Ep 017 | Bringing Heritage to Market for Those Who’ve Been Made to Feel Anything Less than Beautiful with Lulu Cordero | Curate Well Co.

Ep 017 | Bringing Heritage to Market for Those Who’ve Been Made to Feel Anything Less than Beautiful with Lulu Cordero

Dec 5, 2022

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Ep. 017 | Curate Conversations With Pia Beck

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PODCAST SHOW NOTES

Bomba Curls was created by Lulu Cordero, an Afro-Dominicana who believes that curls should be celebrated!

Bomba products are 100% nontoxic, biodegradable, sustainable and certified cruelty free — and, they use beauty secrets and techniques that are unique to the Dominican Republic to support curly hair. 

Born out of her own health concern, Lulu created bomba curls as a  love letter to women and girls everywhere who have ever been made to feel that their natural coils and kinks are somehow anything less than beautiful.

In this episode, Pia talks with Lulu about how customers connect with authenticity, what it means to be audacious enough to show up as exactly who we are, for the benefit of a community that’s been underserved, and bringing a radical idea to market without funding. 

Enjoy.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Music created by Queentide.

 

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Bomba Curls was created by Lulu Cordero, an Afro Dominican, who believes that curls should be celebrated. Bomba products are 100% non-toxic, biodegradable, sustainable, and certified cruelty free, [00:01:00] and they use beauty secrets and techniques that are unique to the Dominican Republic to support curly hair. Born out of her own health concern.

Lulu created Bomba curls as a love letter to women and girls everywhere who have ever been made to feel that their natural coils and kinks are somehow anything less than beautiful. In this episode, I interview Lulu about how customers connect with authenticity, what it means to be audacious enough to show up exactly as who we are for the benefit of a community that’s been underserved and bringing a radical idea to market without funding.

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Welcome Lulu. I’m so happy to have you here. And I can’t wait to talk with you about Bomba curls.

I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me Pia.

Of course. okay. So the first thing I always like to ask, all of our guests is in your own measure of success tell us what you’re proud of. So this could be a retail placement. I know you launched in Target fairly recently. It could be having your first float at the Dominican day parade in Manhattan, or it could be even like a specific customer review that made you really happy, whatever feels meaningful.

Yeah, well, for me personally, it was, um, that moment where I first saw my first product rolling off the assembly line.

Hmm.

was a moment that I [00:04:00] guess, a high that. Could literally only be comparable to the first time I saw my product in Target. Where you see it there on the shelf, but you know, it seeing the product roll off the assembly line, it was kind of like this big moment where all the hard work and all the pieces.

That go into product development and launching a brand and, and creating a brand that feels like you, and it feels authentic. And it feels like the message that you’re trying to get across. Like it’s the culmination of, of all of that, of all those things. Right. So, um, that moment it became real and I was able to hold it in my hand, that little bottle of oil.

So.

Mm. Oh, that’s so exciting. I know authenticity is really important to you. And so I love what you said about it feeling. Like you and just like being this, this physical representation of, of everything that you poured into it. So [00:05:00] we’ll get into that. I have, I have a lot of questions. Um, so I know that your, your tagline is be bold, be free, be Bomba.

What do bold and free mean to you? What does that look

Oh boy. Well bold meaning. Be bold enough, be audacious enough to never let allow yourself to be boxed in, right. Oftentimes in society, you know, we are expected to fit in a box and if you don’t fit in a box, well, WTF, what’s wrong with you, you know, so be bold enough to step outside of that. Be yourself, embrace who you are in my case, being bold meant embracing my big.

Wild lovely natural curls in a world that told me that my curls were somehow. Less than somehow less beautiful, somehow less professional. You know, it, it didn’t fit the mold. It didn’t fit in the box. So be bold enough [00:06:00] to step outside of that and be free. I love the skin you’re in. There’s no feeling like that in the world.

So it’s kind of like my way, my rallying cry to everyone out there to. Step outside that box and love yourself, darling, because if you don’t love yourself, how will anybody else

 Oh, I feel like we could end the interview there. I don’t want to, but that was so well said. Um, I love the there’s so much beauty in, in everything that you said, and I think it’s so important and the thing that’s, that’s really coming up to up for me. And, um, you know, I don’t know, like the, the age of your.

