Q&A: Curlkalon


Curlkalon™ Hair Collection is a protective styling brand that is the first to offer women pre-curled 100% synthetic hair designed to match natural hair texture. Curlkalon™ Hair offers solutions to women who are looking for low maintenance hair care options, and is a cost-effective alternative to human hair. Curlkalon™ is meant to give every woman beautiful, bouncy and effortless hair that keeps her stylishly confident.

Curlkalon has been a huge success within the “Curly Girl” community since sales initiated in May of 2015. Company owners, Tiffini Gatlin and Shavone Riggins have turned their needs and wants into a flourishing business that has taken the beauty industry by storm. SoulTrain.com spoke with the pair about their innovative products and the future of beauty for black women.

SoulTrain.com: It is very inspiring to see two black women entrepreneurs make such a needed impact in the beauty industry. Tell us the backstory of how you two came together and birthed Curlkalon.

Tiffini Gatlin: Shavone and I came up with the idea at the end of 2014. We met on Instagram and had the commonality of mothers and wives with interest in the beauty industry, specific to the protective hairstyles available. Later, we met offline for brunch, and our friendship grew. One day, I gave Shavone a call to get pointers about a hairstyle and that call Rectangle-black-officialturned into hours of discussion about the hair industry as it relates to crochet braids and the lack of available easy-to-use products. We came to the conclusion that there has to be a better way, a safer way, to have hair product for this specific purpose. As a testament to millennials, we thought out of the box to solve a problem. We formed a friendship and business partnership that is the first to bring textured pre-curled hair specifically for crochet braiding to the market.

SoulTrain.com:  What were your backgrounds prior to starting Curlkalon?

Shavone Riggins:  The one commonality that brought us together was doing hair. We found out that as teenagers, we were doing hair in our parent’s homes. Curlkalon is not my first business, I started making jewelry then went into web and digital design, for which now I have an agency.

Tiffini:  I come from corporate. After college, I went straight into corporate America for 10 years and built a strong business acumen. My strength is being a connector and setting a strong foundation for our business.  We are able to pull from our backgrounds to execute business and a solid foundation.

SoulTrain.com: What were some hurdles or fears?

Shavone:  We are millennials, we are aggressive and push forward and go hard for our dreams. I would attribute this to our past backgrounds. As an entrepreneur there will always be hurdles, and recognizing that is key.

Tiffini:  We are at a time in our lives where we have been through so many things, both personally and professionally, that we are fearless and step out on faith a lot. That is not an easy point to get to; however, we did very solid and extensive research to start. Shavone is awesome with research. Right now our biggest hurdle is selling out of product very quickly. We have to make sure we are meeting the demands of our customers.

SoulTrain.com:  How do you all plan to change the image of natural hair, or add to it?

Shavone: We are not by ourselves. There are other brands who have done amazing things to showcase natural hair. Back in the day, you would not see an African America woman on a cover with natural hair. As a whole, these brands are changing the image of natural hair. Curlkalon is an adding to that, bringing positivity to wearing hair extensions. We offer extensions that closely match you hair type. Previously all extensions were very straight hair. You can now wear hair extensions that look like your own grade of hair. We are embracing the fact that you can still exercise with Curlkalon extensions. We have started the conversation of “I ran a couple miles and my hair is still fabulous.” We are working to give women confidence that they have always wanted.

SoulTrain:  How does Curlkalon differ from weave?

Shavone and Tiffini:  Curlkalon Hair Collections is a protective styling solutions company. As it pertains to weave, which is hair extensions, we are also hair extensions, but we focus on protecting your hair. Our hair brings natural hair acceptance into place. When our hair is pinned as “weave,” we look to embrace that it is natural hairstyling. I like to dispel the negative notion of weave. Curlkalon is an accessory similar to jewelry, hats and shoes. It is fun, gives you a new look and is a hair accessory. It gives you an opportunity to play around with your look. We are not a distributor of a larger hair company; weave is available everywhere. Curls available in our box are made by hand and created from raw material. We have patent pending products that are not available anywhere else. This is an accessory that you must have!

SoulTrain.com:  Do you have any last words for SoulTrain.com readers?

Shavone and Tiffini:  Curlkalon is a brand that embraces the entertainment business and industry, with all it has to offer to excel women into greatness. Curlkalon can be found on the web at Curlkalon.com, on Instagram, and YouTube for a behind the scenes look. We are 100% African American- and woman-owned. We have no desire to change that or be bought out. We truly believe that we are the best to sell and promote the product. We are customer oriented and get most of our ideas from our community. It is easy to connect with us, simply email us at hello@Curlkalon.com.

—Jamillah Rahmaad

Jamillah Rahmaad is a Public Relations Consultant and Entertainment Journalist located in Atlanta, GA. In 2013, she founded Soukle, an organization specifically designed to engage professionals after work. She enjoys journalism on topics such as profiled interviews, special events, and business topics. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @Jai_Soapbox.

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