Natural hair care line CurlMix has recently announced that they will be going public. Tim and Kim Lewis, the husband-and-wife duo behind the brand, made the announcement last month. They are opening investment opportunities to their followers and supporters beginning April 6th. With a goal of $5M in investments, CurlMix raised its first $1M in less than four hours. Since then, CurlMix has raised over $3.5M.
CurlMix launched in 2015 as a DIY box for curly hair. Kim said, “We began that way because I was spending a lot of time on YouTube. I collected ingredients from the tutorials and would go home to make the products myself. I thought about how much time and money I would save if someone just sent me a box with everything I needed. My husband was the one who convinced me to do it because I wasn’t sure that the market would love it.”
Over two years, Tim and Kim received lots of positive feedback on their flaxseed gels. Saying, “Our customers loved our flaxseed gel, but you couldn’t get it in stores. You’d have to make it yourself.” Due to the nature of how its prepared, manufacturers did not offer flaxseed gels. So, the pair, with a recommendation from their advisor, decided to do it themselves.
“I was seven months pregnant at the time and spent a month in the kitchen testing out different batches. Every time I would go outside, I was asked about my hair and how I got it like that. I then learned that many of my customers were using the flaxseed gel for their wash-and-go’s. Once I learned of that, I settled on a product that we could scale, and our customers would love.”
In 2018, Tim and Kim pivoted their business to focus on their flaxseed gels and moisturizers, which were their best-selling products. That same year, they reached their first million dollars. “We were super excited and couldn’t believe that we turned our business around in like a year. In the year prior, we made $100,000 in revenue, so that was a huge deal for us”, Kim said.
Since then, the Chicago-based beauty brand has included shampoos and conditioners creating their four-step system. Their goal is to help women of all hair types and textures achieve the coveted wash-and-go style.
In 2019, Tim and Kim appeared on the television show Shark Tank. There, the couple turned down a $400,000 deal that required them to give up 20% of their business. Kim said, “The night before, Tim and I agreed that we wouldn’t give up more than 15%. I wanted to be honest and truthful. I wanted to be proud of the decision that I made on TV. I did not want to say that we would do a deal and then not do it, because people do that. I wanted to be true to who I was. So that’s how we ended up turning it down.”
She then added, “And Robert (Herjavec) wouldn’t budge on the equity piece. What is more important than cash is equity. I treated each percent like a million dollars. So, when people would tell me that it was only 5%. I had to tell them that it was more than that. It was more like $5 million.”
As for CurlMix’s legacy, Kim says, “I want to break barriers. There are not many Black women who have gone public. There may have been one or two, which is crazy because several companies go public every year. In the last decade, only 20 of them have been either women-led or women-founded. When you think about Black women doing that, there are few and far between. So, I would like to be one of those people.”
“Also, I want to build more wealth for our community, which is why we’re doing the equity crowdfunding. We want to bring our community along. Though it is harder to do equity crowdfunding, it has been an amazing experience. I want other people to come up with me. I do not want to make money by myself. I love the J. Cole line, “What good is first-class if my homie can’t fit?” That is exactly how I feel. If my team and my community are not buying houses and making money, it is not fun. That is why it is lonely at the top because people don’t bring people along with them.”
For more information on CurlMix and how you can invest in them, visit wefunder.com/curlmix. And follow them on Instagram at instagram.com/kimandtimlewis.
Contributing Writer Racquel Coral is a national lifestyle writer and journalist based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Find her on social media @withloveracquel.