The majority of your customer base, but this just feels like a message that, especially in like the personal care and beauty industry that you’re operating in that younger girls, like really, really, really need to hear. Um, it’s so different than the messaging that. I grew up with that. I think a lot of [00:07:00] people above a certain age grew up with, you know, watching commercials and, and all of that.

Um, so I’m really curious like what, what age is your, is your target target customer?

you know what, typically, um, she is she’s in her twenties.

Okay.

but we actually, do have quite a few. Customers that are, you know, the 36 plus, range. Which is awesome for me, because it’s telling me that this message is a universal message that crosses age groups, you know? And, it’s interesting. Once again, that you mentioned that whole, that growing up, you didn’t, I know I didn’t have that of hearing that.

It’s okay to love yourself. It’s okay to be you. You know, and so many young people need to hear that nowadays. Um, especially, and that’s one of the reasons why I created Bomba curls. Um, it was inspired [00:08:00] by those seeds of self love that my mom planted in me because she very early on knew that I would, you know, grew up, grow up in a world that didn’t celebrate.

Black beauty or celebrate the Afro Latino community. I mean, we’re still pretty invisible out here in these streets. um, so yeah, she made it a point to instill in me self-confidence self, self love, and, and those same seeds are the seeds I’m trying to plant, um, through the work I do. And I recognize the power of planting those seeds within people.

And I wanna plant them. In those young generations that they can grow up knowing better and having better and doing better and feeling better than how we felt, but also connecting with that generation of, um, that yeah, the generation of people that grew up [00:09:00] hearing those messages of you have to be a certain size, you know, you have to be a certain age.

You have to look a certain way of, I don’t look like, you know, the six foot super skinny , which is beautiful. It’s beautiful, you know, beautiful. If you look like that, but I don’t. So it’s, you know, what’s wrong with me. And the, the whole message is that nothing is wrong with you. And, and, um, it feels really good to see. All just folks across, just across the spectrum, connecting with us and connecting with the message. And it’s been something that’s allowed us to kind of differentiate ourselves because we were saying that representation matters that inclusivity matters before. You know, everyone else was . Um, so, you know, we were kind at the Vanguard of the hat.

Um, uh, but yeah, it feels good and it feels good that people connected with us and are supporting us. And [00:10:00] that’s been one of the reasons why we’ve been able to grow, how we’ve been able to grow without the funding. Um, because it’s been one of the biggest things. We are 100% self-funded, you know, this. Uh, boots, strap boots, strap operation.

Look at us breaking barriers in retail, bringing that representation

which is hard. I mean, it’s breaking barriers in, in any industry is hard. Um, breaking barriers that have been so entrenched for such a long time, right? Like representation and inclusivity is hard and doing it in retail is even harder. And the fact that you’ve done that all without funding is incredible.

I have a lot of questions about that too. I wanna hear about your mom. What’s her name? Who is she? Like if you’re open to sharing, I wanna know, I know influence

yes. So her name is MI, um, and she’s the proud [00:11:00] mommy Bomba she actually had a t-shirt made. Okay. That says mommy Bomba. I kid you not.

that. Did she make it herself?

Yes. Yes. Well, actually, so she drew it on a piece of paper and she brought it into one of those t-shirt print shops and told them this is what I want. and

my goodness.

she is like my number one cheerleader.

She is the person that kept me going, because as I mentioned to embark on this journey called entrepre, Without funding. It ain’t easy sis. Um, she is one of those, the reasons that that kept me going, like there were so many moments where I would be crying in my living room at two o’clock in the morning, packing boxes and designing stuff and all kind of craziness.

And literally like she’d like sent me the, the most. On time, text message of all [00:12:00] time. Like never give up, you know, everyone starts somewhere brick by brick, you’re building it, you know, those sort of things. And, and, um, yeah, she inspired this brand in so many ways, um, from the ingredients that we use, you know, I’m always, calling her, asking her, Hey mom, you know, I’m working on X, Y, Z right now.

You know, is there anything that you remember from back home that women would use to help with whatever issue, any ingredients that you could, put me on too. And then I do my research in that way. That’s how the forbidden oil was born. She inspired me by telling me about coffee, how women back home, used coffee to help, with their hair growth and to help strengthen the hair and all that.

