5 Tips From The Latina Entrepreneur Behind Rizos Curls
Before Julissa Prado launched Rizos Curls she was working full-time at Nestle as a District Sales Leader. Her path had been linear, but her heart was invested in her culture and how her entrepreneurial skills could make an impact within the space.
“The older I get the more unapologetic I am about my Latinidad,” explains Prado. “I used to feel pressured to conform, but my culture is a big part of who I am and I will feel unfulfilled and unhappy unless I take it with me wherever I go.”
Her culture is ultimately what inspired her to start Rizos Curls, a hair product brand focused on curly hair. The brand’s social media presence has inspired a movement of curly haired individuals sharing their own journey of learning to love their natural hair.
Below Prado shares 5 tips she’d give to other Latina entrepreneurs about starting a business that is anchored on such a passion point.
Figure out your nonnegotiables before you dive deep
The goal of building out a business that is rooted on your personal mission is to understand what that mission is, so that once growth happens those anchors stay the same. For Prado it came down to three important things. “Rizos Curls is a trifecta of products, my Latino culture and the local community. Whatever I do with the brand I want to make sure those three things are incorporated.”
Working a 9-to-5 isn’t a roadblock unless you let it be
Rizos Curls, for instance, was completely self-funded thanks to Prado’s forward thinking approach to budgeting and saving. “I’ve been working since I was 14, prior to Rizos Curls I had a great position with Nestle,” explains Prado. “It allowed me to save towards my dream company.”
The financial security of knowing she could launch her business her own way is ultimately what helped Prado take the leap.
Self-confidence is as important as hustle
Loving natural hair isn’t just a business model, it’s also a huge part of Prado’s personal journey. “For me learning to love my natural hair was a big part of learning to love myself,” shares Prado. “It’s an honor for me to help other curly haired people achieve that.” Ultimately, her own self-confidence helps ensure that those who purchase Rizos Curls products are not only purchasing hair products, they are also buying into the journey of loving their natural hair.
Manifestation and hard work go hand in hand
“I would tell other Latina entrepreneurs to not be afraid to make something out of nothing,” shares Prado. “Every time I felt intimidated or like I didn’t belong, I told myself to fake it, and it worked every time. What you believe, how you act becomes reality . If you’re a small business, but carry yourself like you’re big time, people will start believing it and treat you accordingly until it becomes real.”
Patience is key to get products right
The version of Rizos Curls that went to market was four years in the making and multiple versions improved from its start. It’s okay if it takes time for your product to come to life, shares Prado. “It took me 4 years to create my formulas because I told myself that worse comes to worse if no one bought my product I would have a lifetime supply of product that worked perfect on my hair.”