AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Before natural hair blogs, before YouTube, before Facebook, there was NaturallyCurly.com. In 1998, challenged by a lifetime of curl frustration in a straight-haired world, three curly journalists created a website to provide a curly haven to empower, inspire and educate the underserved majority with curls, coils and waves.
"Twenty years ago, our goal was to create a place for people like us - a forum to provide support, tips, and inspiration for other curlies," said NaturallyCurly co-founder Michelle Breyer. "From day one, NaturallyCurly has been an inclusive community that talked texture and empowerment instead of ethnicity. As a result, the community spans a wide range of ages, texture types and ethnicities."
When the brand was founded, Breyer and her friends did not realize that NaturallyCurly would grow into TextureMedia, a global media powerhouse, reaching more than 16 million people per month and finding its place at the center of a grass-roots movement that changed the way society views texture, and facilitated the growth of an industry to serve this consumer.
NaturallyCurly can attribute its immense success to their passionate, highly engaged online community. Over the past two decades, the dedication, power and enthusiasm of this community ultimately helped guide the growth of the company – providing regular feedback and ideas for how NaturallyCurly should evolve. For this, and in honor of the 20th Anniversary, NaturallyCurly is proud to kickoff a campaign that celebrates their loyal followers, and shares their stories and inspiration.
The campaign – which focuses on real women and their stories – drives to NaturallyCurly's user-generated storyboard called Texture Tales. Community members are encouraged to share their curly hair journey, with this content highlighted across the website, social media and email. The campaign also includes weekly social content about the 20th Anniversary, social giveaways and will culminate later in the year with a celebration party in Austin, NaturallyCurly's home base.
From the outset of NaturallyCurly, the heart of the site was CurlTalk, the discussion forum where NaturallyCurly took shape based on feedback from the community. Products were launched and some of the most influential bloggers gained their voices on CurlTalk. Terms like "plopping" and "pineappling" were created by NaturallyCurly's community to describe the techniques they created to work with their curls. CurlTalk continues to be the core of NaturallyCurly, where daily conversations range from questions from a straight-haired mom seeking guidance for how to work with the curls of her biracial child, the pros and cons of silicones to a discussion of favorite TV shows. More than a million separate threads have been started on CurlTalk since the site started.
"When I found NaturallyCurly's CurlTalk in 2006, I discovered there was this whole community that didn't just include black women, but also white women with their own struggles," Patrice Yursik, founder of the Afrobella natural hair blog. "That was a real eye opener to me. It made me realize this was more of a universal struggle than I thought it was."
"The texture revolution happened because of the World Wide Web and NaturallyCurly," says curl expert Anthony Dickey, author of Hair Rules and founder of the eponymous salon and product line. "It spread like wildfire. It allowed people to have a place to speak without interruption—their stories, their pain."
TextureMedia has become one of the top resources for brands and retailers looking to effectively reach this valuable consumer, providing key insights and consulting for product development and positioning, marketing campaigns and merchandising decisions. The company has worked with such companies as L'Oreal, Unilever, Target, Estee Lauder and Sally Beauty as well as the many grass-roots brands that have characterized this dynamic category.
NaturallyCurly's Texture on the Runway show–where curls, coils and waves take center stage on the runway–has become a staple of New York Fashion Week, attracting more than 750 of the top influencers and media to last year's show. This year's event will be held Sept. 6th at Gotham Hall, with seven of the hottest brands taking their interpretations of texture down the runway.
Last year, Breyer published a book chronicling this transformative journey called "The Curl Revolution: Inspiring Stories and Practical Advice from the NaturallyCurly." The book debuted at #1 on Amazon's ranking of Beauty and Grooming books.
Since NaturallyCurly launched in September 1998:
- More people are accepting their natural texture: Of those who have transitioned to natural hair, only 10 percent say they would chemically straighten again. Almost half have been natural five or more years.
- Explosion of Curl Brands: The number of products in the multicultural/ethnic category today is more than 7 times what it was 20 years ago, according to IRI. NaturallyCurly has worked with more than 300 brands to launch their products to the curly market. More than 50 brands, including As I Am and CURLS, launched exclusively on NaturallyCurly. More than 30 brands have developed their products with help from NaturallyCurly's Market Insights team, including Paul Mitchell, Bumble and Bumble and DevaCurl.
- More stylists are curl savvy: There are more than 6,000 salons in NaturallyCurly's database, including more than 50 that have "Curl" in the name. The site has helped hundreds of curl stylists build their businesses. "If you do a search in your area for a curly hair specialist, what pops up first is www.naturallycurly.com, and once the potential client reads your reviews it leads to consistent business," said Scott Musgrave, founder of Curly Hair Artistry, a worldwide network of curl stylists. "NaturallyCurly is foundational to getting discovered and helping you build your business."
TextureMedia is the largest digital media company created to inspire, educate and empower the textured-hair community. Founded in 1998, the company influences up to $5 billion in hair care sales each year. TextureMedia operates a family of leading digital properties that engage multicultural beauty enthusiasts through original and user-generated content, branded entertainment, social media and commerce. Its monthly social reach is 26 million strong across its portfolio of brands, which include NaturallyCurly, the flagship, first-to-market platform that champions the textured-hair consumer, SHOP NaturallyCurly, the premier e-commerce destination specifically for curly hair, CurlyNikki, the leading natural hair blogger site and TextureTrends which provides powerful consumer insights and solutions for brands and retailers with research needs about the multicultural haircare segment.
Bratskeir & Co.