That’s how our first born product came to be. And as I mentioned earlier on just the seeds of self love, um, that gosh, that, that, [00:13:00] that it is my purpose to keep on planting those seeds. So, and of course, keeping me in touch with my culture. Yes. she made that a for sure point. Of always being proud of who you are being proud of your roots and carrying your head up high.

So, yeah.

Oh, it sounds like she continues to play such an important role. I love that she had a t-shirt made for herself. That is really number one fan material. And it sounds like she’s supporting you on so many different levels. Right? She has like that perfect mom text. They always know the perfect time to text.

Um, and it’s, it’s cool to know that she’s involved in the, in the product development too. Um,

muse

yeah, I’m sure she’s so proud.

I hope so. I hope so.

She is, she definitely is. I can tell just by the way you talk about it, hopefully she’ll listen to this and then she’ll text you and tell you how proud

so like you told them about my t-shirt[00:14:00] 

um, is there a specific reason that you haven’t sought funding or was it just the way that it all panned out?

yeah. So initially, um, I kind of set foot to be able to relay my message in a, in, in, in a super authentic way that that’s the number one most important thing to me. So, I wanted to be able to speak to my community and be able to speak in a manner that was real and, unedited and not watered down.

I wanted to be able to say black lives matter without having to worry about someone trying to muzzle me, you know? So, um, that was initially, you know, that was that, that initial portion of the journey. And then, later on. I came [00:15:00] to see, wow, just how difficult it was to, to get funding of any kind. A lot of investors just don’t get it.

They don’t understand it. They don’t see it. Especially too, because culture plays such a big part in, in the brand. Um, and, uh, Yeah, people just didn’t get it. So that’s okay. I got it. I understood it. And

Yeah.

it with without funding. Okay. Would, would it be a nice to have absolutely. Yes. It would make things so much easier on, on so many different levels, but that that’s not my reality.

Right. Um, I feel like now at this point, we’ve kind of proven the concept. To the point where now, now we’re the ones that are

Yeah. You’re like, you didn’t get it, but Target does

that part out. Yes. you didn’t get it, but Target does. You didn’t get it, but Nordstrom does you didn’t get it with Bloomingdale’s, [00:16:00] Macy’s JC penny, Beauty 13, all these amazing retailers, they get it.

And they’ve given us this opportunity, so, okay. Watch me work. Um, and I kind of, I do this kind of with a chip on my should. And I’m never gonna let that chip get off my shoulder because dang it. I wanna, I , I live for, you know, proving people wrong. I live for that. So, um,

And I think it’s so needed. Right. In, in being an entrepreneur, being a founder, it takes so much discipline and that chip, I think keeps us honest.

Yeah, that yes, 1000%, man. That’s why I say I’m never gonna take this chip. I’m gonna like, have it permanently installed. on the shoulder because I want it to be 10, 15, 20 years from now. Like that chip is, is a, what keeps you honest? That chip is what keeps you going that chip is what keeps you connected to your why, [00:17:00] why I started in the first place.

And that’s extremely important to never lose sight of on, on that journey.

I completely agree. So you’ve mentioned your community a couple of times. Um, and you mentioned before we, we got onto this conversation that having them support you in your retail stores and all those lo beautiful locations that you just listed is really important because it has you be able to take up space, um, both from a.

You know, theoretical perspective and also like literally like space on the shelf and it’s breaking down the doors so that other bipo own brands have the opportunity to take up space too. So, um, you’ve done the, the work of bringing your culture to, I said the mainstream in my notes, but you know, it was mainstream.

Right. Um, and so I guess I’ll, I’ll, I’ll say that differently to say that you’ve done the hard work of bringing your culture to, uh, a different geographical location than a different group of [00:18:00] people and a wider group of people than perhaps knew about it before. What has that been like?

Wow. It’s been surreal. it’s been crazy what ride, but, um, it feels good because a, so many people, Are finally being seen that’s number one, they’re finally being seen and it feels good to be seen. Um, and two, so many people are getting the opportunity to discover something new. I, yeah, I always say that, everybody has a little Chico bone by, in them.

Okay. Okay. She’s in there. or Chico, you know, he’s in there. Yeah. So I’m, I feel good to be able to share. Our flavor, our Saan our us, our just that vibrant culture. Be able to share that with so many people and, and kind of put them onto something new [00:19:00] and they’re loving it. They’re they are loving the chance to discover that something new and, um, I do this for my culture first and foremost.

