Tell us about why you started Flora & Curl?
I stopped chemically straightening my hair in 2011, I began
to embrace my natural texture. Soon after, I was suffering from scalp
dryness and brittleness. I tried to find products that would help but
struggled to find anything suitable. My love for my texture came hand
in hand with my desire to simplify my beauty regime. I began mixing
plant-based ingredients and shared my first Youtube video: DIY Shea
Butter video which became really popular. Soon after, I shared more
recipes, including DIY flaxseed gel, DIY cocoa body butter and DIY
mango butter. Alongside my Youtube channel, I launched a textured
hair themed blog to further the conversation about growing healthy
textured hair. From this I discovered that recurring dry hair is a
common issue that women with textured hair face. This is why Flora &
Curl has a focus on moisturisation. Beyond natural, I wanted to
create products that were not watered down with harmful substances
and non-nourishing fillers, but products that thrived in potency and
purity, and shed a light on the power of ingredients found in nature.
What's your journey been like setting up your own business?
It’s been a rewarding journey to say the least. I set up a savings account to save up a starting up finance while I worked full time as an urban transport planner in London. I was still recording and creating Youtube videos as a hobby. When I felt that I had saved up enough each month, I took the decision to leave my full-time job to use 6 months to advance my DIY beauty knowledge by joining a natural cosmetic science formulation school, to research natural ingredients, formulate, test, and sample before launching the first set of haircare products. I found amazing illustrators to design our logo and hand draw our unique patterns and set up the website. Setting up your business requires patience, motivation, zeal but most of all passion. I took a huge leap and change of direction in my career, but I have always been passionate about haircare and creativity. I’m still in charge of customer services because I love communicating. I have been able to find a wonderful lab to produce our formulas, and a social media assistant and photographer so far.
What's the best business advice you've ever been given?
had to learn this one: don’t stop pushing for what you believe in,
and trust in your brand’s value. Connect with your customers and
give them a clear understanding of your brand’s proposition and how
you intend to make their lives better or add value to their lives.
Communicate with your customers and encourage them to ask questions
about how your products work. If they love your products, they will
come back, and if they really love them, they’ll bring someone else
or two along with them. And the cycle continues.
Who do you look up in the beauty / hair care business world and why?
I am inspired by Monique, founder of Mielle Organics haircare. She’s incredibly open and inspiring and has built a global reaching, woman-owned haircare brand.
us about the natural ingredients you use and why?
In latin, ‘flora/ means flowers. Our products are powered by a selection active floral botanicals which provide therapeutic benefits to the hair and scalp. Our blends feature hydrating botanicals such as organic rose flower water, absolute jasmine flower oil and hibiscus flower extract. Rose Flower Water is created from the first steam distillation of roses and is a hair loving botanical that stabilises hair’s pH level. It naturally conditions dry hair because it is rich in flavonoids and vitamins A, B3, C and D. Since the ancient times, Rose flower water has been highly prized for its source of aromatic perfumery and medicinal properties.
Where would you like to see the brand in five year's time?
I’m on a mission to see more women with textured hair catered for in physical stores beyond the UK and beyond the natural and organic sphere. There is a huge demand that is growing for products (including haircare and skincare) that cater to diverse beauty needs, and it would be amazing to see large mainstream retailers respond to this growing demand.
“Setting up your business requires patience, motivation and zeal, but most of all passion”
How do you balance your work / home life?
work very early mornings and sometimes late evenings. I try to be
more present during the times that I am not working, which means
switching off my phone and sometimes having it out of sight. I love
heading down to the gym and being consistent with my exercise goals –
It helps me to relax and unwind mentally at the end of the day and I
feel incredible physically afterwards. I like to read books, and I
always look forward to my subscription of the National Geographic to
learn more about the fascinating, interesting and positive things
going on in the world. I also like to travel.
Summer is on the way, what are your top hair care tips for the warmer months?
Most of the damage caused by direct sunlight is due to the evaporation of the natural oils that keep it healthy and shiny. I keep a travel sized bottle of my African Citrus Superfruit Protect Me Hair Oil in my bag to protect my curls.
Give your hair a break from heat stylers and embrace summer’s pretty ponytails and braids. After washing hair, gently dry with a towel, brush and then smear on a smoothing hair cream. Weave hair into loose waves or plaits and leave to air dry. Once dry, take out and run hands through to loosen up (do not brush) and voila, heat- free beachy waves for days
Essential oils are your hair’s best buddy. Perfect for balancing and rehydrating, they don’t contain silicones and won’t build up or weigh hair down. Avocado oil for example is a great ingredient for scalp sunburn!
Banish build up with a detox treatment for tresses. Our unique Cleanse Me Clay Wash is a creamy moisturizing clay-based cleanser and conditioner in one.
Visit Flora & Curl at floracurl.com