Dominiqe Taylor Mixes Nature with Inclusivity
Persistence and purpose define entrepreneur Dominiqe Taylor, founder of the sustainable hair products company Consciously Curly Co. A biology and environmental studies graduate of Southern Utah Polytechnic University, Taylor began her venture into the world of beauty products while working in Zion National Park, where she cooked her meals in the shadow of sandstone cliffs. Taylor’s passion for the natural world and sustainable living inspired her to delve into the ingredients that filled her self-care routine, namely products for her kinky-curly hair. She discovered the majority contained properties both carcinogenic and teeming with ground-water contamination toxins. Taylor became passionate about finding cleaner, more inclusive options that were not packaged in environmentally damaging plastics. When she came up empty-handed, she decided to create her own. Determined to help people feel like their best selves without jeopardizing health or the environment, Taylor’s Consciously Curly Co. (CCC) raises the bar for conscious living.
Your story is inspiring and courageous. Walk us through the creation of your products.
I am very much a learn by trial-and-error type of person. Consequently, my products have been made and remade and remade again. They started as painfully simple kitchen concoctions. While I really liked that they were completely natural, I wasn’t in love with the results. Despite this, my curiosity had peaked, and I found myself absolutely loving the experimentation of it all. I decided to take a formulating course online; I read six different textbooks (cover to cover), followed chemist forums, and tested everything I learned. I started expanding the ingredients I worked with–researching each one thoroughly. The formulations today are more sophisticated than their predecessors, but simple in comparison to the products you find in box stores.
Tell us more about how Consciously Curly Co. products differ.
I focus on naturally derived, nontoxic and sustainable ingredients to build the formulations that make up CCC products and packaging. Every decision I make centers around inclusivity and sustainability. I don’t want my products to shout, “I’m just for men” or “I’m just for women.” I want them to exemplify what they are–a sustainable option for any race, gender or identity. I really try to hear my customers and give their suggestions a shot. If enough people ask for something, I’ll try to offer it. Changes in the products I offer are a direct reflection of that.
Your logo “Mycohair: Hair on Shrooms,” is intriguing. How did mushrooms become so integral to your product line?
I have always had a deep interest in mycology and spend a lot of my free time foraging mushrooms, so I was thrilled to discover and experiment with the use of mushrooms in haircare. Each mushroom serves a different purpose, but in short, I use mushrooms in the products because they are incredible alternatives to lab-made ingredients–and they work better!
What makes CCC stand out in the beauty product industry?
Consciously Curly Co. brings the intersectionality of environmentalism and inclusivity to the table. I’m a woman of color in the sustainable beauty industry. That brings a whole different dynamic, and begins to fill a hole that is still majorly lacking. Hair products are a big deal in the black community and the lack of products for textured, curly, oily hair just wasn’t acceptable to me. So I started CCC with an aim to bridge that gap. I used what science knowledge I had, took a dive into the formulating world and got to work.
What are your long term goals for CCC?
I want people to have more access to sustainable, nontoxic products as far as affordability and proximity go. I plan to get my products into thousands of eco-shops nationally and internationally. But CCC will always be a small-run, intentionally-led and integrity-driven company. I don’t plan to be present in major box stores, but I want to have more options than online ordering. I also hope to one day offer bottle take-backs to create a closed system of production and waste, and design recycled bottle pumps and spray nozzles–or inspire a developer to create them.
Being an entrepreneur is challenging, tell us: What continues to inspire your journey?
I’ve learned about the power of integrating your passions into your work and how it fuels you to push through really hard times. I promise myself that when I feel the intuitive push to leap, I will without question. That also helps me settle into less than ideal times, trust the process and appreciate the journey. My passion is to connect people to nature through practical means and relatable ways. Mushrooms not only do amazing things for your hair, they get people curious about them. I think the more curiosity we have about nature, the more we are pulled to it. The more we are pulled to it, the more incentive we have to protect it.
For the full interview with Dominiqe, listen to the episode on our podcast, The Circling Podcast on NOTA. | Learn more about our podcast here. | Read more about our vibrant Central Oregon businesses here.