Raising capital is a challenge that Victoria Flores takes head on –literally! A first generation Mexican-American business owner, Victoria started a direct to consumer hair extension company that not only helps women look beautiful but many times propels their confidence.
In 2012, Victoria became a partner with Leslie Wilson and launched Lux Beauty Club to create a one-stop shopping community where customers could buy hair and beauty products on a regular basis.
Wilson and Flores hit on the subscription box idea, and Lux Beauty Club was born. “My business partner and I were both single gals in NYC. We bonded over the love of hair extensions but commiserated over the cost of getting them done at the salon!,” Victoria said.
The hair extension business is prohibitively expensive and with a growth potential of almost $500 billion. African-American women represent almost 70% of this market but less than one percent of them own a hair extension shop. Worse, Latino females are even less frequent buyers because of the astronomical expense it entitles and the few salons owned by Latinas.
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There are hundreds of beauty shops all over the country that target African-American women. Getting a hair extension is difficult because most of these beauty shops offer no guarantee and the extensions often vary in quality. Even a mere tryout costs money and the client has to pay a deposit which is often never refunded if there is an issue with the extension.
Lux Beauty Club offers individual hair extensions to people with all different budgets. From luxury hair extensions to individual magnet extension –their latest patented invention- all these options are delivered to your door.
“What is different about our hair extension business is that it offers a range of hair extensions that are affordable and personalized. There are no exorbitant fees or deposits,” Victoria said.
Raising capital a challenge for any Latina entrepeneur
Because of her education in finance –Victoria’s corporate career included working with Themis Capital, Morgan Stanley, Adriana Carador Designs and Katz Capital –, her success in accessing to capital resources and raising capital looked if not easy but at least possible.
Raising capital has always been the most difficult obstacle to overcome. “When you are not 23 and a Harvard gradate, it makes fundraising difficult without that network. You have to be comfortable with hearing NO. It should become second nature,” said Victoria.
“I am intensely motivated and know that I can’t do this alone. I want people to feel included in our journey. I want my team to know that their ideas matter,” Victoria shared.
While they were working on their latest invention, people said it wouldn’t work and it would fall of women’s heads. But they didn’t listen and created the first ever Magnet Hair Extensions, that allows women to do basically anything and can be applied in less than 10 minutes! “Oh, and we filed the patent too!,” Victoria enthusiastically shared.
Lux Beauty Club is now running a fundraising campaign at Kickstarter with great giveaways and rewards. “Please visit and let us know what you think,” said Victoria. “My motto is, ‘Test it, sell it and don’t take no for an answer,’” she concluded.