So dang it. It’s a good feeling baby to to know that somebody in the middle of America right now is can pick up a bottle of Dominican forbidden oil. Like the product literally says Dominican right on the front label. And it feels good to represent in that way. You just shine a spot spotlight on, a community that’s for a very long time has been invisible.

Yeah.

totally. Totally. Talk to us a little bit more about that. So, um, I think that we’ve come some way in terms of representation, in the beauty personal care industry, certainly we’re, you know, there’s, there’s more representation than there was.

[00:20:00] Mm-hmm

30 years ago. , but we have a long way to go. Um, and you mentioned that, specifically your culture and, and your community still feels invisible.

 My question is, what do you think it’s gonna take to make sure. all people feel represented and not just certain cultures.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So I know, um, for sure being Afro Latina, we are a subset of a subset so there are so many people that don’t know that like that. The black community exists within the Latino community. I mean the Latino community is super diverse. We have Asian Latinos, we have indigenous Latinos, we have black Latinos, white Latinos, and everything in between.

So, um, but you know, I know for. [00:21:00] For, I can only speak for me and, you know, my experience as an Afro Latina. you know, but I, I feel like for a very long time we’ve been invisible, partly because even within our own community, I, the Latino community, we’ve been marginalized. People. We’ve been a people that have been erased, um, even from media, any kind of representation.

And right now we’re starting to get it right now. We’re kind of starting to see it. Um, Especially after, you know, the, the racial awakening that occurred in 2020, you know, but there’s still so much work that needs to be made. Um, and I, I think in general too, Within our own communities re regard within bipo communities, right.

We’re seeing, okay. We, we can’t let up, we gotta keep pushing and pushing and pushing and being louder and louder and louder. Otherwise it’ll all go back to the same old, same old, and we can’t keep on with the status [00:22:00] quo. So we’re trying to break down those doors thing it one way or the other, and just continue on being loud and proud.

Okay. And saying, you won’t shut us down. You won’t make us invisible anymore. We won’t be quiet anymore. You will hear us and you will see us. So it’s just given more of that same energy, honestly, I think is we can’t stop yeah.

So you mentioned your oil as your, your, the first product that came off of the, off of the, the line. And I know you have another product, uh, a leaving conditioner. So, on the note of, you know, continuing to show up, continuing to bring the energy, continuing to do this important work, um, your new product is a, a leaving conditioner.

Obviously your platform stands for something that includes your products and is so much bigger than that, but your products are helping you do this work. How do you figure. What to add to your product line next? What does that process look like?

So I am very, [00:23:00] very lucky, a very lucky. in that, um, I know my customer intimate because I am the customer so I know the problem in and out. I, I wake up with it every day on top of my head. I know what, like what our pain points are when it comes to styling and blah, blah, blah. So that is, gives me a big leg up.

Um, so I know, you know, what curly girls want. I know, okay, we need this, we need the leaving. It has to perform a certain way. And you know, I know the struggles, so that allows me to formulate in a way that, you know, that, that I don’t, I always say streets, streets are always listening. So, you know, that allows me to formulate in a way that I feel gives us an advantage.

Um,

mm-hmm

For sure. Uh, and that [00:24:00] allows me to just, I also too, listen to what my community has to say. I, I for it’s for sure, not a one way street while I am the customer. I also listen to my customers and their feedback and what they’re looking for. Like, we’re always. On Instagram, putting out polls and having conversations with them because it’s together, we’re collabing on this, we’re, we’re making a product line together, people.

Um, and, and then too, uh, I guess too, with my background in chemistry, that for sure plays a big, big part in my ability to create formulas that are rockstar formulas, because, you know, while someone else, um, That either a may not have curly hair themselves, or, you know, may not necessarily be interested in what goes into a product.

I do care. Um, I live this lifestyle. I live a clean green lifestyle, so it’s important to me that the products [00:25:00] reflect that and that they’re clean and green. Um, you know, we don’t use silicone sulfates, any, any, any junk we’re 100% junk free. Also, it’s it because I’m able to stay abreast of what’s new and now and new ingredients and what’s effective and how, you know, I, I, I enjoy it.

I enjoy that part of things. So that allows me to then work with, um, our cosmetic chemistry team. With the product development and create formulas that are really, really special really, really now and they’re award winners, baby . We had a lot of awards, um, along the way, our de conditioner won, um, women’s health magazine, beauty award for best deep conditioner.

