CurlShoppe is a Canadian small business based out of Toronto. Founded by Natasha ‘Natty’ Sheppard and operated with her business partner, Rowan ‘Row’ McAnoy, CurlShoppe caters to the natural hair community and curly girls.
Whether you’re transitioning, newly big chopped, or a veteran natural, Natty and Row have been through all of the stages and know that it takes a lot of time and patience to take care of your curly hair.
They created CurlShoppe to provide quality, affordable products (that have not been animal tested) and to educate others on how to take care of curly hair — whether your curly hair is wavy, loose, tight, coily or kinky.
CurlShoppe‘s brand values lay in knowing that as women, our hair is a part of us and is a symbol of our character. The customer reviews support their expertise and product knowledge.
It also demonstrates the community that CurlShoppe has created — which one can argue is the essence of a well-executed brand strategy and marketing.
Natty and Row hope to see all men, women and kids embrace their own unique hair and not be afraid to be different.
The duo buy most of their supplies in Canada, manufacture in small batches in Canada and ship with Canada Post. You can’t get any more Canadian small business than that!
Please enjoy 10 Questions with Natty and Row.
1. In the beginning, what motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
Row – I’ve just always had this desire to start something of my own. When thinking of a dream job I would start picturing myself working in my own office for myself rather than a particular job in a field.
Natty – I’ve been a serial entrepreneur since a very young age. I always wanted to “solve a problem” and find a way to do something I enjoy, help others, and get paid for it — the dream job.
2. What problem are you solving?
Row – CurlShoppe was designed to help close the gap in two markets. The first one is the market for curly hair products and I’m referring to ALL types of curly hair as there are many and unfortunately tighter curls are often ignored.
The second market is the market of Canadian companies in the beauty and hair industry. We need more Canadian companies supporting other Canadian companies.
Natty – Dedicated hair products for curly hair. Everywhere you go, you see just “hair products”, mostly for straight hair.
Curly hair requires a different type of care and we’re here to provide the means for that care, for all curl types.
We also like to not only provide the necessary products but also provide the value in educating those on how to care for curly hair.
3. What’s the biggest thing you struggle with as an entrepreneur?
Row – Time! Being an entrepreneur in the beginning stages means you’ll most likely still be working a full-time job while getting things started.
I’m currently in this situation and it requires a lot of balance and prioritizing, but I definitely wish I had more time.
Natty – Agree (with Row). Being an entrepreneur (passion) and working a full-time job (means). I wish I could quit my full-time job in order to put my all into CurlShoppe, however, I don’t think I could support my current lifestyle (rent, car, etc). Time is money!
4. What does a typical day consist of?
Row – It starts off with an 8-hour shift at my day job. Depending on my plans in the evening, I try to go to the gym for an hour. Once home, I make dinner and then spend a couple hours working on CurlShoppe.
Obviously, some nights I take a break and do something social, but again it’s all about prioritizing.
Natty – Same as Row, I work 8-hr days at my full-time job. I wake up extra early at 5:00 am just so I can make it to the gym for an hour which ensures it doesn’t get pushed off.
In the evening it takes everything not to just want to go to bed, so I try and save energy by meal prepping on Sunday’s so I can use my workday evenings to work on CurlShoppe and give myself some time to relax as well.
5. What do you love to do at night?
Row – I’d be very happy eating unnecessary amounts of food and kicking back watching some TV shows, but then I picture myself 300 pounds heavier and that fantasy quickly ends.
Natty – As any other person, I love kicking back and watching TV, but you’ll usually find me at the dinner table on my laptop.
I look forward to my weekends where I can hang out with my family and friends, and nap (and nap some more)… and go out to eat 🙂
6. How do you dress to exude confidence?
Row – I believe confidence comes from within. So yes, dressing for success is of value and one should always strive to look clean and presentable, but true confidence is the attitude you have when you rock your outfit, regardless of what it is.
Natty – I’m not a fashionista. Most of the time, when not at work, I am most definitely in sportswear and I feel confident because I feel strong. If I could wear sportswear all day every day, I would!
7. Yoga, strength training, cardio or all three?
Row – So shout out to Natty for being an inspiration to me for staying fit or trying to be fit lol. I’m going to say all three because it’s important for your physical health to have a good balance, but I’m personally currently focusing on strength training.
Natty – LOL, I was unofficially Row’s personal trainer in University when we would work out together and I enjoyed kicking her butt!
I think a mix of all three is definitely important for overall balance, but strength training being the most important.
You need to build muscle in order to burn fat, and the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn!
You need cardio to keep your heart healthy and it does aid in burning calories quick (aka you get to eat more), however, if cardio is all you do, you will lose your curves (trust me, I’ve been there).
Yoga is amazing for keeping your body limber, joints in good condition, and just great for zen for a little me time.
8. How does your culture/background influence your work?
Row – Well it’s because of my culture/background that I have the curly hair that I do and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Since I have curly hair, I take pride in what we offer to our clients and really consider how the products will not only work for my hair type but others as well.
Natty – Being mixed and growing up with a black mother, I thought that hair was meant to be straight (my Mom relaxed her hair), and I mean everyone had straight hair!
I didn’t know I had curls until Youtube started getting popular and I saw so many naturalistas educating about curly hair and figured I needed to start over and experience the same thing.
After my big chop, I started learning more about my own curls and the different types of curls there are out there. Thus was the beginning of the research stage for CurlShoppe!
9. What do you consider to be a life well lived?
Row – A life full of purpose, exploration and growth.
Natty – Living, learning and loving!
10. If you could write your own obituary, what would the tagline say?
Row – I personally don’t like answering questions like this because I tend not to think about it all ending abruptly … (Maybe’s that just me? lol).
I think something along the lines of “Always laughing. Always eating. Always there when you need her.” That pretty much sums me up lol.
Natty – I feel like I’m too young to really say, but maybe “She made mistakes and she loved it”. I know I’m not perfect, but I work hard towards whatever I’m doing and I learn off any mistakes I make and cherish those experiences.
Images via CurlShoppe