Business of Beauty: Charlene Walton

Image Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Image Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Name & Age:

Charlene Walton, 29.

Professional Title:

Owner of TEXTURES Natural Hair Care, a boutique natural and organic hair care store.

Tell us about your brand.

TEXTURES is all about simplifying the shopping experience for women who enjoy quality natural hair care, allowing them to shop their favorite products all in one spot for one shipping cost. Our goal is to change the standard beauty supply store shopping experience among women of multi-textured hair and to be the premier store for all natural and organic hair care needs in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. I’m a firm believer that proper knowledge of hair care is the foundation for healthier hair growth, which is why our brand partners are intensely ingredient focused.  Education and ingredients not only allows us to build credibility but it also allows us to provide the best products to our market.

What are some of your personal beauty regimens and tips?

As far as hair care goes, I must deep condition my hair once a week or it’s extremely dry. I also swear by a great daily moisturizer to keep my hair hydrated and healthy.  I shampoo weekly and either style my hair in twists or a cute curly style.  For skincare, african black soap is my best friend. During the winter I had a dry patch on an area of my face and nothing I tried work -  not even exfoliating. I started using african black soap and the dry patch went away immediately.

DFW Beauty Pick: Nubian Heritage Black Bar Soap

Image Credit: Honey Be Natural Magazine

Image Credit: Honey Be Natural Magazine

What are some of your favorite brands you carry?

My personal favorite is Obia Naturals. The entire line is vegan and pH balanced, which works wonders for all hair types and provides SO much moisture. Their Curl Moisture Cream Leave-In Conditioner is the best for my hair. My other favorite brand is Hydratherma Naturals because of their focus on protein-moisture balance, which improves elasticity and makes your curls pop. Tgin and Curls are a few of my other favorites.

Describe your brand in the 3 words.

Refreshing. Chic. Resourceful.

What prompted you to launch an online beauty business?

There are so many wonderful brands entering the market every day and there are a lot of quality brands not readily available in the average neighborhood store.  I wanted women to easily have access to the best brands in one spot. As a product junkie myself, I grew tired of shopping on multiple independent beauty store websites, waiting forever for the order and paying multiple shipping costs.  I also didn’t feel there were any other online boutiques offering a combination of natural hair care education along with quality products.  Normally you find a just an ecommerce store or a blog. Rarely are both combined, and producing quality content consistently.  After I launched TexturedTalk in 2014, the online beauty store was a natural progression.

Can you tell us some hurdles and obstacles you've gone through in starting a beauty business?

A major hurdle has definitely been the balancing act between e-commerce vs brick and mortar and getting certain brands on board as retail partner. I’m extremely grateful for the brands that have come on board thus far, but there were also a lot of “NOs”. Certain brands only retail via e-commerce through their own websites and others prefer actual storefront locations if you are purchasing wholesale. The challenge is explaining “hey, a storefront is the end goal but right now we are launching with e-commerce first.” I do, however; understand their position but it is still a hurdle. There are also major beauty store suppliers and wholesalers that only take orders from OTC (over the counter) retailers, so I’m limited right now as far as what I can carry online.

Another obstacle is trying to develop an effective marketing plan.  Because the online space is so crowded and because the beauty industry is heavily saturated, it’s tough trying to convince women why they should shop with us over another online store.  As a new business owner, you really don’t know what marketing strategy is going to work.  All you can do is try different things, measure results and pivot when it’s time to make a change.  I never look at bad results as a loss, just another learning lesson and as a way to know how NOT to do something.

What do you love most about the Dallas/Ft.Worth area?

What I love the most is the weather! Although summers are hot, I’ve never lived in another area where I liked the weather as much as Dallas. Besides the weather, I love that the naturally curly market is craving information and education. Women are still trying to figure out which products to purchase, how to use them, etc., for healthy hair. That’s where I come in and I love knowing there is a market in Dallas for TEXTURES Natural Hair Care.

What's on the horizon for your brand?

Next on the horizon is the launch of our storefront brick and mortar location in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  I’m extremely excited about this because the core of our business, educating women on healthy hair care, will be able to come from behind the computer and get up close and personal with women to help with their hair concerns. I love talking to women one on one and I find that’s when they feel the most valued and excited about their purchase. Currently, we host monthly pop-up shops at the Dallas Textured Hair Marketplace in order to assist women with purchasing the right products for their hair. We will conduct the monthly pop-up shops through September 2016 with plans to launch the storefront soon after. In order to pursue the storefront, we have confirmed acceptance in the FedEx Small Business grant competition, that is going on now until June 13th. I would really appreciate everyone's vote to help us win the $25,000 grand prize to further help grow our business.

Click HERE to visit live voting page.

Any tips for those interested in venturing into beauty entrepreneurship?

Before you do anything, have a sharp focus on who your target market is, how they shop, where they shop, etc. Don’t assume. Don’t go by everything you see on social media either as far as numbers.  A high amount of followers and likes does not exactly mean all of those people are converting into sales.  With any business, not just beauty, having a solid marketing plan is key. My tip is to spend more time on that versus stressing over brand colors and logos.