We beat out 2,500 other products. That was incredible. I couldn’t [00:26:00] believe it. I’m like, oh my God, little old us. Like we did that. , you know, and, and we self magazine best, um, hair mask, a Pop Sugar, best treatment oil. Um, Vogue had named our deep conditioner of the best deep conditioners for, you know, for dry hair.

Like. The list goes on and on literally. And I’m super duper proud of that. Um, and I know it just all boils down to kind of the, the magic combo behind the scenes.

Totally

Yeah.

You mentioned, um, coffee. I’m curious what some of the other ingredients that we might not expect are like. If you wanna call out a couple, that would be surprising.

So, um, I, I always say that through our products, we’re introducing a, a new audience to new ingredients that you don’t typically see in products that are [00:27:00] formulated, you know, Here in the states. Um, so we use cinnamon, um, in our conditioner. It’s commonly used back home, extremely common to use cinnamon when it comes to hair care, but I never saw it up here.

So cinnamon to help, you know, with scalp health and also strengthening the hair. Um, we use bananas. Those are rich and silica, and they’ll give you luster shiny hair. Um, we use coup wa butter, a mouthful, but coup wa butter is a super butter. It’s like shea butter on steroids. And it’s really, really moisturizing for dry.

Chemically processed hair, you know, curls. We have a tough time holding onto moisture and that’s kind of one of the reasons why our conditioner is so amazing. Um, cocoa butter, uh, the coffee, of [00:28:00] course, Castro oil, a west Indian favorite black cumin seed oil, which is an VE oil. And it’s used in, um, Eastern medicine.

And then in my research, I actually discovered that. Uh, black human seeded oil is rich in an, uh, antihistamine called thi quinone. And antihistamines are actually prescribed to treat alopecia like for alopecia patients. So I was like, Well, here we go. A natural source rich in this, you know, all star ingredient, we gotta use it.

So I’m always looking to elevate the ingredients and use something new and, and, and give the people something special like our leaving conditioner. It’s gonna have papaya in it. Pistachio, pistachio oil. I, I could go on and on, but I don’t wanna bore you . I love.

No, this is so, this is so great. I mean, so many things that I would never have thought would end up in, in a hair

Yeah, and they’re all so good for you. Mother Nature provides literally [00:29:00] all you need, um, to, to not only look good, but feel good so that, you know, I make it a point to use what Mother Nature gives us. So I can give you my best.

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What does your clean and green lifestyle look like?

Oh man. So, um, I do not eat meat. I have been meat free since 2004.[00:32:00] 

Wow.

Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I actually stopped relaxing my hair back in 2004. Because, uh, that’s the year that I decided to go natural. So naturally that meant letting go of the relaxers, embracing, you know, a vegetarian lifestyle. Um, and I became super conscious of not only what I was putting into my body, but using on my body.

So I read the labels, always. Um, I also used to be 50 pounds heavier. Back in 2004. Yeah. Yeah. So not only yes, with, with that lifestyle change, but I, I work out every, not every day I have, I have break days, , um, but I, I work out four to five times a week because I believe in taking care of your body so that your body can take care of you.

Like I live this lifestyle. So, [00:33:00] um, so yeah, I believe in taking care of my temple and. And I’ve, I’ve even taken care of other, helping other people take care of their own temples, through, through our products. So very proud of that.

I love that. I’m curious, you, you know, you mentioned earlier that, and we talked a little bit about this, that you didn’t have any funding. And yet you’ve been hugely successful. You’ve had these incredible awards and media placements and retail placements and, so much. Passion and, vision behind what you’re doing.

Tell me, like, take me back all the way to the beginning and walk me through like what’s happened as the brand has grown and how your role has shifted throughout all of that too.

Oh man. So back in the beginning I did it all. I literally

how it goes.

I did, I did it all. [00:34:00] I, I wore all the hats. I was customer service. Um, I was receiving and fulfillment. The warehouse was my apartment. Um, and, and two, like even with. with the, like, the early, early first set of products like I, those were handmade, hand batched, hand filled, hand labeled, everything.

 So I did it all. I taught myself how to use, um, Adobe Illustrator. I did not have social media before then. Like even for personal social media. And I joined the world of Instagram and so on when I launched Bomba Curls and that was like baptism by fire. No, you know what it was like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hydrant.

