A few weeks ago I attended the book launch of Against All Odds: From the Projects to The Penthouse, by Mahisha Dellinger, the Founder and CEO of Curls! Now I’ve got strong feelings about how few hair products are marketed to kinky textured girls so at first I never gave Curls much thought, but after attending their Summer Brunch Cruise last year, I’ve come to respect the hustle and genius of Mahisha Dellinger, and I even finally tried the products on my kinky hair! The book chat was hosted by the sisters behind the famous Instagram account, NaturalHairDoesCare, Seanna-Kaye and Shalleen-Kaye, and the Hudson Hotel in NYC. Of course Mahisha shared a few snippets of stories from the book, elaborated on her life – particularly her childhood, gave some nuggets of advice for prospective business owners, and shared some insight into the direction of Curls.
“Success is having happiness, self love, and being free.”Mahisha Dellinger, Founder and CEO, Curls
Five Facts About Mahisha Dellinger
Seanna-Kaye and Shalleen-Kaye picked out a few excerpts from the book to get more information on Mahisha’s life from the projects to the penthouse, so here are five facts about Mahisha that are interesting, unfortunate, and will definitely leave you wanting to buy the book!
- Mahisha was conceived at a Jackson 5 concert.
- She grew up in Danger Island, a rough neighborhood in California. Her mom sold drugs when Mahisha was younger, and her brother was in a gang.
- She was raped at gunpoint as a teen – luckily, her mom immediately knew something was wrong, and encouraged her to report it to the police.
- She was by no means cool or popular in high school, because her mom got radically saved and they went to a strict Christian church.
- She dated an NBA player for a year and a half, until she found out he had a wife! (I have my suspicions as to who it is after she gave a few hints, but you’ll have to read the book to get your own clues!)
Despite all these obstacles, Mahisha met her husband, who inspired her to build her own business, which is now one of the leading brands for textured hair care!
Mahisha’s Top Three Tips to Build A Business (and Wealth!)
- Don’t go it alone. Having a strong mentor helped Mahisha avoid pitfalls as she was launching Curls
- Start small so you can organically grow and learn
- Always continue learning. There are FREE business courses at SCORE.org
What Are Her Plans for Curls Moving Forward?
During the question and answer session, Mahisha spoke very candidly about the direction she was hoping to take both Curls and her personal brand in the future. You should expect Curls to continue to grow and expand – even though it already consists of an adult, kid, and baby line. I asked Mahisha if she had any plans to distribute in any African country, and while she wouldn’t tell me which one, she said that it was in the works and we’d know by summer time (see I look out for my African readers!). Finally, Mahisha wants to do more giving back through service and mentorship, especially for young black girls who may have grown up in situations like her own.
The lighting was pretty whack so I didn’t get great photos but here are some photos of a few of the attendees who weren’t under purple/blue lighting! Attendees left with a goody bag of Curls products and a tee shirt, which my blogger boo Monet of Curls and Mo is modeling for us. She and I were hat twins because neither of our hair was cooperating that day! I enjoyed learning a bit more about the Curls brand, sipping on the custom Curls cocktails (they always brand the glasses too which is super cute!), and catching up with my NYC natural hair blogger boos.