Let’s face it. Women are the architects of society. Whether it’s sparking trends or fighting for a future where everyone’s humanity matters, there’s no doubt that the contributions made by women worldwide have changed the course of history.
In honor of Women’s History Month, REVOLT is celebrating various trailblazers with the return of “She Is,” a limited series dedicated to highlighting Black and brown women breaking glass ceilings in different industries. Past groundbreakers have included jewelry designer Jeniece Blanchet, chef Flo, and relationship manager and entertainment expert NJ Ndure. In season three, REVOLT is showcasing the strength and beauty of a new class of women shaking the table in their respective businesses.
For today’s (March 14) premiere of the 2023 edition, viewers met Julissa Prado, the founder of Rizos Curls, a hair care company launched in 2017 that celebrates all hair curl patterns, promising to promote “bouncy, shiny, frizz-free, soft, and voluminous curls.”
Prado cultivated a relationship with her hair, like most, in the early years of her childhood, and told REVOLT, “Pretty much everyone around me had textured hair whether it was wavy, curly, coily.” However, after surviving a flat-iron-obsessed early 2000s, the entrepreneur said she wanted to revisit how she wore her hair and soon adopted natural style options.
At age 15, Prado began making “natural concoctions” in her kitchen at home, which eventually introduced her to a community she called “Undercover Curlies,” whom she would meet in various settings and bond with, often exchanging stories about their natural hair journey. These new friends would ultimately become some of her first clients following the release of Rizos Curls.
Natural hair played a critical role in Prado’s journey. “The first step toward truly loving myself and just really owning every part of me was learning to wear my hair natural and not hating that part of myself,” she explained on “She Is.” “And I think once I took that step, it was a hop and a skip away from me just being unapologetically me in every instance — me feeling like I belong in every space that I walk into.”
The hair expert thrives in her own lane and lives by the motto, “All the rules are fake and just do you.” The carefree philosophy is vital to Prado, who said she believes, “Sometimes we create rules in our heads about what we should look like, who we should be.” She continued, “Rules that — whether they’re subconscious or they’ve been given to us by society, or our parents, or just different institutions — kind of keep us from being able to live our truth and being able to be comfortable in our truth.”
Growing up, she was always taught that showing emotion was a sign of weakness. However, Prado said that’s what she loves most about herself and being a woman. “Taking pride and owning the things about me that may be deemed as weak,” she stated. Her ability to show and have empathy for others is also what made Prado successful. “Being able to listen to that empathetic side of you and being able to make decisions based on your heart gives you an ability to connect with others that no brand can do without that extra emotion,” she explained. “And I think that a lot of the time, sometimes with brands or in business, it’s very surface, but when something or someone can make you feel something, that’s what you remember.”
As a female entrepreneur, Prado has already debunked some of the stigmas around being a small business owner and noted, “Being small allows you to do what the big companies could never,” like adapting to new ideologies, implementing change, being first on the latest trends, and establishing relationships with consumers.
When it comes to commanding respect, Prado obtains it by “just being me and if that is not enough for people then, OK, bye. I don’t need you in my space.”
Prado works with a Black and Brown team predominantly made up of women. She noted that the only male member is her brother. “It’s been really nice to be able to showcase that raw talent in these neighborhoods that are often overlooked, and I think that pretty much every time that we work with somebody else, we’re able to really showcase how talented these girls and women from these immigrant communities of LA are, and how much raw talent we have,” she stated.
Be sure to watch the season three premiere of REVOLT’s “She Is” featuring Julissa Prado here.