Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joy Hankins, CEO of The Joy of Curls LLC., located in Des Moines, IA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is The Joy of Curls, and my customers are ingredient-conscious women with textured hair as well as Parents and Caregivers of curly kids who are seeking simple products to promote moisture and length retention.

Tell us about yourself

I am a foster mom who LOVES all things natural hair. I had been teaching other foster parents how to braid and twist when I recognized the need for clean products that could be used in multiple ways to simplify washday. I hired a chemist, launched an LLC, and the rest, as they say, is history!

I am motivated each day by the thought of celebrating and helping people fall in love with the hair God gave them.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment thus far has been being recognized by Goldman Sachs as a worthy investment. I was recently rewarded a stipend and free business education through their One Million Black Women: Black in Business program. Their belief in The Joy of Curls is truly humbling.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things about being a business owner is feeling you need to give your all to your business while fighting the constant battle of work/life balance and recognizing your need for self-care.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Here's what I wish someone had told me:

  1. Find your tribe. A group of business owners who can relate to you and let you know you're not alone.
  2. You have to talk about your business to have a business. Are you shy? Forget about it! There is no room for shyness here; you have to talk to strangers, social media followers, and potential investors and let them know your story.
  3. Pay attention to what moves you. You may like the branding of Starbucks, Oatly, or Skims...take whatever marketing gems stand out to you and find ways to adapt them for your business.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Let's be friends! It can be lonely out there, and if you're even considering starting a business, I'd love to answer your questions. :)

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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