Well… This is unfortunate :/ New York Magazine writer Kevin Roose name dropped NaturallyCurly.com in a recent article detailing 3 of the “stupidest” investments in Silicon Valley. While the site wasn’t one of the 3 companies detailed, it did get a dubious shout out in the article intro:
But Silicon Valley, like any other industry, has its share of truly dumb ideas. For every start-up that changes the world and makes its founders rich, a thousand die quick, anonymous deaths.
Some of tech’s clunkers never get off the ground, but others manage to get big, high-profile investments despite having no redeeming qualities whatsoever. (For example, what kind of genius decided to throw $1.2 million at NaturallyCurly, the “leading social network and community for people with wavy, curly and kinky hair?”)
In our new series, “Dumb Money,” we’re going to periodically trawl tech blogs for the worst examples of Silicon Valley stupidity, then subject the investors behind them to public mockery.
TextureMedia (the company that runs NaturallyCurly.com) CEO Crista Bailey jumped in on the comments to offer a rebuttal of Kevin’s statement:
As the straight-haired CEO of TextureMedia, parent company of NaturallyCurly, I thought I would share a few facts about the size and engagement of this market. The first is that approximately 60% of the world has textured hair (waves, curls and coils). That’s a lot of people — close to 80 million textured hair females 18+ in the US alone.
Combined with other brands in the TextureMedia portfolio, NaturallyCurly serves close to 2 million unique visitors every month who appreciate having an engaged community platform to share and learn more about products, stylists, photos, trends, hair health and more.
Women with textured hair spend 3x more on average than their straight-haired peers.
Our community alone spends an annual $1/2 BILLION on hair care. They create 15,000 pieces of content every week, and they constantly struggle with weather, frizz, body chemistry changes as well as with social feedback ranging from recruiters recommending straightened hair in order to be taken “seriously” in job interviews to millionaire matchmaker, Patti Stanger insisting guys don’t like girls with curly hair.
Every day is a new hair day. Hair does not define someone, but tied to hair are intangibles like identity, self esteem, confidence, and personality. It’s a big deal to a lot of people.
Our small, medium and global partners and advertising brands would agree naturally curly, wavy and coily hair is a serious market. I’m happy to discuss more in person with Kevin on my next trip from Austin (where the frizz factor today is high) to New York.
I think there are people both within and outside of the black community who are still ignorant about the increasing influence of textured/natural hair on media, business and culture. But I guess, at the end of the day, it’s their loss #Kanyeshrug. Ladies, what are your thoughts on this?