our faces; the community that found us and told others to log on; the stylists who were willing to train themselves in how to cut and style curls and coils; the brands, both small and large, who developed products that were specifically for the needs of curls and coils.
So Happy Sweet Sixteen, NaturallyCurly!