Angela Fields is the owner and creator of the innovative, clean, natural haircare line CurlyCoilyTresses, that is fragrance free for the chemically sensitive and allergenic. Learn more about her entrepreneurial journey from unemployment to finding her destiny.
Tell us about your natural hair journey and what made you decide to embrace your natural hair….
I considered going natural for years before I actually started. I spent a lot of time researching the process, options, and products and learning from those who were willing to share their experiences. At times it was overwhelming as so much conflicting information exists.
Once I started transitioning, it became very obvious why so much conflicting information exists. No one process or product works equally well for everyone. The uniqueness of natural hair as well as previous hair experiences affect outcomes. After the big chop, I realized different was only just beginning. Like so many others, I wondered why my texture was so different from everyone else’s. I kept seeing beauty in the curls of others.
Eventually, I learned to embrace my uniqueness. Once I embraced my uniqueness, it became much easier to identify the most appropriate ingredients and techniques.
What challenges did you experience and how did you overcome them?
While still working a corporate position, I began transitioning to my natural textured hair. At that same time, the scope of my ever-present allergies increased to include fragrances, amongst many other items. I was struggling to moisturize and hydrate my natural textured hair and was completely frustrated at the lack of available options.
Almost 20% of the general population is sensitized to at least one allergen, and studies find that fragrance is one of the most frequently identified substances causing allergic reactions. Indeed, fragrance allergy affects 2-11% of the general population. Yet a whopping 96% of shampoos, 98% of conditioners and 97% of hair styling products contain fragrance, according to Secret Scents from Women’s Voices For The Earth! Wow!
The remaining products I found did nothing for my natural textured hair. I found better options in Canada and Europe, but I still wasn't completely satisfied.At this point, I knew the ingredients I needed. I just couldn't find fragrance and allergen free formulations. So, I started making products in my own kitchen! I'd try different formulations – again and again and again – until I found what worked. It was a huge sense of accomplishment! I couldn't purchase what I needed, but I crafted solutions by myself! Huge! My friends and family told me I needed to sell my formulations, but I had a full time job – until I didn't. My position was eliminated and I was released from employment. I wasn't sure what would be next for me. I hadn't been happy with my employment for years, but it was in my comfort zone. So it wasn't easy to stay.
About 3 weeks into unemployment while driving – stepping away often brings clarity for me – over the Howard Frankland Bridge, I realized my destiny was already in my kitchen. I just hadn't been listening – seemingly deaf for years. But I'm listening now!
Unemployment pushed me from my comfort zone right into my destiny!
What key lessons did you learn a long your entrepreneurial journey that you’d like to share with other business owners?
Network and collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs – both more and less experienced than yourself. Both types will contribute to your growth and development. Actively seek investor funding before strategic initiatives requiring financing are needed. You will hear no often. Keep expanding your search and asking anyway. People are more likely to invest in you before you actually require investments.
Get intimate with your ‘avatar’, the collective general impressions, thoughts, and beliefs attributed to your target audience. Grow your audience of ‘avatars’ before launching products. It is significantly easier and more economical to sell to an existing, engaged audience than it is to acquire an audience once products are on hand. Speak to your ‘avatars’ frequently over social media. Be reachable so they can engage with you.
Grow and nurture your newsletter list. Invest in reliable automations to communicate with your newsletter list outside of and in addition to social media channels. In general, choose automations over manual processes. Automations will grow with you while manual processes will require more attention during growth.
Tell your story. Make it organic. Get comfortable with telling your story. Share aspects of yourself.
Master your ‘elevator pitch’, a short description of an idea, product or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time. Get comfortable with selling your ‘elevator pitch’.
Be fearless. Know that entrepreneurship will stretch you beyond your self-determined ability. Be fearless anyway, especially when it’s uncomfortable.
Know that some things will fail to execute. Mistakes will happen. Some mistakes will be expensive. Learn. Grow. Adapt. Move on.
What makes CurlyCoilyTresses unique?
CurlyCoilyTresses is clean, natural textured hair care for the chemically sensitive and allergenic. With CurlyCoilyTresses even sensitive beauties can discover defined curls with confidence! With CurlyCoilyTresses you can expect:
Freedom from allergens, fragrances, scents and masking agents
Moisturized and hydrated hair even days after wash day
Styling flexibility from wash and goes to defined styles
Ingredients are so important; can you share how you choose ingredients for your products? Key ingredients and benefits found in your products?
