Young Entrepreneur: Lexi P.

Building a Business Based on Self-Love

When 11-year-old Lexi P. was teased about her natural hair, she didn’t let it keep her down. In fact, the experience inspired her to start a business.

“I was trying to find books or anything out there teaching about self-love,” says Lexi, who is now 17. “But I couldn’t really find anything especially catering to Black girls.”

So she filled the void by writing Curly Girls Love Your Curls, a coloring book celebrating the beauty and boldness of natural hair.

Meanwhile, Lexi researched oils and ingredients that make natural hair healthy and developed a hair mask and other products to nurture her curls. When she attended hair shows in the Washington, DC, area where she lived, other attendees would ask what she was using in her hair. She thought, “Why not create my own hair-care product?”

With the support of her mother, Monica, Lexi developed a line of products such as curl-defining custard, curl crème, and detangler, then launched the Curlanista brand. Monica convinced her to enter the Sally Beauty Cultivate—For Women by Women accelerator program, a contest designed to identify the next generation of beauty entrepreneurs. Lexi won, meaning that her products would be sold in 88 Sally Beauty stores.

In 2019, she founded the Curlanista Boss Network, which has helped other teens and preteens launch bracelet or lip gloss businesses. “Confidence starts with insight,” Lexi says. “You have to know that you’re beautiful, know that you are powerful, and know that you can do anything that you put your mind to.” DW

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