The long road to Curls

June 30, 2021

A picture of a women with very curly brown hair wearing a vibrant yellow floral top and yellow skirt she is smilling in the sunshine with one hand holding back her curls

Do you have a defining moment in you life? You know the one you never expected to happen and BAM it happens and then creates a whole life change! And not an easy one…A long hard road but still 100% worth it!

Because I do.

 It was back in 2014, I had been married for four years and we had a 2 year old son at this point. Hubby and I decided to have a Christmas where we had no cares in the world and did not have to do anything! So we went on a cruise to the South Pacific (BEST Christmas EVER).

At this point I had a different business, It was called Paper flower Australia. And I loved it, it was a successful business and I had made a name for myself doing large installations for shopping centers and photo shoots, I thought that was my path for life, Paper flowers was it! But you guessed it life happens and I was about to embark on a new journey (spoiler alert the journey was not just on the cruise).

So let’s paint a picture for you to start, I had been straitening my hair for over 15 years at this point, even my hubby had not seen my hair curly. But on this cruise, I just couldn't, I couldn't keep up with swimming, tropical islands and wind in my hair and straightening it non-stop! It was just too hard.

So I thought well I have been married 4 years hubby won’t leave me if my hair looks crazy and curly!  So I threw caution to the wind and let my curls be free.

Clearly I had not planned for curls…so all I had on me was some cheap shampoo and conditioner that I'd brought with me. I think it was probably some shopping center brand, or something that I'd been using at the time. And I thought, well, if I shower and then put lots of conditioner in my hair, it'll dry and maybe, maybe hold the curls. So that's what I did. I mean, it wasn't great, but it worked.

And to my surprise husband  and other people on the cruise saw my curls and said they're just beautiful.

I then realized yes yes they are and you know what! They are actually far more my personality and  why don't I embrace them? It was a lightning bolt moment for me and I thought, Well, you know what, if all I had to do was shower and put in some hair product, it's a hell of a lot easier than getting up, washing my hair, drying my hair. And then spending good two hours straightening my hair. It was so ridiculous and we should not make life and beauty so hard for ourselves!

So I decided to embrace to embrace the curl. We got back from our cruise and I bought my first book I ordered online and it was a curly girl method and I thought wow, there's someone out there that actually is made a book and that embraces their curls, Someone understands, Someone is listening. This book became my everything and I felt like it understood my years of curly hair heartache.

Now at this point that there wasn't all the products that are out there today there was barely anything available that fit into the Curly girl Method and I had to order it online and I had to wait for it to come from overseas! So I ordered them online, waited ever so patiently and when they arrived I was so excited. I finally was ready and started to embrace the curly girl method.

 But I also need to be honest…I am not very good and following rules. Actually I am terrible I tend to only hear or take in the things I like the idea of and I roll with that!  But what I picked up from the curly girl method was the things I had time for and the things I could actually fit into my life with a little son and now I have a daughter as well. So two kids I definitely couldn't boil rice water and spend hours doing some sort of method, what I needed to do was to have a simple way that I could embrace and love my curls and for my curls and my hair to get stronger and healthier.

So I took away what I wanted from it and it worked for me. It was brilliant. And I slowly started to embrace more and more and love my curls as I got healthier.

I was about a year or so into my curly hair journey and decided to go to a friend of mine who actually owned a curly hairdressing studio (the best in Australia) . He was cutting my hair and I said there's not many Australian products is there for curly hair. And at that time, everyone was importing from America and they're all overseas, I thought it was such a shame because here in Australia we have really beautiful native ingredients and I think there should be more that's 100% Australian made and that us curlies over in Australia can embrace and not have to import and buy from overseas companies.

So that was it, that was the moment, my lightning bolt, this is where my future changed.

I started to research how to create hair products, This was a lot harder than I anticipated. Okay, well, firstly, how do I find a chemist who's willing to listen to what I want and willing to use only the ingredients I want, And willing to use all native Australian ingredients and ] one that would fit into the budget of what I can afford being a mother of two with my own little business.

So that was, I think, probably the hardest part for me is finding a chemist that could work with me. And I went through a lot. I got ignored by a lot. The entire process took probably three years until I found a chemist. And by that point, the curly girl method was really taken off in Australia. They were all the Facebook groups and it had gained a big following. The problem with that is it also gained some really strict rules and some negative that I didn't really agree with.

I embraced my curls because it was easy. For me. I found the things that worked and I made it an easy process. And I learned to really love my hair again and not only just love my curls and my hair, but it gave me an identity. I always struggled with what I wanted to look like to what I actually looked like but suddenly embracing my curls made me also embrace me and love the way I looked and I loved my hair

When all these rules and Facebook pages started to come out, I panicked. I started to listen to all these rules. And instead of following my passion and the whole reason I wanted to create Aussie curls, I started listening to all these rules about what people wanted and what my product had to be.

I tried to please everyone with what it had to have, So I started to develop my product to try fit in to everyone's demands or everyone's want instead of listening to my passion. So when I first released my shampoo and conditioner, back in 2018, it failed. It wasn't loved!

At that point, I had had sold my paper flower business and I used all that money to develop my new products, and it failed. I had the website built and it wasn't built well and everything had gone wrong.

And so I took a step back. I suddenly thought , why am I doing this? Is this still what I want to do? should I just give up and quit now?

Well, the answer was no. I didn't quit because I still had my passion. So I took some time for myself to think about what I actually wanted. And I moved on to a different chemist. I started to develop the products in the way that I wanted them developed from the beginning.

I finally listened to my heart and my own passion. And Aussie curls 2.0 was born. And people now love my product and I love my product. And I think that's the biggest thing. I fell in love with them before even releasing them. So I knew that what I was releasing I had a passion for and I was willing to stand by my product.

It is a big, big undertaking to develop a hair care range and hair care products, especially if you're not a big company with a lot of money. Or you're not a chemist yourself. You have to find chemists who are often dealing with a lot bigger customers so to them I'm small fries, and get them to all my demands and act on them. Which is very hard to do. But I will not give up on Aussie Curls x

I believe that time on the cruise had changed my destiny and set me on a new path and a path that I was meant to be on.

Aussie Curls is still small after all these years to get to this point and but it's going to continue to grow.

I think it is important to remember they'll be times in your life where you're at a crossroads and you you can go left you can go right you or you can go back if you choose. There is never an easier path, but it's with passion and love and absolute devotion that I keep Aussie curls alive and growing.

It's a love for what I wanted to start years and years ago. And what I've been developing over five years.

So, I am proud to say  I am Claire Fermo. And I am the founder and the creator of Aussie curls. And I can't wait for you to join me on the rest of my journey.

Have a wonderful curly day.