How a #30DayHairDetox built a natural hair movement

Featured in this Story of Awesome: The Black Curl Magic Digital Salon

Launched September 2018

September 2018

765+ Members


Paid <br>Membership


The Black Curl Magic Digital Salon is a paid membership site offering courses for Black women who want to style their hair naturally

Aeleise’s Mighty Moment: We’re giving our Digital Salon members their lives back. Their time should not have to revolve around their hair.

When looking to make the switch to natural styling, the Internet can be a bewildering place to look for help.

Aeleise Ollarvia and Aishia Strickland, experienced hair stylists and experts in natural hair care, were not having it.

Frustrated with the misinformation they saw online, these hair artists set out to share a bold stance on how black women should style their curls: Eliminating shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, and “everybody’s favorite gel”—Eco Styler—from their routines.

On a whim, they launched a #30DayHairDetox email campaign and discovered there was a movement happening in people’s inboxes.

The email campaign that became a course... and a "mess"

Aeleise and Aishia were blown away by the response to their #30DayHairDetox email campaign. So much so that they decided to set up an online course on Teachable to show Black women step-by-step how to move to natural styling.

There was one problem. Their content and instruction was leaving their virtual clients high and dry. Clients wanted to see how other women like themselves were applying Aeleise and Aishia’s styling expertise:

“People didn’t want to just listen to us, they wanted to talk to each other. The static course wasn’t good enough when they were in their bathrooms at home figuring out natural styling.”

Like many course creators before them, Aeleise and Aishia tried to use a Facebook group to bring their people together. They immediately ran into problems:

“Facebook wasn't letting us see every post. Things were throttled. We weren't getting notifications. It was a mess. And so we were really tired, exhausted. I was like, ‘We have to figure out a better way.‘ ”

Bringing their course and community together on a Mighty Network

Then, one day in September 2018 they discovered Mighty Networks from a Google search:

“This was the solution. We could put our courses inside of our Mighty Network. We could have our community in our Mighty Network. We could have peer mentors and be visible ‘Hosts‘ in our Mighty Network. It was exactly what we were looking for.”

This was a stark contrast from what they were doing:

“Now we wouldn’t have to tell people, ‘Go to this link, and then circle around and go to that video.’ Everything was in one place. Even better? We could easily turn it into a monthly subscription, so we could keep investing in making it better. ”

In less than a few weeks, their new website—and now mobile app access! — was up and running, bringing their course and community together into a single membership.

Aeleise and Aishia mapped out a few key pieces to their membership.

First, they chose to offer a $24.99/month or $224.99/year all-inclusive membership that included:

  • 3 Courses
    • The #30DayHairDetox
    • The Curl Goals Guide: Wash & Go Edition
    • The Twist Primer
  • Topics like Dry Hair Challenges & Solutions, Product Chat, Style Troubleshooting, Before and After
  • Live Demonstration Videos
  • Questions & Answers to hair-related questions spanning product application to lifestyle adaptations, and beyond.
  • Invitations to model across the U.S. in live hair courses

Next, they focused on their “new member experience,” taking advantage of a number of subtle features in their Mighty Network.

Specifically, when new members land inside the community, they’re prompted to answer the icebreaker question, “What is your #1 challenge with your natural hair? Please list your current cleansing/conditioning styling products and routine.”

Each member gets a warm, personal welcome from peer mentors Cassandra and Keya, who have been with Aeleise and Aishia since the original #30DayHairDetox and are now active peer mentors in the community.

When they join, new members are encouraged to:

“Share pictures, ask questions, and participate in the community. You're welcome to lurk, but we can't address your concerns if they haven't been expressed. This community will only be at its best with your participation.”

Lastly, Aeleise and Aishia set up the original #30DayHairDetox concept as an on-demand course that all new members are directed to when they join. The course lays out terms and acronyms used inside the community, so it’s a great introduction for all new members.

After completing the course, they can ask questions or share their progress in the main Mighty Network under the Topic #30DayHairDetox.

Today there are nearly 500 paying members of the Black Curl Magic Digital Salon, generating six-figures in revenue for this dynamic duo. Growth continues to build organically as members share the Digital Salon with their girlfriends, mom, aunts, and grandmothers.

Results, not perfection

Aeleise and Aishia credit the success of their Digital Salon to their mindset.

While difficult at times, they prioritize delivering results to their members over their own desire for perfection:

“It’s so easy to get focused on stuff sounding and looking perfect. It’s more important that we remember to focus on what our members need from us.

We’re always asking ourselves and each other, ‘Can people hear me? Are they getting the message? Are they taking the message and applying it?’ That’s how we define results.”

The duo embrace a Build as We Go Approach to new content and adding programs to their Mighty Network. For instance, they now offer two additional courses that members can access once they finish The #30DayHairDetox.

They added these well after launch:

“You don’t have to have everything perfect to launch. Give them enough that they can say, ‘I'm here for this month. I didn't get through everything. Let me go another month.’

Then you start adding things and they’ll say, ‘Oh, there’s something new here.’

In the Digital Salon, they can't necessarily learn, take notes, and walk away. Rather, they learn, take notes, practice it, come back, practice it again, come back, and only then does it all start to click.”

The power of experimentation

The Digital Salon Hosts experiment aggressively. Each of their three courses was developed “live” with members:

“We generally know what our clients want, but we don't know all of the nuances. That’s what live teaching gets us. I often find myself teaching things in a way that I didn't think about when I was writing the material. That’s when I get excited and say, ‘Oh, that’s going in the course!‘ ”

This live learning sparked the idea for a second Mighty Network called The Cut It Kinky Mastermind to teach professional hair stylists how to serve the natural hair market:

“We thought we’d throw together this class in Atlanta and put it on the Internet to see if anybody showed up.

Within a couple of weeks, we taught a live class to three people for $600. With the feedback they gave us, we realized that we needed to do it again. We did another test and attracted 10 stylists instead of three. That’s when we knew we were off to the races. ”

Be yourself and your people will find you

Aeleise and Aishia are strong believers in showing up authentically as themselves to their Digital Salon clients:

“Our tagline is, ‘We're two girls from the Southside of Chicago taking the stupid out of natural hair.’

If you stand for something, your people are going to be like, ‘That's my person. I need to go sit in their chair. I need to be in their Digital Salon. They're going to give it to me in the way that I can hear it and understand it.’”

3 key takeaways from Black Curl Magic Digital Salon’s Story of Awesome

  1. Keep it simple. Got a winning concept that delivers results? Create a fundamental course, pair it with a community, and charge for membership.
  2. Let go of making things perfect. Focus on getting your members results first. You can always go back and refine how things look and sound.
  3. Emphasize your unique approach. Help your people find you by being clear and unapologetic about what you stand for and why your process stands out from the rest.

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