Scarlett Rocourt: The Entrepreneur Behind Wonder Curl
Scarlett Rocourt is the natural hair world’s wonder woman. The founder of the natural hair products firm Wonder Curl, the entrepreneur is a fervent champion of natural beauty, and a graduate of Rutgers University. The products she’s created have become a hit with natural hair enthusiasts who are looking for mane-nourishing products, with an organic base.
One Wonder Curl product that natural hair-wearers are totally smitten with is the Get Set Hair Jelly. But there are others that have won the approval of the natural community, like Wonder Curl’s Detoxifying Clay Cleanser, a scalp-exfoliating hair conditioner. There’s also the avocado and shea butter-based Wonder Curl Restoring Deep Treatment—that caters to women who have experienced stalled hair growth or hair damage—that women swear by.
I’ve read so many great reviews from so many hair experts about Get Set Hair Jelly, the flagship product of Wonder Curl. What led you to create it? I had discovered an amazing brand of aloe vera gel that gave my curls shine and definition and of course was soon discontinued. After trying other brands of “curl gels” I knew that I would be able to create a gel that worked even better than what I’ve seen. Through research plus trial and error, I came up with the formula for Get Set Hair Jelly.
Was it hard coming with the name Wonder Curl? I was brainstorming names for my company and Wonder Curl was one of the first ones I came up with. A friend of mine, jokingly called me a “wonder curl” and I told him that I just named my new company the same thing. I knew it was the right name after that.
Do you remember what your favorite hairstyle was when you were younger? Funny enough, even though I would get my hair relaxed, I loved curly hair. I coveted women who had ‘good hair’ and didn’t need a perm. I used to use perm rods to create curls.
There are so many beauty products on the market. Knowing that, did you feel a bit hesitant when the idea of coming up with your product occurred to you? When I started over three years ago, the market wasn’t focused on women of color with natural hair. The industry was started by women such as myself who saw a gap and decided to start making our own products. Today, larger companies are realizing the gold mine that we are and I’m happy about that. It means it’s a growing movement and as more women embrace their natural curls, they will also demand great products to care for their hair.
What have you learned as a female entrepreneur that you’d like to pass on? I learned that it’s important to take care of yourself. If I’m sick, then my business is sick. I try to eat healthy and exercise on the regular. I figured that I’m important enough to take 30 minutes out of my day to work out. It also gives me the energy I need to work long hours at expos.
Did you ever take a Chemistry class? Did anything you learn in that class, turn up helpful? I took chemistry in high school, but didn’t remember anything. [Hangs head in shame]. I jokingly tell people that all curly-haired people are chemists by default since we have to learn how to mix different products together. My focus was always business. I have a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.
When was the last time you went to Haiti? My family moved to New Jersey when I was two years old. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to return. It is a pilgrimage that I will make someday.
As an entrepreneur, what do you do when you feel overwhelmed by everything that comes with being a company founder and CEO? I have other women in the same industry who I know I can lean on or just complain to. Having a support system is so important, especially knowing that we’re all going through the same issues and we help each other through them.
What perceptions did you have about hair when you were growing up? I thought my natural hair was “nappy” and I had to straighten it for it to look pretty. I remember my first perm and thinking that my hair was going to be flowy like “white people’s” and I was actually disappointed that it didn’t look that way. I discovered the ceramic flat iron and flat ironed the heck out of my hair until there were no signs of curl life! I [chopped my hair] three times before I finally figured out my hair. It wasn’t until I changed my mind about my hair that it became beautiful to me.
What hair trends do you anticipate seeing? I’m just excited that so many more women are opting out of chemical relaxers to straighten their hair. I think our natural hair is so beautiful, no matter the texture and we should all be proud of the hair we grow.
Is the life that you have now, the same one you dreamt up for yourself when you were in high school? I always wanted to run my own business. I was never sure about what type of business it would be. This isn’t exactly how I envisioned it, but I like this life that I’m living now better.
How can a girl get comfortable with her hair? She has to have people around her who will remind her how beautiful her hair is. I remember when I first went natural, I was unsure about my hair and what I was doing. Having people—even strangers—compliment me on my hair helped me on my struggles. That’s also why hair meetups and blogs are great. They create a positive environment that validates us and our hair in a way that we never really had before.
Madame C.J.Walker, a beauty entrepreneur is quoted as having said, “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.” What’s your path been like? I agree with Madame C.J. Walker’s quote—especially for an entrepreneur starting out from scratch. There are growing pains and days that you want to quit; yet when it’s something you are passionate about, you find a way and you keep going.
And having gone through that path, what would you like to pass on to other entrepreneurs? You have to be crazy to be an entrepreneur and with that said, I wouldn’t want to have it any other way!
Visit the Wonder Curl Facebook page HERE and check out its Pinterest page HERE. Get to know the products in the Wonder Curl line by visiting the website.Be sure to view the video below of Scarlett Rocourt, discussing one of her products