13-year-old Lexi Proctor has a head full of luscious curls that frame her youthful face. But bullies made her feel like her hair was less than beautiful.
“I was bullied and teased about my hair and I just hated it,” Lexi explained in a candid chat. Lexi felt the pressure to straighten her kinky curls so much, she damaged her tresses with all the heat she’d put on it on a daily basis. “I thought if I had straight hair the bullies would leave me alone,” she said.
Lexi turned her pain into profit by using her knowledge as a STEM student to create homemade curly concoctions that promote healthy hair and self-love.
She and her mother Monica Proctor won a $25,000 monetary grant for retail distribution of their Curlanistas product on SallyBeauty.com and support to help grow her business through the Sally Beauty Cultivate program, Baltimore-Times reports. Since launching, her brand has generated $15,000.
Lexi’s struggle at school inspired her to create a hair care line that encouraged other young women to embrace their hair.
“I wanted to build this brand to help other girls going through what I went through. I want them to not only love who they are but know that what other people say doesn’t matter.”
The ambitious kidpreneur finds inspiration in her idols Beyonce and Oprah, but much of her ambitious mindset comes from her parents, who encouraged her and her brother to “dream big.”
“My mom is literally my biggest cheerleader. I thank her because she has given me so many opportunities to try out different interests and experience new things. She supports me whenever I want to try and learn something new. I told her I wanted to sing, she went out and bought me a microphone and got me lessons. I wanted to write my first book she told me to write the book and promised if I did she would get it published. She is just amazing and makes me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. I have so much confidence because of her. When times get hard she pushes me to not give up and even offers to help me when she can.”
It’s been a learning experience for Lexi, who is hands-on in the production of her line of curly cream products. She is constantly learning about her own hair through the process.
“The number one thing I learned is that my hair needs is moisture. If I fail to moisturize my hair it will show and will start breaking off. I use my Curlanista Magic Frizz Fighting Detangler daily as a moisturizer and as a leave-in conditioner; it keeps my curls happy and I love it. With doing my own hair and playing around with ingredients I learned what works and what doesn’t work. You really have to love and care for your hair in order to get it healthy.”
Juggling being entrepreneur and school work isn’t easy, but Lexi stays on top of her business and education by prioritizing her day.
“I have a dry erase calendar board in my bedroom and I keep up with my schedule using that as well as the notes/reminder feature in my phone,” she said. “There are so many tools on our phones and computers which help me stay organized with homework assignments, book signing and birthday parties. I learn to balance by prioritizing my day. If I have a homework assignment or project due I make sure I get that done first because education is my priority. Then I work on my business each day even if its a 15 minute post I write to make sure I engage with my followers.”
But most of all, Lexi learned that her hair is magical. “It’s like magic I can blow my hair out and with rain or water it will curl up. I think in that way it’s really cool”
Lexi leaves this bit of advice for aspiring kidpreneurs, “When presenting my ideas and business to adults I make sure I look them in the eyes. I also think about what I want to say before I start talking. Another thing to get adults to take your ideas seriously is to work hard and be consistent. You have to show that you are dedicated to finishing your project or business idea.” She added, “You will be amazed at what you can do if you don’t give up.”
Order Curlanistas products, here.