At CurlyCoilyTresses we create products that help soothe scalps and moisturize and hydrate hair. We've helped hundreds just like you lengthen and strengthen their hair, soften, moisturize and hydrate their hair, and improve the overall appearance of their hair.
CurlyCoilyTresses are well-received formulas that are guaranteed to provide satisfaction. When you invest in CurlyCoilyTresses you can expect to be complimented constantly because your hair is gorgeous, to enhance your confidence so that you can put your best face forward while accomplishing your dreams, and to stop feeling self-conscious because of bad hair days.
CurlyCoilyTresses creates non-toxic formulations that are ageless and genderless and made without ingredients we deem unsafe including:
- Essential oils
- Masking agents
- Harsh preservatives
- Drying alcohols
- Non-water soluble silicones
- Sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS)
- Sodium laureth sulfates (SLES)
- Unnecessary chemicals
All ingredients used by CurlyCoilyTresses must provide a direct benefit to product effectiveness.
Our chosen ingredients are:
Purified water: The ultimate moisturizer!
Cetearyl alcohol (unrelated to drying alcohols): Emollient fatty alcohol that provides conditioning and emulsifying properties. Enhances slip and penetration of other ingredients.
Hydrolyzed oat protein: Hygroscopic humectant, meaning it grabs and retains water in the hair shaft. Film-forms (coats hair) and porosity-fills (fills hair gaps) to counter water loss. Adds luster and helps in reducing breakage. Softens and smooths hair.
Sodium lactate: Naturally occurring moisturizer found in human skin. Effective humectant and pH adjuster.
Gluconolactone and sodium benzoate: ECOCERT-approved, broad spectrum, food-grade preservative.
Behentrimonium methosulfate (unrelated to drying sulfates): Incredibly gentle emulsifier. Very mild detangling ingredient that provides crucial detangling slip. Does not cause build up and is non-irritating to the scalp.
Organic oils and butters (coconut, avocado, babassu, cupuacu, macadamia, olive, sweet almond): Minimally-processed, cold-pressed, unrefined, premium oils and butters (only the best!).
Can you tell us about your products and a few tips on the best way to use them?
Product selection, knowledge, consistency and technique are all required for moisturized, hydrated and happy hair. Immediately after shampooing, apply Enrich Moisturizer to water-saturated hair while you’re still in the shower. Do not towel or t-shirt dry. Your towel and t-shirt don’t need the moisture and hydration, but your hair does! Always apply Enrich to manageable sections of hair while keeping other sections clipped or loosely twisted out of the way.
‘Shingle’ or ‘finger comb’ Enrich from roots to ends section by section. Enrich provides amazing detangling slip. Apply your desired oil followed by your desired alcohol-free gel (if needed) using the same technique.
Either air or diffuse dry. If air drying, resist the temptation to touch your luscious curls. You’ll cause frizz! If diffusing, hang upside down and target your roots first. Then, mid-lengths, then ends. Once dry, gently fluff targeting the roots and shaking front to back and side to side.
Always protect your hair at night by gently and loosely ‘pineappling’ and wrapping with silk or satin. Trim your ends regularly. Use Nourish Treatment as a pre- or post-shampoo treatment. The frequency depends on the condition of your hair. The addition of heat will intensify the nutritional boost. Use Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil as a scalp treatment to help with excess shedding and to encourage growth. It’s also a great treat on cuticles during manicures and pedicures!
What can we expect from you in the future?
CurlyCoilyTresses recently transitioned order fulfillment to a fulfillment team and had already been using a manufacturing team. Our next key milestones are to expand our product offering to include additional styling products and shampoos, to expand our sales footprint by being available in major retailers, and to launch international sales. We receive product offering and availability and international sales requests often. The right complement of investors will facilitate the successful implementation of our strategic milestones.
More than 80% of women with curly and coily hair say they purchase products specifically for textured hair rather than general market products, according to the 2018 TextureTrends Report from NaturallyCurly.
CurlyCoilyTresses®seeks to disrupt the beauty industry status quo by offering innovative, clean, fragrance free and effective textured hair care options! Our heroine product is Enrich Moisturizer and its supporting cast is Nourish Treatment and Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil.