- Founded in 2004, the hair product company now generates over $7 million in annual sales.
- Since its inception in 2004 to 2011, its sales grew 100% year-over-year. Then in 2009, actress Halle Berry self-endorsed their product in InStyle magazine, as well as a few other lifestyle publications, bringing them even more business.
- The company currently has ten full-time employees, five of whom use QuickBooks to run their operations.
If you were a curly-haired woman growing up in the 70s, hair-care was probably a struggle. Walk into any shop selling hair products and you would’ve seen exactly zero suitable options for your hair texture.
That’s how Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy, the founders of the hair product company Mixed Chicks, came to start their own business. Since they couldn’t find their desired product in the beauty aisle, they had to create one. “Even just embracing your natural curls wasn’t very popular at that time … You had to go to two different aisles to actually create something that could moisturize your curls but not make it crunchy or greasy,” Wendi remembers.
And, as it turned out, so did millions of other women with similar hair types.
When Wendi first came up with a homemade remedy she liked, however, she had no intention of selling it. It was a purely personal effort driven by necessity, a result of years of experimenting with different ingredients and products, some of which were discontinued and had to be replaced. But after meeting Kim, who complimented her on the well-maintained curls in her hair at a barbecue in California, things changed rapidly for good.
The two women ended up bonding over their individual struggles with finding suitable hair products. Wendi shared her own mixture she was currently using but they both knew that they would be on a lifelong journey of experimenting with different mixtures, relying on some of their favorite products for ingredients, unless they came up with their own proper formula at a lab. So within six months, Kim found a space and they worked with a chemist to get the formula just right, looking up various ingredient properties on Google.
Once they created a viable product, it was a matter of loading up their cars with pillow pack samples and handing them out to their friends and family, or people they’d meet on the street. The reaction they got let them know immediately that their product had a lot of potential to be a hit.