Totally.

it was a lot to to learn at one time. But it’s a good thing that I did [00:35:00] that and it’s. It proved to be a positive because I’m, I’m well versed in what it takes to make everything happen, all the moving parts. So, um, you know, as we’ve grown our team now, I’m able to a, kind of, educate folks. B um, also, I always say, Can’t nobody run game on me.

Uh, because I know, you know, I know how long it takes to prepare X, Y, z I know how long you know of a process, so you are not gonna bill me extra hours. I know that it’s not gonna be that labor intensive to get X, Y, Z accomplished because guess what? I’ve done it. So, no, no ma’am. No sir. This is, this is the budget, this is the cost, this is what it’s gonna be, this is what it’s gonna look like.

Um, so I’m grateful. Who have had that experience now back then was I [00:36:00] grateful when, when it was two o’clock in the morning and I was crying in the in the living room. Not necessarily, but it worked out in the end. Cuz I feel like it made me well rounded and a lot stronger.

Totally. Yeah. I think it’s so important to have those seasons of doing everything yourself and it helps us know the things that we wanna hand off sooner rather than later. Right? I’m not good at this.

I don’t wanna do this. I never wanna. Be on Instagram again or whatever it is. Um, and I, I love what you said about, just having that context around, I know how much effort this should take. I know how much this should cost. I know what this should look like. I think there’s so much value in that. I think that there’s this like glamorization of business growth about like, you know, Being in like the founder role or whatever that looks like, and outsourcing and delegating things very quickly.

And at some point we have to do that right? At some point it’s too big for us to, to do on our own. But I think there’s so much value in being the person that does those [00:37:00] things at the beginning. How big is your team now?

Yeah. So now we are, um, a all, all. All ladies, all lady team of five

Wow, that’s amazing.

yes, yes. So it’s, it’s pretty cool to see how it came just from little old me doing. Everything to now, you know, building this team around me and creating these opportunities for my, my lovely ladies, my dream team as I call them, and to give them the opportunity to, to shine in their own way and, and shine pursuing their own passion.

Because as a founder, I think something that, a mistake that a lot of people make is that they expect everyone to be as passionate. What their baby as they are.

Hmm.

I don’t have that expectation. Nobody’s gonna be as passionate as I am [00:38:00] when it comes to one of Bomba Curls. This is my baby. I carried her. Okay. And I birthed her and I raised her.

So I’m, I’m, I’m the momma bear. Um, but I do expect, the team members to be passionate about what they do. So if you are passionate about market, Oh, I expect you to live and breathe. That’s your joy. That’s, that’s your, that’s your happy place. If you’re passionate about social media, that that is where you shine.

So me, as a founder, my role is to kind of help you shine where I know you can and where I know you’re, you know where I know I see you flying. And so, you know, it’s a, it’s a good feeling to, to build, build out team Bomba.

What does your role look like these days?

Yes. So, um, we’ve grown, uh, quite a bit. So, I am. Oh, I, I am mama bear. You know, to even, even within the team, I, I’m big sis, um, even within the [00:39:00] team, so I, yeah, I, I help give the guidance and all that. Um, but as we’ve grown, so have my responsibilities in other ways, cuz I’m the captain of the ship and the buck stops with me and so I.

You know, there’s a lot that I do on a day to day basis because there we, we do have like more opportunities that are coming our way and I have to navigate all these things and figure out like, okay, what, how, what am I gonna delegate? How, how can I be, how can we best. As a team, execute this vision or execute this next step.

Am I still hand labeling products? No. No, No. I still can’t though. I can I will be there in my business attire, and labeling the feeling if I have to. But, um, you know, a, a lot of that we’ve grown past, now we have our manufacturing [00:40:00] facility, that we work with. Oh yeah. My focus is just on growing.

Growing us. Yes. Which is possible.

It is. It’s so possible.

Yes, it’s possible. We will. We will. We will.

Yes. It’s already, it’s already happening. What have been the biggest learnings that you’ve had along the way? What were the things that just like totally rocked you?

So from the, I guess from from the first when it comes to building out your team Yeah. To, to, to really, it is important to make sure that you bring in people that, as I said, are passionate about what they do. Because one of the mistakes that, I have made as a, as a founder, as an entrepreneur, has been [00:41:00] bringing people in or giving people the opportunity, um, and.

