Small Business Profile: Rowan McAnoy and Natasha Sheppard of CurlShoppe Inc.

After years of chemical straighteners and damaging beauty regimens, CurlShoppe Inc.’s founders Natasha Sheppard and Rowan McAnoy decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own natural hair products. Now, five years later, their business is thriving!

How did you get your start? 

It all began when I (Natasha) decided to transition from chemically straightened hair to my natural curls back in 2015. I was starting to learn how to take care of my new hair and began playing around with creating my own natural products. I eventually looped in my best friend Rowan, who happily tested out my creations and offered branding advice, since I was considering selling the products. After many conversations, it only made sense for us to join forces and together we launched the brand that is now known as CurlShoppe.

How has your business adapted to the current COVID-19 environment and how have your customers reacted? 

Since we are primarily an online business, we saw a big increase in sales as our customers now had to buy our products directly online instead of shopping in-store with our various retail partners. Our customer base also noticeably grew as there was a big shift in the public wanting to support local companies during these uncertain times. Overall, our CurlShoppe family has been incredibly supportive.

What’s your greatest struggle as a business owner right now? 

Trying to find alternatives to our regular suppliers. Many of them were greatly impacted by COVID-19 and no longer had stock available. We had to quickly adapt to source out other options so that our customers would not be affected. As a small business, it is super important that we provide a smooth and easy shopping experience for our customers since we naturally don’t have the same brand loyalty as bigger brands do. We’ve been fortunate enough to solve most of our supply issues, but there are still some items that we won’t be able to re-stock until potentially Fall 2020. Luckily our product line is very extensive so we still have something for everyone!

Where do you think entrepreneurs should invest their time and money? 

These past few months have reminded us the importance of having an online presence — build your website or strengthen your presence if you already have one. If you haven’t started using social media marketing yet, now is a great time to get that started while most of the population is spending their time indoors and online.

What keeps you inspired and working every day?

Seeing the generosity of our CurlShoppe family and greater community has been truly inspiring! As two black women entrepreneurs, we have received so much love and support and it has not only inspired us to work harder, but to give back. We will continue to support Canadian foundations because we are only as strong as our community.

Get in touch with CurlShoppe Inc by following @curlshoppe on Instagram and Facebook.

By Staples Canada

July 27, 2020

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