The Inspiring Journey of Julissa Prado and Rizos Curls

Before Rizos Curls became a beacon for the curly hair community, it was the dream of Julissa Prado, a visionary entrepreneur with a deep connection to her roots and an unwavering commitment to empowering those with natural curls. 

Born from a personal quest to embrace her natural hair texture, Prado’s journey with Rizos Curls transcends the creation of a beauty brand; it’s a story of community, culture, and the unyielding spirit of a woman who dared to dream big. 

In this series, we delve into the essence of Rizos Curls, exploring its growth, challenges, and the powerful bond it has forged with its audience. 

Foundational Vision and Inspiration

The Inspiring Journey of Julissa Prado and Rizos Curls
Image Source: @rizoscurls

At the heart of Rizos Curls lies Julissa Prado’s journey with her curls—a journey that began with a desire to love and understand her natural hair texture. Born and bred in Los Angeles’s vibrant cultural tapestry, Prado’s entrepreneurial spirit was ignited early on, inspired by her surroundings and a familial legacy of beauty and hustle.

Creating Rizos Curls wasn’t just about finding the right products; it was about creating something that didn’t exist and could celebrate the beauty of all curl types. Prado’s mission was clear: to empower curly-haired individuals by providing them with quality products that embrace and enhance their natural beauty.

Image Source: @rizoscurls

Her passion for hair, combined with the lack of products catering to her unique curly texture, set her on a path of innovation. Prado recalls, “My personal curl journey to learn how to love my natural texture inspired me to create Rizos Curls.”

This statement captures the essence of Rizos Curls’ mission: to empower individuals to embrace their natural beauty. Prado’s journey from mixing homemade concoctions to launching a brand that celebrates all curl types reflects a deep commitment to inclusion and quality, laying the groundwork for a community-centered beauty empire.

This vision came to fruition in 2017 when Prado launched Rizos Curls, a line that quickly garnered attention for its quality ingredients and inclusive approach to curly hair care. Today, Rizos Curls stands proud with over 15 SKUs, many of which are award-winning, and has established itself as a leader in the natural hair space.

From Challenges to Triumphs: Building the Brand

The Inspiring Journey of Julissa Prado and Rizos Curls

Transitioning from vision to reality wasn’t without its challenges. As a self-funded, women-owned, and Latinx-founded company, Rizos Curls grappled with the perennial startup challenge of limited marketing funds. Prado’s approach to overcoming these obstacles was rooted in creativity and resilience. “From the beginning, the biggest challenge was having additional cash for marketing activities. As a completely self-funded company, I lead my mindset with ‘makeup in creativity what you lack in marketing dollars.’ True creativity isn’t curating a campaign with large teams and budgets. It’s creating something out of nothing.”

Image Source: @rizoscurls

“Being scrappy, yet visionary,” she highlights, “reaping benefits through hard work and motivation” became her mantra. This philosophy steered the brand through its early days and paved the way for its growth. Prado’s determination to stay true to Rizos Curls’ mission and a strategic focus on community engagement and product diversification underscored a journey from humble beginnings to a celebrated brand with a significant presence in retail giants like ULTA Beauty and Target.

Prado’s resourcefulness and innovative approach enabled Rizos Curls to connect with its audience deeper, overcome obstacles, and achieve growth and success.

Cultivating Connection and Innovation

The Inspiring Journey of Julissa Prado and Rizos Curls
Image Source: @rizoscurls

As Rizos Curls grew, its active presence on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram enabled the brand to connect with a broad audience. By sharing valuable content and nurturing a welcoming space for those with curly hair, the brand solidified its identity and refined its product offerings based on community feedback.

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♬ original sound – Rizos Curls
Image Source: @rizoscurlshair

Prado’s approach to creating products centers around utilizing clean, premium ingredients, showcasing her dedication to enhancing the health and beauty of diverse curl types. ” Our philosophy for product development is to focus on being a clean hair care line,” she explains, highlighting the brand’s commitment to delivering natural, efficient solutions.

The dialog between Prado and the Rizos Curls community has been fundamental in developing products that resonate with and meet the needs of a diverse customer base. This collaborative approach to innovation has fueled the brand’s expansion and solidified its position as a leader in the clean beauty movement for curly hair.

Empowering Communities and Shaping Futures

The Inspiring Journey of Julissa Prado and Rizos Curls

Beyond the curls, Rizos Curls has become a platform for empowerment and positive impact, mainly through initiatives like the Lift As You Climb Scholarship program. Prado shares heartfelt stories of transformation and community support, illustrating the brand’s influence beyond haircare: “Many of our customers… for the first time feel beautiful with their curly hair.”

These stories underscore the brand’s role in transforming not just haircare routines but lives by fostering self-love and community solidarity. Prado’s vision extends to nurturing the next generation through education and empowerment, reflecting Rizos Curls’ commitment to making a lasting difference in its community’s lives.

Influence and Impact

The Inspiring Journey of Julissa Prado and Rizos Curls
Image Source: @rizoscurls

Rizos Curls has significantly impacted individuals and communities, transforming how people view and care for their natural curls. Prado shares touching stories of “undercover curlies” who, through Rizos Curls, have learned to embrace their natural beauty, highlighting the brand’s profound influence in the natural hair community.

“There have been so many stories that it’s so hard to pick just one! Many of our customers are what we call ‘undercover curlies,’ meaning they have naturally curly hair but have worn it straight their whole lives. They come to us and are finally ready to learn how to wear their natural hair.”

Visionary Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

The Inspiring Journey of Julissa Prado and Rizos Curls
Reel Source: @rizoscurls / Instagram

Prado’s journey offers invaluable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs in the beauty and natural hair industry. Her foundational advice, “Make up in creativity what you lack in marketing dollars,” is not just a motto but a strategic approach that has guided her path to success. This philosophy emphasizes the significance of innovation, authenticity, and direct engagement with one’s community over the reliance on substantial marketing budgets.

Prado’s experience as a self-funded entrepreneur competing against industry giants showcases the importance of creativity in product development and business strategies. She encourages entrepreneurs, especially those from the Latinx community, to harness their unique perspectives and connections with their customer base.

By staying true to their vision and actively involving customers in the creative process, entrepreneurs can foster loyalty, inspire their audience, and carve out a distinctive market niche. Prado’s success with Rizos Curls—built on perseverance, inventive solutions, and a strong community connection—is a powerful example for others looking to make a lasting impact in the beauty industry.

Future Aspirations

The Inspiring Journey of Julissa Prado and Rizos Curls

Peering into the future, Julissa Prado envisions a dynamic expansion for Rizos Curls. She is charting a path of significant growth that not only broadens the product portfolio but also propels the brand into new global markets.

With a laser focus on celebrating and uplifting the natural hair community, Rizos Curls is set to introduce innovations to enhance hair and scalp health. Strategic partnerships with new retailers complement this initiative and a groundbreaking international campaign in Mexico designed to spotlight Afro-Mexican talent.

Prado’s vision for the future is clear: to continue celebrating and uplifting the natural hair community and ensure that Rizos Curls remains at the forefront of the industry.

Conclusion: Roots Laid, Future Unfolding

Image Source: @rizoscurls

Rizos Curls is a testament to the power of a vision rooted in personal experience, community engagement, and a commitment to clean, inclusive beauty. Julissa Prado’s journey from crafting homemade haircare solutions to leading a beauty empire exemplifies the transformative potential of passion, innovation, and a deep connection to one’s roots.

As Rizos Curls continues to grow and evolve, its foundational principles of embracing natural beauty, empowering communities, and fostering innovation will continue to inspire and shape the beauty industry’s future.

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