They just, they do get caught up. It’s so, it’s crazy to me like they do get caught up in the glitz and glamor that you see on social media and they expect like every day to just be picture day or that we’re gonna play in glitter all day or something. I don’t know. I, I guess it’s cuz it’s the beauty industry, so they think we’re gonna play in glitter.

I don’t know. But what I

Yeah. Yeah.

is that, no, it’s a lot of work. This is, this is the business of beauty. And so, um, yeah, being, making sure to like, bring in people that are passionate about what they do, they recognize that it is a lot of hard work, that every day is not going to be picture day. They recognize that, you know, I, everyone, especially because it is a startup, like everyone has to.

Collaborate and, and work together and help each [00:42:00] other out. So that for sure has been one of my biggest learning lessons. I know early, early on, some of my first, , hires I, I hired wrong and not owned it. I was still learning, you know, Um, so, and it’s hard to, as a founder, When you’re working with people, and I come from a place of wanting to see people win, like I believe in you.

Like that’s why like, I want you here. And it’s, it’s hard to like throw in your cap and, and be like, I made that mistake and this is not gonna fit. And I don’t think, I think, you know, you’d, you would soar elsewhere, but just not here. It’s, it’s a hard pill to swallow because sometimes you feel like you failed, you.

Yep.

So that for sure has been my biggest learning lesson, throughout this whole journey. Honestly. Any founders out there that may be listening, like, just make sure to pick folks that have [00:43:00] passion. Yeah.

Yeah, that, It’s so funny that you say that cuz that has for sure been my biggest learning too. Like you said it beautifully. I also am someone who like really believes in people, so I’m like, Yes, you can do it. I believe in you. This is gonna be great. We’ll make it work. You can totally bring something here.

And it’s been, it’s um, it’s been hard for me to. Be able to admit when it’s not a good fit. So I really relate to that. And yeah, I mean, we’ve, we’ve also had a lot of people. A lot of our early hires who came in and yeah, they, you know, it looks great from the outside, right? They’re like, You’re doing cool things.

This is so incredible. I wanna work at a startup. I wanna like, you know, do all of these things. And then they get in and they realize like what it really takes to like, make that

Boom.

And they’re like, Oh, nevermind. This is way too much work.

Oh yeah. It’s, it is not all glitter and glam. And, and ultimately [00:44:00] you’re, you kind of, not only do you do yourself a disservice, by like, you know, con continuing on in that cycle of keeping them on and you know it’s not working, but you’re doing them a disservice because, you know, they’re, they’re not in tune with their purpose.

They’re not aligned with their purpose, and so that also affects their productivity. So I’ll now, I, it’s, it’s, I come from a place of, you know, you got a sore, you will sore. But you know, baby bird just not here.

Yeah. . Yeah.

Yeah.

I know that you, I’m gonna switch gears just a little bit. I know that you mentioned that authenticity is, you said the key to repeat customers. How do you know this? Tell us more about this. What does this mean?

Yeah, so. Before I ever launched, right? When it was like the early, early, like, Okay, [00:45:00] I’m gonna do Bomba Curls, I’m gonna do it. I was literally with my sketch pad, like drawing the logo all like that early. I got a piece of advice, from someone that, uh, used to be like, you know, really in a really high position, within marketing, within a major beauty company. Um, and, and he told me, uh, one of the best pieces of advice that I can give you is to always be authentic, Always be yourself. And that stuck with me because I think all too often, sometimes when you have an idea for whatever it is, whether it be product, service, whatever. You know, you get caught up in the, the what, the glossy, laminated, you know, version of that is gonna look like and how I want it to look like and how I want it to.[00:46:00] 

That you kind of lose sight of that, what makes it real. And that’s what customers connect with. They con like, they really do connect with that, the feeling. That you are able to light up within them. You can literally touch someone, through the work that you do. And for me, when he told me to stay authentic, it’s like, All right, I’m gonna take that or that now that I could do, I could be me all day.

Yes. Um, but when you, you know, if you try to be somebody else, ultimately that facade is gonna fall off eventually. Nobody can keep up a facade forever.

