This week we're so excited to spotlight founder and creator, Julissa Prado! Julissa is the woman behind Rizos Curls, a Latina-owned and operated beauty brand. In addition to promoting self-love and confidence in women, Rizos Curls focuses on creating products that celebrate the beauty of the Latinx community. Check out what Julissa has to say about her journey as an entrepreneur so far!
What is your business and what inspired you to start it?
Founded in October 2017, Rizos Curls is a Latina-owned beauty brand creating products that embrace and celebrate the beauty of curls, kinks & waves everywhere. The brand has ignited a movement on social media of curly haired individuals embracing their natural curls and has been featured in Forbes, Teen Vogue, People, BuzzFeed & more!
Rizos Curls is based in Los Angeles, CA and focused on providing quality curl care for defined, healthy, luminous, natural curls. Made Con Amor… From One Curly Girl to Another!
Rizos Curls stands for the 3 C’s ~ Curls, Community & Culture.
The name Rizos Curls, meaning Curls Curls, is a playful combination of both the Spanish and English words for curls, celebrating the new age Latina language of choice Spanglish.
I think it is something I have known all along and that is closely tied to my personal curly hair journey. For me, learning to love my natural hair was a big part of learning to love myself. The older I get, the more unapologetic I become about my Latinidad and my big curly hair is an important part of that. As a little girl, I saved my money to buy every curl product I found, but nothing seemed to work on my hair type. I went through many phases with my curly hair. I hid it in a gelled-down ponytail, wore it a la crunchy with extra hairspray, and even straightened it with a clothing iron! Eventually, I began mixing my own product at home and I told myself that one day I would create the very best product for curly-haired girls like me. I spent years developing the perfect formula and knew that I wanted a product made with quality ingredients that would be inclusive and celebrate all curl types, from my Tia’s coily strands to my sister’s loose waves. Today, with Rizos Curls, it is an honor being able to help other curly haired people look beautiful and feel confident in their natural hair texture. We have been very blessed to have had so much support from our curly community. In a little over a year, Rizos Curls and I have accumulated over 300k followers across social media platforms, been featured in Forbes, People, BuzzFeed, Mitu, Remezcla, Naturally Curly, Hip Latina and more, and shipped to over 57 countries.
How do you overcome challenges and stay motivated?
I wanted, and felt like giving up, but what pushed me forward were the amount of interactions I had with curly girls. I’d meet them in the bathroom, in the elevator, in dorm rooms, and they’d tell me “I love your hair.” They’d ask me “How do you get your hair like that?” Back then I‘d make my own concoctions at home to use in my hair. I made so many friends because I’d say “OK, I’ll come over and do your hair.” I’d do their hair, teach them my process, and they’d start wearing their hair naturally. I forgot how many interactions I had like that until I finally launched Rizos and all of them messaged me in support. No matter how busy I was, that was one thing that stayed consistent, I always loved teaching people how to do their hair. That’s where my heart is.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned as a female latinx entrepreneur?
An important lesson I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is to get comfortable with always being uncomfortable. Becoming an entrepreneur taught me that there is SO much I don’t know, and that okay. Every day I face a new challenge, but also learn a new skill in overcoming my problem. It’s okay to not know the answer and learn as I go.
Best advice you’ve received and would like to share?
Pursue your passion! You will never have all the answers, but you can reach out to the resources around you and to your community for guidance, and they will help propel you forward. Start small if you need to, and grow from there. I saved for over 5 years before launching Rizos Curls, and launched 100% self-funded. You don’t need a round of venture capital to get started and excel in your space.
Makeup in creativity what you lack in marketing dollars. Ultimately, staying true to yourself and your vision is what will allow you to connect with your customers, build loyalty and ensure your success. Be incredibly creative, both in terms of content and business processes, to stay ahead of the game and don’t be afraid to reach out to your customers for help. Some of your best ideas might come from your own customers.