2016 was a BIG year for CurlMix.
We were only in business for 4 months in 2015 so...
2016 was our year to really prove ourselves and strut our stuff.
Here are 12 ways we grew into our own this year and really proved that CurlMix is here to stay as the premiere, DIY, all-natural and organic, hair care brand.
1. We Pitched and we won
Last year, CurlMix was a finalist in the Black Enterprise Pitch competition.
Kim (me ;) ), CEO & Co-Founder pitched our company to some esteemed judges for the first time and we placed in the top 3 out of 200 other companies.
We also won the Association of Women Inventors & Entrepreneur competition and placed in the top 10 of the National Black MBA Assoc. pitch competition.
Interview at the Black Enterprise Pitch Competition.
2. We Killed Expos
We attended some of the largest expos in the country.
The Black Women’s Expo & The Ultimate Women’s Expo in Chicago brought in hundreds of thousands of women.
Then we attended Essence Fest in New Orleans and Blavity's Conference for Creatives in New York where we sold out!
Our Team In New Orleans At Essence Fest
3. Our Team Expanded
Our team started as just Tim & I, but we've grown.
We now have a Digital Marketing Coordinator, Alex, and our Customer Service Coordinator, Crystal.
Alex manages all of our social media and events.
And if you’ve received a lovely email from firstname.lastname@example.org, it was probably from Crystal, she’s awesome.
4. We Volunteered
We spoke on a panel to young budding entrepreneurs from underprivileged neighborhoods here in Chicago.
The neighborhoods where Tim & I grew up.
We provided consultation for their businesses and even gave a presentation on our business that inspired a few of their own.
See our work with The Grey Matter Experience teens here.
5. We Partnered
We partnered with a number of notable Vloggers in 2016, but the most notable Vlogger to date was Alyssa Forever.
Her Watermelon Kiwi Hair Gel CurlMix soared beyond belief.
6. We Produced Our Own Content
We went from partnering with Vloggers each month to creating our own branded content each month.
7. We Were Featured
We were on the radio, LIVE here in Chicago and featured by Chicago's most renowned newspaper. Here's the link to the story here.
8. We Upgraded Our Packaging
We drastically updated our packaging.
Check out the old CurlMix Packaging from December 2015. It's good but...
Our current packaging is great.
9. We Moved Into Our First Office
When first started CurlMix, Tim & I were nomads.
We didn’t have a consistent place to live because we traveled so much, our lease had ended, and we were moving back to Chicago to be near family.
That said, we operated CurlMix out of a VERY clean and pristine shared warehouse.
The place even had conference rooms and complimentary, freshly baked, cookies.
Once we started to take off, we knew CurlMix needed more.
Here is a glimpse of the facility.
We moved into our new office space early last year. It was an amazing feeling.
10. We Launched CurlMix Parties
We also launched our first ever CurlMix Party.
Attendees raved about our event and they inspired the pop-ups & mini CurlMix parties that came later in 2016.
Our CurlMixers loved every bit of it.
They left thoughtful messages on our chalkboards and even hugged me.
Everyone swore they would tell their girlfriends about us.
11. We Pre-Mixed Products
And then after being inundated with requests for pre-mixed products, we decided to offer a Sample Box of our best sellers.
The moment we began selling them, they were flying off the shelves.
12. Financial Growth
As a result of all these changes, CurlMix quadrupled in size from January 2016 to December 2016.
All of the wonderful things that happened this year definitely had an impact on all that we have coming in 2017.
Bonus: THANK YOU
Lastly, I just want to say Thank YOU for helping to make 2016, CurlMix’s first official year in business worth every second.
There were many times I wondered if CurlMix was sustainable, or valuable.
We were giving CurlMixers everything we could, and your heartfelt email responses, messages of encouragement, and stories kept us going.
Most of all, I want you to know how much you mean to us.
When I send an email to you, I imagine the
- The city girl who cares about the ingredients in her products but doesn’t have time to watch every video on youtube and shop for hundreds of dollars in ingredients
- The entrepreneur who follows us just because she loves seeing other women succeeding
- The mom who subscribes because she wants the best for her and her family’s hair products
- The college student who loves to follow us but doesn’t quite have the cash for a box just yet…
I imagine all of you guys and think of your responses.
I hope you’re smiling right now.
I just want to say thank you for your support throughout 2016 and I can’t wait to see what we do together in 2017.
P.S. Be on the lookout for another post. I’m going to release our plans for 2017.