Hello, curLUXE Beauties!
Disclaimer: This blog post is very personal. It is about my recent journey with my family, business, and health (mental). This blog is not to bash or blame anyone AT ALL rather it is a post to share with you the reason why I took a curLUXE hiatus and is finally making my way back to following my dreams. Now that we have gotten that out of the way; let’s get started!
When I started curLUXE Naturals, it was out of necessity for ME! My 4c curls were not LOVING the latest and greatest brands that were on the market in 2014. Now listen, I am not saying that products were awful, I am saying the products just did not work for me entirely. So I decided to create a plant-based product line that would keep my curls moisturized and healthy. That was half of the battle. Like many of your favorite brand owners, I put my heart, soul, and money into every inch of the brand; however, I began to feel like my brand was not a beauty supply favorite or on their radar. Let me explain.
Once I created the brand, I reached out to several favorite bloggers during that era to start marketing the products and was turned down by everyone except, CharyJay. We discussed her writing about the products and giving her honest feedback on the brand on her blog. Unbeknownst to me, curLUXE Naturals made it to her monthly favorites vlog on YouTube! There aren’t any words that could explain the excitement that I felt at that moment …and then…my Paypal started to go OFF honey! So much so, we sold out every product that we had within one weekend. Talk about being underprepared for the crowd and connection.
Shortly after the review, I began to receive international wholesale applications, and I remember thinking, “Wow, this is happening. curLUXE Naturals is taking off!”.
Mid-2015 was a fantastic time for curLUXE, and I went into 2016 with high hopes. We were featured in the We are Onyx box, the international wholesale orders were reordering, bloggers were knocking on our doors. We traveled to various cities meeting/recruiting new curLUXE crew members, and we even made it to Las Vegas joining the wonderful Tones of Beauty segment with the fabulous Corey Huggins and a host of other excellent vendors. My 2016, was shaping up to everything that I dreamed of..well almost. My fantasy world began to make a shift when I started noticing that it was tough for me to get my brand into beauty supply stores in the USA. I mean I knew that the market was saturated, but it seemed that every door was being slammed in my face as I approach or applied to stores, but I did not let that stop me. I continued to work with bloggers and networked as much as possible.
During my attempts to network, I was able to meet someone that I once thought of as a virtual mentor. I was so excited to meet her in person and finally introduce myself to her as her virtual mentee, and when I did, she rolled her eyes. The reaction that I received was unexpected, but I thought, “Oh well, maybe it was a bad day.” So needless to say, our paths crossed again in Vegas and once again I was snubbed by her as she casually strolled passed my booth entirely uninterested in my brand or me. Now I know all of you are probably thinking, why did I care so much? Why was she put a such a pedestal to make me feel a certain way? The short answer to that is, I do not know. Like, I REALLY don’t know, but I can tell you it put the icing on the cake of rejection for me. I met great buyers who were most definitely interested in my brand, but for some reason, I wanted her acknowledgment/validation. Stupid? Absolutely! However, that was where my headspace was at the time.
Shortly after my Vegas trip, I was approached by DFCS telling me my little cousins, and their siblings were placed in foster care in another state. Their maternal grandmother and caretaker had passed away from cancer, and the children needed someone immediately. Without a second thought, I said, “yes.” They continued, “Well we know two of them are biologically related to you, but there are currently two others in foster care not related to you. Are you willing to take all 4 of them?” I replied again, “Yes” They continued with their final question, “Okay great, and one last thing. There’s an unborn child, and we wanted to know if you would take her as well?” I hesitated, but the answer was deep in my soul, and I replied, “ Yes!”. At that moment, I was no longer a married, childless entrepreneur; I was a mother of 5 children fighting to get them across state lines into my custody.
I tried to hang on to my growing brand, but my passion for my children outgrew the desire I had for the business that, despite the rave reviews from bloggers and consumers, didn’t love me back. I threw myself into the fight for my children and I once I gained custody I decided to dedicate all of my time to giving my children something they never had which was a stable environment. I felt my passion diminish for curLUXE as I enjoyed the learning curves of motherhood. Until one day my oldest daughter asked me about the products that I used on her hair. She asked, “What is curLUXE Naturals mama? I replied, “my haircare line” She replied, “Is it in stores like Wal-Mart and Target?” I smirked and replied, “One day it will be but not today.” Months would go by, and I am encouraging them to do their best in football, cheer, dance, and soccer. I am reminding them not to give up on their dreams no matter the difficulty and then one day my daughter came back to me and said, “Mama, why aren’t you following your dreams?” I replied, “What do you mean?” She continued, “Why aren’t you working on curLUXE Naturals? You loved what you were doing, and the products are good mama.” I replied, “I do not know…” She replied, “Mama, you should follow your dreams.”
“She is right,” I thought. “but how can I manage all of this? The rejection sent me to a dark place; I am a new mother of 5 children, a wife, and an entrepreneur.” I decided to see a therapist before I completely lost my mind and I realized that my mental health needed nourishment like the rest of my body. I saw my therapist for two months before she encouraged me to follow the advice of my daughter and rebrand/re-release curLUXE Naturals back out there to the world. I told my therapist that my time was up, I’d already convinced myself that the world had moved on just as my virtual mentor did after unknowingly breaking my heart. I told my therapist that I would think about it, but I knew damn well I was not going to subject myself to that type of rejection again. However, that was until I came across this quote, “Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” Fast-forward to the middle of 2017; I decided to get back out there knowing that what God has for me IS MINE and MINE ALONE. curLUXE Naturals have a new look and feel, and we are working on adding some great content and products to our brand that we hope you will enjoy.
I am writing this post today as a reminder to hustle harder and take every rejection as a learning curve to grow better. Through this process, I’ve learned that just because others fail to see my worth, doesn’t make me valueless. I am valuable, and so is my brand. Look out 2018!