As co-founder of NaturallyCurly.com, a website for curly hair she began with her business partner and friend, Gretchen Heber, Michelle Breyer helped create the leading community and resource for people with curly hair. Frustrated by the lack of information on curly hair and the limited products available in the marketplace, the duo launched the site in 1998 with the help of a 14-year-old web designer. When Procter & Gamble called three years later to advertise to the NaturallyCurly.com audience, Breyer knew they had indeed created a force in the industry, providing helpful information and unparalleled expertise for what was then considered a niche market.
Since then, NaturallyCurly.com has experienced year-over-year double-digit growth, with more than 225,000 monthly visitors to the site. This online community includes a global demographic, with a diverse range of ages and ethnicities. As a result, it is the premiere place for discussion and product information on curly hair around the world, showcasing information and reviews on hundreds of brands, stylists and salons and representing more than 70 advertisers.
Seeing unlimited potential for their venture, especially given that more than 50 percent of the world's population has curly hair, the duo has created CurlStylist.com for salon professionals. Breyer comes from the newspaper industry, where she was an award-winning business reporter for 20 years.
Gretchen Heber is co-founder of NaturallyCurly.com. A California native and graphics design professional, she and co-founder Michelle Breyer created the online community dedicated to curly hair when the two of them worked for the Austin American-Statesman. With her expertise gained from newspaper design, Heber began conceptualizing the website, which, upon its launch, instantly developed a community and became the "go to" site for those with curly hair. Reaching curlies around the globe, ignoring geographical borders, NaturallyCurly.com currently boasts more than three million monthly page views.
As a child with intensely curly hair who was often teased, Heber worked diligently to make NaturallyCurly.com a success. With the launch of NaturallyCurly.com's redesigned website in January 2008, Heber and Breyer took the solution one step further through the creation of categories that speak to the special needs and interests of all curlies. Categories now address specific topics of interest around celebrities, kids, teens, men, super kinky, wavy, ingredients and more.
With CurlStylist.com, the duo has created a website developed specifically to share inspiration, education and real-world solutions with the professional stylist community working with waves, curls and kinks. Heber earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with Distinction in Journalism from San Jose State University.
See Michelle & Gretchen's video: http://www.naturallycurly.com/about-us
Crista Bailey joined the NaturallyCurly.com team in 2007. Fifteen years in marketing, advertising and business development across packaged goods, startups and lifestyle offerings within companies like CitySearch.com, Ticketmaster, J. Walter Thompson and Capital Sports & Entertainment has helped her manage her ever-expanding role within the company.
Quick to discover that the best-laid plans change by the minute, Bailey adapts by staying focused and flexible. She sees CurlStylist as the credible resource for all things curly to the professional beauty industry...a place where conversations happen, yet also a ripe ground for market research. Positioning the site as more than a community to both stylists and manufacturers, "CurlStylist as a place to see and be seen in the industry" is a key part of her daily dialogue as she works to spread the message behind its development.
Kevin Chappell worked with NaturallyCurly.com in 2008 as an independent contractor before accepting a full-time position as chief technology officer in 2009. Responsible for directing the company's use of technology and providing its direction as the company grows, he addresses the day-to-day challenges of a successful Internet company by tapping into more than 18 years of management and development experience where he successfully integrated technical and business goals across consumer and b2b brands like Banks.com and BMC Software.
While Chappell works to support NaturallyCurly.com's internal technology needs, he also provides strategic direction for the application of new and existing technology. He utilizes search engine optimization to grow the sites' user bases and constantly improves site designs to better engage users, ultimately leading to increased number and length of visits.
Drawing upon more than 15 years in the advertising industry where she worked on Fortune 100 brands, Lori Kerrigan joined NaturallyCurly.com in 2008 as vice president, sales. She is responsible for cultivating and building new relationships while managing and maintaining existing advertiser relationships. Her extensive background in client management and account planning is essential as she helps build salon owner and stylist relationships and works to spread awareness and interest to various areas of the sites.
Kerrigan works diligently to make sure all advertisers get top results. She also expands upon her skill set with a broader sales and marketing role, as she ensures that the sites are generating ample traffic and the community is engaged and informed through new and interesting ideas and features.Management-at-a-Glance >>