Uniting the Black Haircare Industry: One Woman’s Journey to Empower

Mahisha Dellinger is on a quest to unite all black hair care companies. As the President and CEO of CURLS, her 2002 founded company designs organic haircare products for women with natural hair. Spanning from North American to across the world, starting from its home base in Detroit, to Brazil, Africa and the UK, CURLS successfully profits in the African American buyers market that Dellinger projects to reach $1 trillion by next year. She projects a 15% revenue growth for CURLS that will come by working as a team. “A lot of acquisitions are happening, because a lot of non-black companies are seeing this market as a way to gain market share. They know black power is expanding,” says the entrepreneur who’s appeared as a speaker at Black Enterprise’s Vision 20/20 Conference and the Women of Power Summit. “I see our industry is growing, but the ownership is not black owned. Companies who are white owned are coming in, and marketing it for black women. It is being infiltrated.”

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Dellinger’s concern comes despite personal success. After leaving her 9-to-5 job as a marketing manager at Intel Corporation, Dellinger invested $30,000 of her savings into CURLS.  Growing into a multi-million dollar brand, CURLS products are now in stores across America like Sally’s Beauty Supply, Wal-Mart, Target, Rite Aid, CVS, and Duane Reed. Branded as the “Modern Day Madame CJ Walker,” Dellinger has appeared on national talk shows like CBS’s The Talk, CNBC’s Street Signs, and in a slew of assorted magazines ranging from Essence and Elle to Redbook and Black Enterprise.

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With her debut novel, Against All Odds, set to drop January 2015, Dellinger uses her journey to uplift and inspire – just as she does in her quest to unite and work with all black beauty brands. “I’m talking to other like brands and we’re working together, because we realize we created this market. So we have a plan in place to come together and take back what they’re trying to take over,” says the beauty advocate.  “One thing that’s important to us is to try to be authentic to the consumer. This product wasn’t just created to make a dollar. It was created out of a need for black women.”

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