CurlMix, a hair care brand, founded by Tim and Kim Lewis, made a memorable appearance on “Shark Tank” in Season 10. Their journey post-Shark Tank is a testament to entrepreneurial resilience and strategic growth.
This blog post delves into CurlMix Shark Tank experience, subsequent growth, and current standing in the industry.
The Shark Tank Experience
Initial Appearance and Proposal
Tim and Kim Lewis pitched their business, CurlMix, on Shark Tank in March 2019, seeking a $400,000 investment for 10% equity.
This valued their company at $4 million, reflecting their strong sales forecast of over $1 million for the year 2019.
The Sharks were impressed by their sales and low production costs. However, concerns about market competition led to hesitation.
Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, and Lori Greiner eventually opted out of investing, citing reasons such as lack of industry knowledge and concerns over market competition.
Guest shark Alli Webb also decided not to invest, despite acknowledging the demand for natural curly hair-specific products.
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Offer and Decision
The only offer came from Robert Herjavec, proposing $400,000 for 20% equity. However, this was turned down by the founders, who believed in their company’s higher valuation and potential growth trajectory.
Post-Shark Tank Growth
Despite not securing a deal, the Shark Tank appearance had an immediate positive impact. The company experienced a surge in sales, achieving $900,000 in the month of their episode airing alone.
Following the show, CurlMix attracted significant investment, including $1.2 million from former LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Backstage Capital’s Arlan Hamilton. This investment valued the company at $12 million, surpassing the valuation offered on Shark Tank.
In 2021, CurlMix launched a crowdfunding equity campaign on WeFunder. This campaign was overwhelmingly successful, raising $1 million within four hours and over $5 million within 30 days.
This feat marked CurlMix as the first Black and community-owned curly hair business.
Business Expansion and Product Line
CurlMix’s product line expanded beyond its initial offerings. The company started with a DIY hair ingredient subscription service, later transitioning to ready-mixed products. The introduction of Flaxseed Gel became a standout product, propelling the brand’s popularity.
By the end of 2021, CurlMix’s sales exceeded $13 million, attributed partly to their best-selling Wash and Go System. This system streamlined the hair care process, contributing significantly to their sales success.
Additionally, CurlMix returned to its subscription model roots, offering various subscription options on their website.
Retail Expansion and Online Presence
Ulta Beauty Collaboration
In 2023, CurlMix announced its entry into Ulta Beauty stores, a significant step in increasing its retail presence and accessibility. This expansion is a testament to the brand’s growth and the increasing demand for specialized hair care products catering to the natural hair community.
CurlMix products are also available on Amazon, further expanding their online presence and accessibility to a wider audience.
Lessons from CurlMix’s Journey
CurlMix’s story is one of resilience and faith in one’s vision. Their ability to turn down a Shark Tank offer, while risky, showcased a deep understanding of their business’s value and potential.
Their subsequent success proves that with the right strategy, market understanding, and community support, startups can thrive even in competitive industries.
The CurlMix journey is an inspiring tale for entrepreneurs, particularly in the beauty industry, emphasizing the importance of product quality, brand authenticity, and customer connection.
CurlMix’s journey post-Shark Tank is a remarkable example of entrepreneurial resilience and savvy. By declining the Shark Tank offer and pursuing strategic investments and crowdfunding, Tim and Kim Lewis have grown CurlMix into a multimillion-dollar brand. Their success story serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, demonstrating the importance of knowing your business’s worth and strategically navigating growth opportunities.
CurlMix continues to thrive, serving a growing customer base and expanding its presence both online and in retail spaces. Their story is a testament to the power of belief in one’s product and the impact of strategic decision-making in business growth.