Photo Credit: Jeno Photograpy
Shavone Riggins is the founder and CEO of Curlkalon Hair, a protective hair styling solutions brand that provides pre-looped, textured curls using the installation method of crochet braiding to achieve effortless crochet hairstyles.
Shavone has turned a problem she faced as a woman who needed a solution to her natural hair maintenance, to be less time consuming through protective hairstyling as a mother of 6, into a 7-figure company in under one year. Curlkalon Hair has shipped out over 2 million curls, providing “Curls with Confidence” worldwide.
Before devoting her work full-time to Curlkalon Hair, Shavone served as a Digital Marketing Professional with million-dollar brands and organizations whose clients include: The Mane Choice, Mueller Water Systems, The Rock Ranch Amusement Park, Family Promise of Gwinnett, Protonex, and more.
Shavone provides the goals and vision to Curlkalon Hair and is happy spending her days empowering and inspiring women to be filled with confidence through living in purpose, finding their passion, and turning it all into profit.
Who is Shavone Riggins and what was your motivation for starting your brand?
I am Shavone Riggins, a woman that was born in Alabama and raised outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I am a mother of six children and a God’s girl. I have been wearing my hair natural for 14 years and I saw a void in the market to find textured hair that met my own natural hair. So I decided to go for it and created a brand called Curlkalon hair. I am the girl behind the curl.
What was your motivation for starting your brand?
My motivation was my busy lifestyle. Being a woman who was a natural hair wearer for 14 years, I was trying to find a solution that did not require me dealing with my natural hair all the time because we know that natural hair can be high maintenance and can take a lot of your time. I wanted to find something that alleviated my time as a mom and professional freelance designer at the time. It was something for me that was time-saving, safe, and manageable.
For me, being in the professional realm, I was running my own digital brand. If we did not look the part which is accepted, “straight hair” we would switch our texture. Back in the day, our parents were wearing afros and that was the thing then. But now, we are trying to look like our counterparts to fit in. However, a shift happened. We began to look at life from an educated lens because we had access to the internet and more information and we began to share it with each other. For me, I began a part of the natural hair community, which started as a small group of us online. They were doing YouTube videos, showing us how we should treat our hair and what products to use. It began to empower us. It began to show that we can be who we are and still be professional. We pushed the envelope in changing that. A larger shift happened when we started to take ownership of that when we said “I’m going to create my own products”, “I’m going to create my own blog”. As long as we are accepting ourselves, the world has no choice but to accept us too.
What motivates you to keep going?
I have been through so much in my life in which I had to push through and persevere. God really got me. Secondly, I am a mom of six. I have to make sure that the things that I am doing have a great effect on my children. Third, I feel compelled to share my story to be able to empower and inspire other women to show them that if I could do it then they could too. I think the biggest thing is knowing what your motivation is and addressing the things that you went through and how powerful that was to encourage you to keep going.
How do you balance being a mom of six and running multiple businesses?
Honestly, I don’t have a full answer. I just do it. Whatever God puts on you, you have to figure it out. You have to find a way. I also have a great support system. Right now, I have about five more years until all of my children are adults. I have been through hard things in my life. I have been low in reference to what I needed to do to take care of my children, but I persevere. It’s always a process of transition. Some days are better than others but you have to stop, pause and address those things. I’m grateful for the tenacity to go through all of this and keep going.
What were some of the challenges you faced with building your brand?
I have been an entrepreneur since graduating from high school. My first business was a jewelry design brand where I wrapped wire to create customized jewelry. That brand needed a website. I knew that I was starting out and I needed to make sure it was going online. So, I got busy and created my own website. Since then, people have been contacting me wanting web design services. My first website was built for $60. It catapulted from there. I put myself on a platform to find my web design and graphics services and it grew. I created my own digital company from being a freelance designer.
Curlkalon is my third brand and my most successful brand. It is the brand I have learned the most from. The most challenging thing is making sure the right leadership is there and in place. Being the founder and CEO, I was looked upon for everything that needed to get done. When you are new to something as big as it was and do not pivot or shift to get mentorship or someone who knows what you’ve been through, it can be challenging. I think that was the most challenging for me and also having a business that went from zero to seven figures in one year.
Where did you learn your marketing expertise?
I took courses on Lynda.com on how to do graphics and web design. I was studying Business Administration at a Community College. As time went on, I dropped Lynda and Google became my number one go to which made me very resourceful. It ultimately drove me to create my own digital company. I feel like I have no choice but to get things done. My kids know that they cannot come to me with excuses. Nowadays, information is right at your fingertips.
What advice do you have for women looking to follow in your footsteps?
I want to empower and inspire people through my story. Coming to a space to find your purpose is the biggest thing. We all have the same purpose. The purpose is to help someone else. Whatever you’re doing, the purpose is greater than you. That makes us stand up straight. It makes you say “What are my values? And what are my morals and principles? ” It becomes self-reflective when you know your purpose is to serve someone else. Are you helping them? Are you shining a light on them? What are you feeding them? Know your purpose and with that, you can find out what you’re passionate about. For me, I felt my passion when I delivered that website to that woman for $60. She was so happy. Once you have your purpose in place, you have to understand that your purpose is greater than you.
Tell us about some of your accomplishments so far, and which one are you most proud of?
I didn’t come from a silver spoon family. I come from a lower middle-class family and I am the first person in my family to create a 7 figure brand. I feel like that sets the tone for my children and generations to come. You have to be able to celebrate yourself through the things that you’ve done. You are sharp enough. You are there because you had the strength to do it and it is okay to pat yourself on the back sometimes. Through the perseverance of where I was to where I am now, I think that that’s an accomplishment. To be able to ship curls all around the world and seeing women wear it effortlessly is an accomplishment. I am serving my purpose.
What is your definition of winning?
I don’t think it has anything to do with getting any medal. When you can truly be your authentic self, set a goal for yourself and meet the goal, you’re winning.