fELICITY CHATS WITH ceo shavone riggins
Between being a mother to six children and the creator and CEO of Curlkalon Hair, to call Shavone Riggins superwoman is an understatement. After noticing a void in the synthetic hair market in 2015, she looked to her past experiences with hair to create a protective styling brand that provides pre-looped textured curls that are affordable, safe, and easy to install with little time commitment. As she watches this young brand continue to grow and evolve, Shavone serves as a role model for women's empowerment, leading with the message that you truly can " have it all."
Starting your own company is not an easy undertaking. What motivated and inspired you to begin Curlkalon? How did it go from being an idea to a thriving business?
There are definitely challenges in starting and running a company! However, with determination and perseverance challenges become hurdles that are made to soar over. As a natural hair wearer for 12 years and a mom of six, I always looked for time-saving styles that met the matching texture of natural hair. I came across crochet braids and loved the look! I was brushing, rolling and dipping synthetic packs of braid hair just to achieve a textured curly style. I didn't like the dangers of the scolding hot water, so I then took to cooking the rolled hair onto my stove and realized the process took way too long and there has to be a better solution, so I took to the pavement running in creating what we know now as Curlkalon Hair.
After watching several videos, it seems as though someone could install Curlkalon at home, on their own. How important was it for you when designing CurlKalon to create a product that one could install out of the salon and easily maintain?
I have been doing my own hair since the age of 16, so being at home in my kitchen or bathroom was second nature to me in achieving the style I desired. So the importance of DIY at home came naturally in wanting to save time and money. That's why I knew Curlkalon had to be effortless and affordable.
Were you surprised with how quickly Curlkalon took off? What struggles did you experience along the way to creating your brand?
I wouldn't say surprised, I would more so say it was "confirmation" of the blueprint I created. The biggest struggle was handling the fast track growth in meeting the needs of Curlfriends globally and handling customs with international shipments.
Six kids?!? What does a typical day look like for you, and please tell us, how do you balance your career and being a mother?
I've come to learn it is about prioritizing versus balancing. Balancing can result in an act of burnout! I'm blessed to have great family support and placing things in an order of what's important helps to meet the needs in forms of percentage toward all things. Sometimes the family gets 20% while other days it gets 100%. Honestly, each day holds a different set of obligations. But above all things...God and coffee first!
How often have you visited New Orleans? Are people receptive to your product here, and where does this city stand in the synthetic hair market?
The New Orleans Natural Hair Expo was our first time here in 2017, however, we were also in NOLA in 2015. Our New Orleans Curlfriends always show love and support of Curlkalon! We have some great things coming in the near future to further connect our brand with education and more brand awareness of Curlkalon!
As a career woman and mother, what advice do you give to those who “want to have it all,” particularly women?
Know that you can have "it all" in your world! Who's to tell you that you can't?!?! It's all about killing the noise that others may have told you that you "can't do" or what "to do". You have to make a stance in your life on a foundation that's made just for you, your future, and your destiny. Be your own best resource and study with much perseverance for great execution!