It’s been two years since Julissa Prado’s haircare brand Rizos Curls wowed the Instagram world with its collection of products, specifically aimed for curly-haired Latinxs. That may seem like a niche. Yet, in late January 2020, Prado announced the brand is now sold in Target stores nationwide.
“There hasn’t been a day that we haven’t grown. It’s definitely not been easy but everything we give, the universe gives us by 10,” Prado tells Emperifollá.
As disciplined as Prado may seem as an entrepreneur, the LA-born jefa is a Piscis with a very emotional sense of self. She blames this side of her personality for taking to Instagram to reveal her Target deal, prior to its official announcement. Eventually, she posted an iconic, Legally Blonde-inspired video to toast her accomplishment.
“I’m going to tell you why a self-funded, Latina-owned hair care company is the perfect brand to purchase at Target,” she says in the video, while dressed in a pink bikini top inside a pool. Prado is a Latinx CEO with the perfect success story – all self-made.
In 2018, Prado found herself at a crossroads. After graduating from UCLA and Wake Forest University, she was working at Nestlé but, in reality, “had about four full-time jobs.” She had launched Rizos Curls in 2017 as a little side project that she could “manage from her apartment and take a couple of orders.” But, now, she was being forced to choose between her full-time job and her full-time passion project.
“I never want to let people down and with my business I felt like I had wanted this my whole life. And I had come this far, so I wasn’t going to drop the ball at this point,” she says.
She quit her job and started managing her business alongside her family, who she says has helped develop her brand since day 1. Her cousin Vanessa is the brains behind the bottles’s logos and some of her relatives opened up their garage doors so she could store inventory. “My cousin told me the other day, ‘When I look at that shelf at Target, all I see is our family’s hard work’,” Prado says.
Rizos Curls has five products available at Target: the curl defining cream, hydrating shampoo, deep conditioner, detangling spray, and a travel set. All products range from $15-$20. She’s also released a new collection of merch, including Rizos Curls hair pins with the line’s notorious tagline, “Rizos Reina.”
Alongside Reina Rebelde and Beauty Blender, Rizos Curls is one of few Latinx-owned beauty brands sold at major retailers in the United States. For Prado, the success of her brand is not just about her business acumen or even hair. “I don’t want to just have a business, I want to have a business that stands for something.” she says. “I want to have a business that wears our culture on our sleeves.”