Textured hair-care brand Curls is in expansion mode.
After seeing a wider swath of consumer interest following the wave of support for Black-founded and -owned brands in 2020, Curls has signed on with 12 new, international retailers. They include Black Beauty Online, Boots, Morrisons and Superdrug in the U.K., Beauty by Promise and Noon in the United Arab Emirates, and Naturally Curly in Egypt. Nearly all of the partners are online retailers and have launched the brand in the last month. Brick-and-mortar partners Boots and Superdrug will launch Curls once Covid-19 lockdown rules subside in the U.K. The new business gives the hair company, which is sold at Walmart, Target, Amazon and its DTC e-commerce site in the U.S., a foothold in seven new countries.
“International has always been important to us. We started slowly thinking about it in 2016, but then we started seeing all this new interest from places like Iran, Iraq, Spain and India,” said Mahisha Dellinger, founder and CEO of Curls. “Stores and companies are evolving and keeping up with the trends. They are making changes to supply the customer’s needs.”
Dellinger would not share exact sales for 2020, but said Curls grew 30% year-over-year. In 2019, she told Glossy that 70% of Curls’ sales were through physical retailers like Target and Walmart, and 30% via its DTC site. With its new online distribution, Dellinger said that the company’s digital business would certainly grow. “Everyone is scrambling to make their online business more robust, even the big companies because of Amazon. Target, especially, has done a great job with that,” she said.
Beyond expanding distribution, Curls is also launching a new division of the company called Beau-ti-ceu-ti-cals to debut its Hardest Working collection. It will launch exclusively with Amazon in late February and already debuted on Curls’ DTC site. The new 5-piece lineup is meant to be a skin care and hair care hybrid, a unique take on the multi-use products that have blown up within makeup and skincare.
“All of the products have multi-uses, and it’s the first time skin care and hair care have been combined this way. I always thought it would be cool if I was able to just consolidate all my products into one group, and be able to travel and not have to use multiple items.” said Dellinger. “I love skin care and hair, but we’ve been taught we need so many things. That’s just not true.”
Dellinger expects the Hardest Working collection to surpass Curls’ Blueberry Bliss offering, which is currently a best-seller and accounts for 75% of sales.
“The goal is for this line is to be the next star of the company. That’s what are projecting,” she said. “We’re a mature brand — we’re 19 years old — but beauty is all about innovation and what’s new.”