Yeah.

but yeah, so for me to be able to authentically tell my story, which is a story that so many other people connect with of being told, you know, all these negative things when it comes to their hair or their culture or their skin, et cetera, , a lot of people connect with that cause it’s a real message and it comes from a real place for me.[00:47:00] 

Yeah.

Same with the branding. I, I needed it to feel like me. I needed it to feel like what I know, I needed it to feel like this culture, this island, this, you know, this and that realness is what people connect with. And when you connect with someone at that level, they are there with you forever.

And you know, this is, this is c. And we’re building this community. And, um, there’s power in community and that power of community is what has gotten us to the level that we’re at today. Yeah. Authenticity. It’s powerful. Baby

Yeah, it is. Yeah. I think that, um, you know, real message coming from a real place, that was one of the things that you just said, and it’s, it’s so true, right? Like, um, when people can feel that it does completely change the way they interact with the business, the [00:48:00] products, you as the founder, the community that stands behind it, the whole thing. 

I’m gonna give you, uh, a chance to tell us all the incredible things that you have coming up soon. But before we do that, what didn’t I ask you about that you wanna say, like, floor is yours. What’s the thing that you wanna make sure it gets said?

Oh man. Um, Just. You know, I, I’m just super grateful, to be able to do the work that I do. It is, it’s a lot of work, guys. Don’t fall for the Instagram. Don’t fall for the Instagram where you, where you get just like the, the pretty polished picture and oh my god, and, you know, all, all that greatness. And that’s a lot. That’s just a tippy tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind it. I, I love what I do and I’m so passionate about [00:49:00] this. I’m passionate about my community and, and uplifting us.

Um, that it doesn’t matter if I don’t get enough sleep. , it doesn’t matter, you know, if sometimes I wanna cry, sometimes I feel like throwing down a lamp, you know, the basics, all those things don’t matter.

day in the life.

Cause ultimately,

I think that’s so important. I.

No. No. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

I think it’s so important to, um, to love what you do. I think that to your point, there’s, there’s so many challenges, right? And it looks a little bit different for every business, for every person. , but it’s hard. It’s so hard. And if you don’t love it, right? If you’re, if you don’t truly believe, like, this is what I am here to do and I’m doing it for these people that I love and I’m giving them something that I love it, it’s not, it’s not gonna grow and it’s, it’s not gonna last.

1000%.

I, I mean, you [00:50:00] can’t understate that. It’s so important.

Yep. 1000%. Like that’s that. You hit the nail on the head sis right there.

What do you wanna tell us is coming up and what do you want everyone in our community to do after we wrap up this conversation?

Yeah, so we’ve got some new product in the works. Uh, finally, our long awaited leaving conditioner is dropping. I am so excited for that baby to drop because I put my foot in it. It’s so good. . I don’t mean tot my own horn, but beep, beep, pee it. So good. It really is. Um, so I’m excited for us to drop new product.

We are also expanding to new retailers. Um, one of the things that we’re really working on is, um, hopefully being able to bring Beaumont curls magic across the pond. [00:51:00] So, Yeah. Yeah. So we shall see. Um, and yeah, it’s just all about dropping the new products and expanding and growing. So keep an eye on us if you want to, you know, be a part of the journey and join all this magic.

Um, they, you know, I, I would love it if everyone could follow us at Bomba Curls. Um, that’s our Instagram. And then at Bomb Curls on TikTok, we put out a lot of. Fun content, but also educational content when it comes to taking care of you and your hair and being fabulous, honey. So, um, yeah, follow us, Support, join us on this journey of entrepreneurship and growth and learn a thing or two.

Lulu, thank you so much. This was such a wonderful conversation. I can’t wait to share it with our community, and I’m so excited to continue to cheer you on.

Oh, thank you. Thank you. Likewise. This was so good. Thank you for having me. This is, [00:52:00] This was a blast. 

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The brand was originally created in 1964 and then went dormant until founder Steven Tiller rediscovered the shoes in 2008. Since then, SeaVees has been brought back to life through conscious craftsmanship. You can shop online at SeaVees.com. That’s S E A V E E s.com, and you can use our code CURATE20 for 20% off your order.

Bomba Curls has an upcoming feature in L Magazine that you should look out for. And in the meantime, you can find Lulu and Bomba curls on Instagram at Bomba Curls and at www.bobacurls.com. And at your nearest Target or Nordstrom. [00:53:00] Thanks for listening.

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