Atlanta stay-at-home mom and former licensed esthetician, Courtney Smith, created her company, “Cristina’s Curls”, to help her daughter’s eczema as an infant.
Cristina’s Curls is a natural, organic, and handmade children’s hair and skincare product company that has reached nearly $2 million in revenue after starting just two years ago.
Smith, who named the company after her daughter, has since had massive success helping other mothers who were struggling to find natural remedies for their children. After starting the business at home, Smith expanded to a warehouse and hired employees, helping the company sell an average of about 8,000 products per month.
Shortly after Cristina was born, Smith noticed her daughter began to suffer greatly from eczema, sensitive skim, and cradle cap. Smith, who is mother of three and previously owned a spa, said she knew the side effects that came with using sterile creams and medications.
“I wanted a more holistic approach, but I could not find what I was looking for in stores, so I created my own in partnership with my husband who is a chemist. That solution has become Cristina’s Curls,” she said.
Amongst the company’s best-selling products are the Nourishing Baby Hair and Scalp Oil, Nourishing Baby Detangler and Tear-free Shampoo and Body Wash.
Cristina’s Curls products are organic, handcrafted and paraben free. Product ingredients include a variety of natural plants and herbs including lavender, aloe vera, chamomile, shea and mango butters and coconut, castor, and jojoba seed oils. The products cater to children of all ages.
“Of all the products out there, this was a hole in the marketplace, so I am happy to provide a solution that is not only useful, but also much needed by so many infants and children who suffer from the same issues,” she said.
For more information or to check out their products, visit https://cristinascurls.com/ .
Additionally, Smith spoke with the Atlanta Voice about the process behind Cristina’s Curls.
The Atlanta Voice: Talk to me about the process of starting, “Cristina’s Curls”.
Courtney Smith: I’ve been a licensed esthetician for the last nine years now and I owned a spa here in Atlanta for four years. After about four years, I decided to sell my day spa, and spend more time with the kids. My daughter was getting ready to go to high school and I just wanted to focus on my kids at the time. So fast forward, I had Cristina in 2020 like right at the beginning of the pandemic. So, when I had Cristina, who is my third child, she had every issue a newborn or infant can have from allergies, eczema, cradle cap, you name it, she had it. So, along with us dealing with the pandemic and everything, we were in and out of doctor’s offices, in and out of dermatologist’s offices trying to find an ointment or cream or something to help her primarily with her eczema. So, after seeing about three or four doctors and just not being happy with the ointments and products they were giving us to use, my husband and I were sitting down one day and he said, ‘Why don’t you just make her something’ and a lightbulb just went off. I’m like ‘yes this is what I do’ because aside from being an esthetician, I also have my certification in formulation, so that’s how this company came about. The first two products that I made for her were a shampoo that doubled as a shampoo and body wash for her eczema and the second product was a hair and scalp oil that helped with the dandruff and flakey scalp, she had along with the cradle cap.
AV: Is there a mentor or someone who inspires you as a business owner?
CS: Well, not a mentor I’m directly working with. I do see a lot of successful business owners on social media, for example, Monique Rodriquez from Mielle and Courtney Adeleye from The Mane Choice. So, of course being in this industry, it’s a very small industry and I’ve seen how they have grown their brands over the past eight to ten years, but as far as having a mentor that I am working with one-on-one, no. I’ve just been researching and learning as I go. The business aspect of it hasn’t been that hard. My husband and I own another business that we’ve had for 12 years, so structuring the business hasn’t been as hard, just learning the ins and outs of the healthcare and beauty industry, as far as products, because like I said before I was in service side of it, but now learning about products, that has really been trial and error.
AV: Are your products only for children?
SC: Now we have a lot of adults that use Cristina’s Curls as well. So, it’s not just for children. We have three different collections: one is called Nourish and Baby, that’s for newborns and up, one is Nourish and Grow, that’s for nine months and up, and we also have one called Curl Enhancing and that’s for nine months and up as well.
AV: Your company and products have gone viral and reached nearly $2 million in revenue after starting just two years ago. Did you ever think it would take off in this way so quickly.
CS: No, I did not! I had no clue. When I first started it, it was solely for my baby. I was stuck between a hard place as far as ‘what do I do for her skin’ and just being happy with the results I was getting for her. I didn’t think it would go this far even when it started taking off, I was still like ‘It was never the plan to really run a business, I’m enjoying being at home and the kids and Cristina was still only six months old when I officially launched the company. She was still little, but it just fell in my lap, and I could not allow it to grow and be at its full potential.
AV: With Cristina’s Curls finding such massive viral success, where do you see the company in five years?
SC: I think Cristina’s Curls is going to be all over the world, that’s what I’m working on now, getting it into retail stores, children’s boutiques, children’s hair salons. I plan on just taking over and making Cristina’s Curls the number one children’s and haircare/skincare brand for brown African American children.
AV: What are your business goals for the remainder of the year?
SC: My goal in the next six months is to get into two retails stores that we’ve been working on and on Amazon.
AV: What kind of advice would you give to future business owners or parents who might want to find ways to help their kids?
SC: I would say look at the ingredients. I don’t know if it’s just because of my background as far as being an esthetician or that now this is my business, but I always look at what I’m putting on my child because it has different reactions, not just topical reactions. If they’re allergic to it, if it changes their behavior or hormones like now, they’re doing research that says lavender, who we’ve all used on babies, or at least I have on babies before, it’s not good for their hormones, it has a bad effect on their hormones. So, I always tell parents to advocate for their child, know what you’re putting on your child, have an allergy test done on them to know what they’re allergic to, what they aren’t allergic to, and just being very aware of the products that you’re using on them because they can be more sensitive to things than we are.