Fredrica Antwi, a senior studying Accounting and Finance at the University of Maryland, was tired of spending a ton of money purchasing hair products to tame her naturally curly hair. After countless trips to the beauty supply store left her broke and unhappy, she decided to do something about it.
“I would spend so much money purchasing products but at the end of the day, they would end up in a cabinet somewhere unfinished,” said Fredrica.
So, she came up with Locks of Curls, an exciting way for people with naturally curly hair to experiment with products without a huge commitment or breaking the bank.
Fredrica decided to take her solution digital via this online subscription service to create a fun customer experience in what can otherwise be a tedious process.
Customers complete a Customer Hair Profile, which captures the unique and beautiful characteristics of their hair. For a small monthly subscription fee, customers receive 4 sample sizes of products especially recommended for their hair profile by the Locks of Curls team. Customers then provide feedback and can choose a “keep it” package to receive their favorite samples in full size on a scheduled basis (weekly, monthly, etc.).
Fredrica tells us that the biggest challenges in starting her business was making sure it was executable and identifying all the moving parts. As a full-time student with a part-time job, time management was also a hurdle that she overcame.
Being a student entrepreneur is not easy, Fredrica tells us, but she loves the freedom to be creative and find her own solution to a problem. Her tips for other student entrepreneurs?
Don’t be discouraged because you are young and in school. It’s hard enough to just be an entrepreneur.
Talk to a lot of people to learn about your customers’ experiences with your product. Fredrica went through many iterations before Locks of Curls became what it is today.
Leverage the resources available on campus. Locks of Curls was founded out of UMD’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, where she had access to their vast resources including Entrepreneurs-in-Residence.
Last spring, Fredrica participated in the Idea Shell course in the Fearless Founders program at UMD. While she had a great idea, Fredrica wasn’t sure where to start. Idea Shell helped her to focus on her product, how to gain customer feedback, and how to sell the product. She’s currently in the Hatch phase of the program.
Fredrica’s next hurdle is funding to ensure her company can reach scale needed to be successful. In November, Locks of Curls launched its first Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to develop a new website and to cover packaging and marketing costs.
Fredrica is close to meeting her Indiegogo campaign goal of $750. Visit her page today to learn more about how you can help launch Locks of Curls and get cool perks (like this cool t-shirt) as a thank you.