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CurlMix turned down $400K from Shark Tank and are now worth over $12 million

Miles Kelley
CurlMix owners Kim and Tim Lewis

Chicago natives Kim and Tim Lewis started CurlMix six years ago. Initially it was a subscription box service for people with curly hair. But after two years of stagnant sales, the couple went back to the drawing board. They hired advisors, and revamped their business model. In order to improve sales, in January 2018 they transitioned into a haircare line. Sales spiked and the couple reached $1 million in only 12 months. Around that time, the couple pitched their idea on Shark Tank, walking away from Robert Herjavec’s $400,000 deal for a 20 percent equity stake in the company.

Kim and Tim Lewis

The founders of CurlMix, Kim and Tim Lewis appear on Shark Tank.

“We prepped like crazy people! In fact, we treated it like finals week in college and binge-watched episodes of Shark Tank, writing down every question they asked. Then we turned those into flashcards with answers and follow-ups and drilled each other constantly. On top of that, we must have rewrote our pitch eight times and drilled it until we could say it in our sleep.” Lewis said in an interview with Black Enterprise.

Despite all of that prep and excitement, the couple still decided to turn from that offer. Instead, they turned toward the community that they were designing products for to get help. It didn’t take long for the forward-thinking decision to pay off for CurlMix. Shortly after the show aired in March, the founders raised $1.2 million for 10 percent of the brand. Led by the CEO of LinkedIn and along with the increased interest from other investors, they have also increased in sales and is now aiming to reach $10 million in revenue within this year.

“We knew that we were the secret sauce. Getting a deal would have garnered more temporary sales, but we knew that we would be the drivers for growth in the long run.” – Tim Lewis

Listener Brands, the parent company for CurlMix, is allowing consumers to invest and be an owner in the brand that they’ve helped to build. “You make money if we make money, and that’s how it should be,” says Lewis.”Our dream is to become a Black-owned Procter & Gamble, and you can share that dream. Join us in creating wealth for us all.” Consumers can invest using the Wefunder platform. Do your research and due diligence to determine if this is the best investment for you.

CurlMix has seen its revenue increase every year since making the shift in their business model. In 2019, the brand achieved gross revenues of $5 million. In 2020, CurlMix earned $6 million in gross revenues. Kim attributes the success of CurlMix to her community of supporters. She’s created a strong community through her consistent hair care videos and focus on serving the needs of her audience.

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