A few weeks ago at the Central Virginia Natural Hair, Health and Beauty Expo I had the pleasure of meeting Darrelynne Strother, the creator and owner of Curly Coils Eco Friendly T-shirt towels. As natural hair ladies, we all know that using a t-shirt to dry hair is better than using the everyday towel. However, sometimes we run into the issue of cut-up t-shirts being too small. This is where the Curly Coils t-shirt towel saves wash day. The below Q&A with Darrelynne will educate you about these great towels as well as provide you with valuable information about how to get a business up and running and a dream realized.
Hair Say: How did you come up with the idea for the Curly Coils t-shirt towels?
Darrelynne: I saw on YouTube that a T-shirt is better for your hair than a towel. I searched my closet and could only find orange cotton blend t-shirts. Finding a shirt that was large enough and 100% cotton proved to be a daunting task. I searched the internet far and wide for a t-shirt towel as well but came up empty-handed. I thought why not make one. That was the start of Curly Coils.
Hair Say: How hard was it to find a manufacturer for such a product?
DarreIynne: I actually do not have a manufacturer for Curly Coils. All of the towels are handmade by me.
Hair Say: The resurgence of natural hair has increased the number of black women looking to sell their creations, what advice would you give others who have an idea for a product they would like to manufacture and sale?
Darrelynne: My main advice would be to:
- Never doubt yourself
- Never give up
- Keep supportive people around you
- Use your own money
- Be Open
I had so many doubts about starting Curly Coils. A friend of mine told me that he loved the product and that I should just move forward. Having support from friends and family is really important. It’s really great when you have people around you who are willing to help you become successful and help you to keep your business up and running.
To get started, I used my bonus money from work to get my business up and running. While borrowing money allows you to do more things, you don’t get to keep all the money you make. It has to go towards paying back what you borrowed. (I got that tip from a millionaire in Forbes magazine) It’s a great tip. I keep everything I make.
The last thing I would say is to be open to learning any and everything about the business world and make new contacts. I met someone at sears who referred me to a trade show about trademarks. I learned a lot from him and the trade show.
Hair Say: The illustrations throughout your website are amazing. Did you create/draw them?
Darrelynne: I actually purchased them from a stock photo site. The artist is from the Ukraine and has a full portfolio of model images. The 5 images I chose for the website, really represent the image & colors of the product which is why I chose them.
Hair Say: How long have you been natural?
Darrelynne: I’ve been natural for about 4.5 years. My journey started when I lost a chunk of hair during a routine DIY texturizer fiasco. From that point on, I made a vow to never relax my hair again.
Hair Say: What is your natural hair regimen or some of your favorite products?
Darrelynne: One of my favorite natural products is coconut oil. I also use aloe vera gel. My hair really loves these. If I’m styling my hair, in a twist out or bantu knot out, I use Kandy Kurls Moisturizing leave in conditioner or their shea butter soufflé.
Hair Say: In the colder months many women turn to protective styling, what is your go-to protective style?
Darrelynne: I actually twist my hair and throw on a scarf. I’m a fan of keeping it simple.
Hair Say: What is the number 1 piece of advice you ever received about natural hair?
Darrelynne: The best advice I received is that your curls may not be the same everywhere on your head and it’s normal so learn how to style it different ways. Essentially, learn to love your hair.
Lear more about Curly Coils and purchase towels at http://www.curlycoils.com/.