Mahisha Dellinger: Against All Odds. From the Projects to the Penthouse
When you think of hard work and dedication this exemplary woman comes to mind. Phenomenal, trend setter and industry powerhouse CEO and Founder of CURLS, Mahisha Dellinger gave us a little insight to her new book and some advice to entrepreneurs. CURLS are a natural hair product line made with certified organic ingredients. Her products can be found in numerous chain retail stores as well as beauty salons retailers nationwide. Mahisha holds so many titles and now author. She is giving business advice to so many entrepreneurs and a deep insight to her struggles and accomplishments of being a successful business woman.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello, my name is Mahisha Dellinger, founder and CEO of CURLS, organic hair care products for women and girls with curls.
What was your motivation behind starting your business?
My previous experience in corporate America gave me a new perspective on working for someone else. Being discriminated against left me feeling powerless. I vowed that would never, ever happen to me again. The only true way I could own my destiny was to work for myself.
What was one of the biggest obstacles you faced early on?
Lack of funding was a challenge early on. Getting an SBA loan, even with my excellent credit, wasn’t feasible. I had to self-fund my business, so we started off very small.
Tell us about that moment when you felt like, “I did it,” or “I made my dream come true.”
The moment we switched our website on April 6, 2002, changed forever. I felt empowered and in control of my destiny.
What would you say was that pivotal moment or moments that prepared you for your business?
Every moment, experience, meeting, day, month, year is pivotal in business. 33 percent of all ventures close down within two years. And about 50 percent are out of business within five years. These statistics are startling. So every successful day leads to the next and is pivotal to my growth.
A lot of people search for their identity in a competitive industry. How did you manage to create your own lane in the natural hair industry?
I organically created a product line that I wanted and needed. I am the consumer; I understand our challenges when it comes to hair care.
You are a successful entrepreneur. Tell us why you wrote this book. What are you looking to share and why?
I wrote “Against All Odds. From the Projects to the Penthouse” to inspire all little colored girls just like me living in the hood, little to no options for examples of success. I transparently reveal my life, struggles, and hurdles and how I overcame them. I wrap up with clear tips for success. A road map if you will.
What type of tools or tips can you share with our audience that you came across to succeed in your business?
Get a mentor in your respective field. Do your due diligence. Learn your market inside and out. Create a team of advisers that you can bounce ideas off of. You will need this as a new entrepreneur.
How important is it to you to stay humble?
It is very important for me to stay humble and grounded. As quickly as God has blessed me, he could take it all away. I am not above anyone; I just went out on a limb and followed my dreams.
What other endeavors can we look forward to from you in 2015?
We plan to continue the development of our new collection, three additional products and tool development.
Can you tell us about the charitable organizations your company is associated with and why?
We are closely aligned with adoption agencies. There are so many trans-racial adoptions that happen today, and our goal is to equip the parents with the right tools, tips and products to care for their black or biracial child’s hair. A little black girl’s self-esteem is closely tied to how her hair looks. We want to give each and every girl of color the opportunity to feel good about herself.