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ESSENCE Network: Myleik Teele, Confessions of a Naturalista Entrepreneur

After spending hundreds on natural hair products, Myleik Teele realized Black hair care needed something a little more sexy. See her success secrets to becoming her own boss with curlBOX.

After spending hundreds on natural hair products, Myleik Teele realized Black hair care needed something a little more sexy. So she launched curlBOX, a monthly subscription service for women rocking their curls. See her success secrets to becoming your own boss.

Name: Myleik Teele

Age: 34

Title: Founder + CEO, curlBOX

Location: Atlanta, GA

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Twitter: @myleik 

The gig: I am the founder and chief experience officer of a monthly subscription service for naturally curly hair. I have always been hair and beauty obsessed and get to bring all of my dreams to life. I am able to deliver a gift to our subscribers!

The journey: As a teen and in my early 20s I worked at nearly every makeup counter. I then worked in PR with clients like Linkin Park and Travis Barker. And I’ve even been to Prince’s house. I have always believed there was a sexy element missing when it came to Black hair care products. I had been natural for over a decade but rocking properly required an arsenal of products and tools. I spent tons of money when I decided to chop off my heat-damaged hair. I decided to make that experience smoother for other women.

Success 101: Be authentic in your approach. It’s so easy to see another brand succeeding and enter the realm of sameness. You see someone else winning and you want to do the same thing. They are winning because they are NOT doing the same thing and you should always remember that.

Her training: Most don’t know that I was on a relay team that was undefeated for our entire career. I ran from the ages of 8-18 and we still hold a record in the 4x400m. I was fortunate to learn discipline, teamwork and what it means to give EVERYTHING you have EVERY single time you step out on the track. Every. Single. Time.

Confessions of a Black woman in business: It’s hard to be taken seriously in some settings. I work with various companies with owners and employees that don’t look like me. I usually spend the first 15 minutes explaining that yes this is real, yes I can pay for this, and yes you will do it exactly as I want it because I’m paying. I do a lot of that.

Her best time saving tip: I open priority emails first. I don’t open every single email every single day. I’d never get anything done. I also make sure that my calls and meetings are scheduled. You can’t just call and get me on the phone or stop by. Keeping my day scheduled allows me to get more done and not get off track, which is SO easy to do.

Her career coach: My first boss Dvora Vener Englefield at BWR Public Relations. I had never worked with anyone that had a similar work ethic. She was consistent and there was never a day that she’d come in and slack off. I was refined under her tutelage and for that I will be forever grateful.

Her stress relievers: I typically read in my downtime. I get massages at my house or go to the spa when I feel like the pressure is building up. When I need a serious change of scenery, I hop on a plane and go somewhere for a few days to reset.

Her student loans status: I have them on automatic debit every month.

Her tech fix: I’ve recently fallen in love with the iPad mini, mainly for reading. I love Spotify, Uber, Picfx, Delta and the new curlBOX app launching soon!

Her beauty bag: MAC foundation, powder and eyeshadows. NARS velvet matte lip pencils. Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. NARS Illuminator in Laguna. Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner. Ojon Restorative Lash Treatment.

Her style icon: My mother. She has always put her “pieces” together and encouraged my individual style. She was dedicated to helping me find a pair of purple clogs in the 7th grade.

Her secret superpower: Time management. I am a master of time.