ENTREPRENEUR Nicole Richards has had a creative streak her entire life so it was no surprise to her family and friends when she started her natural haircare business, Kurly Kulture. Richards says she has always been involved in activities that made her think creatively.
"I've always been one to be doing my own thing, whether it is hair, art, fashion, make-up or events planning — you name it. If it's creative I've probably done it, so it came as no surprise when I settled on haircare and styling. It's the one thing that has been consistent, no matter what else I was doing," she shared.
Kurly Kulture provides haircare services to clients who want to transform their hair holistically. It offers a variety of natural haircare and styling services which include curl defining, treatments, extensions and protective styles, as well as bridal services.
Richards hopes to encourage people who may be hesitant about starting their own business. She says that becoming an entrepreneur was the best decision she ever made.
"It's the best thing I've ever done, and I am now able to provide a comfortable life for my loved ones," she added, "Before starting my business I was a teacher. I experienced severe stress and anxiety after not being able to provide for my mother, who was ill at the time. Something had to change so I made a decision to start my business, and even though it is still a daunting journey I improve every day."
The Kurly Kulture boss also noted the importance of finding a niche.
"It's impossible to be of service without receiving. If you want to change your life, find a way to be of service to your community. There is enough of the pie for everyone so if you have a gift or talent, don't sit on it because you think the marketplace is too saturated. No one can bring to the table what you do —there is only one you."
Richards said she took this approach when creating her business plan. She turned her love for people and haircare into a profitable business.
"I've always gotten the most satisfaction from being of service to others so I found a way to do that while also filling a gap in the beauty industry. By doing this, I am not only helping people but also doing what I love," she continued, "I am so proud of the work that we do because I know a lot of people find it frustrating when they can't find a hairstylist that balances haircare and hair styling."
However, she warned that there will be challenges. Personally, she said her greatest struggle is being a full-time entrepreneur and mom as she has a four-year-old son and an 18-month-old daughter.
"The most challenging part about being an entrepreneur is finding my work-life balance. It's a struggle at times, especially with two young children," she continued. "This type of business can be very demanding and, if you're not careful, it can rob you of experiencing your personal life. You can prevent this by setting a strict schedule that sets aside time for your family."
Meanwhile, Kurly Kulture is set to expand the business with the introduction of its own natural haircare products. The line is set to have hair growth stimulants, all-natural gels, and curl-refreshing and hydrating sprays, which will provide clients with affordable natural hair products.