Vanessa was interviewed by Maiko Schaffrath the host of Impact Hustler, a podcast sharing challenges, successes & support of impact-driven entrepreneurs.
Vanessa Martins Lopes, the CEO and co-founder of The Wild Curl talking inequality curly hair consumers are facing
Vanessa talks about the challenges she faced growing up in Finland as one of the few ones with afro hair and how she felt pressured to fit into the narrow beauty standards. From a young age, she knew that curly hair has always been neglected by the beauty industry. Her goals were to help solve the problem and cater products for the underserved market. After moving to London in 2017, together with her fiance, they founded The Wild Curl, a brand that caters natural, vegan products solely to curly hair. Their mission is to support the beauty of curly hair and provide effective curly hair care products to everyone, everywhere. Listen to the full podcast episode below to find out more.
- There product offering for naturally curly hair is marginal
- The society has set "straight hair" as the ideal beauty standard, making many curly hair owners straighten or treat their hair with chemicals to fit into the standards.
- The Wild Curl is here to support the beauty of naturally curly hair. They want everyone to be able to feel beautiful and confident as they are, naturally.
- Curly hair texture is dryer by nature, which makes it more difficult to manage and brush, without facing tangles and hair breakage. On top of that, not all curls are the same, different hair structures require different hair products - there is no one hair product for all hair types.
- After launching their products first time on the market, they saw amazing reviews and life-changing stories of customers finding their lost curl-pattern. This made the founders extremely happy and helped to push forward of all the challenges they faced during their initial journey.
- Vanessa and her fiance are looking forward to expanding their business and are raising their first-ever funding round through equity crowdfunding, so not just high-prolific investors, but also their customers, friends and family, can invest and be part of their business and their fight against equal hair care.
- The big companies in the hair care industry have been overlooking curly consumers and did not cater to products that would enhance their natural hair properties. However, companies are starting now to pivot fast due to natural hair movement but many consumers believe it is too late. Curly hair owners don't want to see them as something that is suddenly trendy, or a sideline, they want to be a priority for once.
- Vanessa talks about the challenges of starting your own company. She says that "It is never a good time to start, it's always a bad time to start, it can be your excuse, but it is always like this, it is either full in or you are never going to do it".
- Vanessa advice to talk about your company as much as possible, to strangers, friends and family - "you never know who you will you run into, angel investors might be your colleges but you just don't know about it". Also, she highlights the value of taking advice from investors and startup-advisors.
- The funds raised will be used in product development and accelerating growth.