Home > Careers, Enterprise > Meet Curly by Nature founder, Klerissa McDonald

Meet Curly by Nature founder, Klerissa McDonald

kLERISSA        Curly-by-Nature_Short_B+P877_v2_greyorange

Klerissa is a Management Science and Spanish graduate who won the Best Business award in flare 2013, earning £5000 to start up her business, Curly by Nature. Her business has gone from strength to strength, and we wanted to know her secrets for success.

What gave you the idea to start up Curly By Nature?

From the tender age of 8, I developed my passion to care for and style hair. After working in several London salons, I witnessed the sad and shocking stories of chemical and heat damage that was plaguing the industry and the community. My desire to develop natural solutions for what I call ‘genetically curly’ hair (otherwise known as afro or naturally curly hair) began to grow. Instead of continuing to build a career in styling, I decided to focus on developing alternative, effective and natural haircare solutions to enhance and maintain hair health and prevent common issues associated with heat and chemical treatments.

How has the flare competition helped you to launch your business?

Flare has helped me financially, but more importantly it helped me to analyse and explore my business idea even deeper than I ever imagined. It helped me to look at my business from an outsider’s point of view, on a global and sustainable level.

Have you benefited from any other resources or initiatives at the University?

The UH Enterprise Boot-camp was the best experience ever! It really helped me to focus on the practicalities of executing and communicating my plan – which in reality is really difficult. The experts that participated were invaluable. I remember seizing up when I was practicing my pitch, but the expert help was so professional and understanding. They really gave me the tools that I still use today!

What lessons have you learnt along the way?

The biggest lesson for me was learning how to deal with rejection and doubters. I have had many knock-backs on my journey with people saying that it may not work. I stayed true to myself, remained positive and persevered. I learnt that when people do not understand you or your idea it is easy for them to say that it won’t work. Having faith in yourself, understanding how to best communicate and making sure you know what you are talking about are important long-life lessons that will stay with you forever.

What’s next for Curly By Nature?

UK domination! Then focus on our overseas expansion. We have a great newsletter that offers discounts, special offers and exclusive news, so be sure to sign-up to our mailing list at http://www.curlybynature.com/sign-up.

What top tips can you give to students and grads starting up businesses today?

Continuously gather market and product information by testing on real customers (keeping good records), and use all the resources that are available to you. The UH Careers, Employment and Enterprise team are truly invaluable and have been a blessing during my time studying at UH and afterwards.

Would you like the opportunity to develop your business or ideas like Klerissa? The deadline for flare 2015 is Friday the 27th of February. Visit http://www.herts.ac.uk/flare for more information.

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