Kelly Masol, Queen B of Curly Hair, is a role model

In the market of natural products for textured hair, that is, wavy, curly or curly, its growth is not frizz! trade mark lolly secretsCreated by Kelly Masol In 2012 in Paris, its turnover doubled annually for three years to reach €10 million in 2021. The forecast is completely linear with €100 million in sales expected within five years for 96 employees, versus 17 employees Currently. The rise in power was made possible by raising funds, the amount of which was not disclosed to Quilvest Capital Partners.

However, nothing was previously written. “self-made, I started at 25 with 1,500 euros in my pocket. I started making my own fixtures in my kitchen. From then on, until my first fundraiser, I funded all my development myself,” says Kelly Masol, who claims to be Profitable since its first fiscal year.

Lack of confidence in the financial markets

No matter how virtuous, this administration as the “good mother,” as she put it, was also constrained by Investor distrust. “From the West Indies, my parents viewed me as a young African businessman who only catered to African clients,” she asserts, also denouncing the habits of market players: “Six out of ten people in the world do not have straight hair, while focusing 90% of hair care offers on smooth hair.I would have been blonde with curly hair, we might have better understood the market potential of my brand.In fact, today black women represent only 25% of Secrets de Loly customers.

The second difficulty encountered: manufacturing. “Factories contacted in France responded negatively to me at best, if at all. I had to turn to Belgium to find a contractor who agreed to work with me in small batches, around 2,000 units,” explains Kelly Masol.

courtship today

In 2022, the schedule changed. Les Secrets de Loly is distributed online and at 2,000 points of sale, followed by 174,000 followers on Instagram, and occupies a leading position in France in its market, ahead of the cosmetic giants. When I thought about raising funds to speed up exports, particularly in Belgium, Switzerland, Germany or the United Arab Emirates, I was surprised by the number of investors interested. I have received nine letters offering money.” A difficult process of living emotionally: “For ten years, I have not been in the frame and all of a sudden, all the doors open,” he decomposes.

During negotiations, the new entrepreneur in finance does not hesitate to have her legal advisor explain all the technical terms. “I didn’t want an industrial investor: I wanted to preserve the generous DNA and cooperation of the company I founded which is close to my heart. It also has to be in the minority.”

– secrets of lolli

As recommended by Kelly Masol, Entrepreneurs Aiming at profitability Primarily in order to better promote their company and maintain control over it: “You shouldn’t leave it up to others to write your business history. She chose Quilvest because we “established a connection and they accepted my most ambitious ideas, such as expansion through acquisitions abroad,” she explains. .

It is not easy to disconnect

Kelly Masol, 38, a mother of two, doesn’t want to play Wonder Woman. “I’m not going to tell you it’s easy,” she admits. In 2018, I had a tough time physically. It has also exhausted countless nannies and husbands. Fortunately, my husband, who is now my two-year box office collaborator, is very present. »

Entrepreneur is still looking for a recipe for a better balance between professional and personal life. In the formula, there is already one weekend a month exclusively as a couple to recharge your batteries or a monthly brunch with other female business leaders to discuss among the “sisters” about common difficulties. “If I had any advice for other female entrepreneurs, it would be to surround yourself with people who care in the office and at home who want to see you succeed,” she says.

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