Mahisha Dellinger, creator of the multi-million-dollar hair company Curls, spoke to the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper about her new show Mind Your Business with Mahisha. The series, which premieres on the OWN Network, centers on Black female entrepreneurship. Dellinger travels across the country helping Black women entrepreneurs run a successful company.
Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper: When did you decide you wanted to change your destiny and become an entrepreneur?
Mahisha Dellinger: I wanted more. Everything was such a struggle. I was the kid in class who didn’t have enough money for snacks. The generational cycle of my neighborhood, my family, and community persisted. One thing that gave me a different perspective was my father. He came from a different background. On my weekend visits, I gained the motivation to change my surroundings.
LAS: I’m sure you’ve failed many times. Can you elaborate on what failure teaches about success?
DELLINGER: I learned failure is not final. What you take away from failure matters. I’ve had scenarios where I launched products and bombed. I still never gave up and learned from my mistakes. My background helped. My street smarts played a role in my success. It helped me survive this industry. There is something about grit that you cannot teach. I’ll find a way out of any scenario. That comes from sheer will.
LAS: What was the process of filming the show?
DELLINGER: The whole premise of the show is to empower Black female entrepreneurs. Black female entrepreneurship is on the rise. Latest statistics show up to 300%. However, only 4% break the million-dollar mark. You must have access to the right buyers, information on the process, and the resources to accomplish your goals. Those traits are lacking. The show helps provide those resources.
LAS: What was your favorite moment working on the show?
DELLINGER: I loved helping the ladies. Every one of these Black female owners are powerful women. I helped them fix problems, gain solutions, and give them access to information. Seeing the lightbulb go off made me happy. It was a labor of love! One entrepreneur was from Compton. She had extreme grit. I could see myself in her. When you have that impoverished background, it causes you to either stay stuck or blow it out the water.
LAS: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
DELLINGER: There should be a purpose. Everything is not about making money. My priorities are God first, family second, and work third. I try to keep it that way. To whom much is given, much is required. I try to help brown girls who look like me and mentor them. I refuse to just hoard. I’d rather give. I know that when you are blessing others, you receive blessings. You cannot help but to receive good harvest when you plant good seeds.
LAS: We often see entrepreneurship as this glamourous pursuit. What are some tough facts about entrepreneurship?
DELLINGER: Instagram people think entrepreneurship is glamourous but that’s not true. You have moments where you are tired and exhausted. You also have moments of fear. When you put products out that fail, you will have a huge setback. There is a lot of uncertainty especially the sacrifice you must make with your family. Having a good team around you helps.
The hour-long series will follow OWN’s Iyanla: Fix My Life every Saturday. The first episode premieres Saturday Aug 11 at 10 p.m ET/PT.