How to go from single mother to owning a million dollar company: Mahisha Dellinger tells all
Owner of CURLS.biz and motivational speaker, Mahisha Dellinger, is a sad story turned success. Check out the interview below to find out how Mahisha turned oranges into orange juice and lemonade.
Being a millionaire doesn't happen overnight and launching a product that hasn't been seen on the market is no easy feat. However, the right person can turn what some view as impossible into something attainable. The right person can be you, me, her, him, and a mother. I had the opportunity to chat with Mahisha Dellinger, the founder of Curls a natural hair care line that started in her garage and is now on the shelves of Target, Walmart, and CVS. She is also the best selling Author of "Against All Odds: From the Projects to the Penthouse". This mom turned millionaire is a reminder that being a mother doesn't deter you from reaching your own dreams.
What inspired you to start Curls? I was a newly natural mother and I was also in corporate America fighting to shatter that glass ceiling. I wasn't having much success despite my hard work. So the combination of being a hard working mother that was looking to increase her financial stability and a newly natural mother led to me starting Curls. There weren't many options out there for me so I decided to do something about it.
What sets your products apart from competitors and what is your favorite product? My favorite product is the Blueberry Collection which is available in Target, Walmart, Rite Aid, and CVS. We took the blueberry extract that is proven to promote hair growth, prevent damage, etc. I brought something that has amazing restorative properties to it. We use no artificial products, plastic, silicon. The products are all natural and for every age range from children to adults.
What is your advice to mother’s who want to start an at home natural hair care regimen? You need the full package, a nice sulfate free cleanser, a deep conditioning mask, a daily leave in moisturizer, and a really rich cream that will define and moisturize your curls.
What inspired you to write “Against All Odds: From the Projects to the Penthouse” and what message or takeaway do you want women to receive after reading it? The reason I wrote this book wasn't to make a lot of money. It was for me to put out my journey which comes from the absolute worse. It was to show girls that they can change their destiny and the lives of their children. If I can do it so can you and that's the bottom line.
What are some tips or must-do’s for women who are trying to brand their product and why is this important? Oh that's a whole class, there is a lot to do with branding. It's not a simply XYZ, a lot of research needs to happen. Who is your target audience? Your market? What is your price? Competitors and competition? What is your industry? Is there a demand for this product? If the product is out there what can you do to make it different?
In a previous interview you mentioned being pushed to become an entrepreneur when you realized someone else had your financial destiny in their hands. A lot of times mothers live with this fear as well but maybe owning a business isn’t for them. Is this the only way to become financially independent? Some women don't want to be an entrepreneur, some people prefer to work in a corporate climate, so have a side gig that your passionate about. I can tell you this, the chances of getting rich are definitely tougher if your working for someone else instead of yourself.
What’s an ideal sample size for groups when trying to determine if your product is financially feasible or not? It depends on your budget, use your friends and family if you have to... start off very small if you cannot afford it. It's ok, I was actually happy to start on a small scale, it allowed me to start the business and grow it before a major launch. This allowed me to edit the logo, brand, design as I went.
When you first started your company you did all of your marketing. Do you attribute that to your educational background? Definitely, I was a business major with a concentration in marketing and it definitely helped me a lot with my business. Having that marketing background was instrumental in allowing me to do grassroots marketing myself.
What is Girls Rule the World and how can women find more information about the program? Girls Rule is a program that connects young women of color with adults in the professional world. We make sure the girls match with a women that helps them get to their goals and thru college beginning from middle and high schools. It is an investment into a girls spirit and success, it puts them in a position to win. We take our time to recruit our mentors and we go to different cities to choose the girls and women. For those interested in the program they can contact email@example.com.
You were a single mother chasing a dream with your daughter depending on you financially. A lot of women are scared to take that jump and risk the stability they have managed to provide for their children. Any last tips or advice for them? Visit SCORE.org, it is an organization of retired of entrepreneurs and experienced professionals. They get you going, advise you on resources to get you started, and they offer a lot of entrepreneurial classes for free or low cost. **** Check out my previous review on SCORE.org under Beaut on a Budget for more information on this program.