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The BrainTrust Fund Makes $1 Million Investment in CurlMix

Published June 19, 2023
Published June 19, 2023

The BrainTrust Fund makes a $1 million investment in Listener Brands, the parent company of CurlMix and 4C Only, making it the fourth brand in the $25 million venture fund's portfolio.

WHO: In 2015, Kim Lewis and her husband, Tim Lewis, founded CurlMix as a DIY box to help Black women style their natural hair. With early customer feedback, they pivoted into manufacturing the most popular product from the box—the only natural flaxseed gel on the market at the time. CurlMix has evolved into a curly hair brand that helps Black women feel more beautiful and confident in their natural hair by making wash-and-gos more accessible.

The BrainTrust Fund invests exclusively in the beauty and wellness sector identified via BrainTrust Founders Studio, the largest platform dedicated to Black founders of beauty and wellness companies. Founder/CEO Kendra Bracken-Ferguson and co-founder/Chief Investment Officer Lisa Stone have a proven track record in the consumer brand space. The Fund targets beauty and wellness companies with at least one Black-identifying co-founder across 20 sub-sectors, from cosmetics to AI and technology. These companies must be members of the BrainTrust Founders Studio that demonstrate traction via $1 million+ in revenue from a market-tested MVP.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:  ”The BrainTrust Fund team’s knowledge of retail, marketing, and consumer packaged goods already have made them valuable investors,” said founder and CEO Kim Lewis. “As we continue to grow and expand the family of Listener Brands, I’m excited to tap into the expertise of the BrainTrust Fund community.”

“We designed the BrainTrust Fund as a ‘blue ocean’ investment opportunity to capitalize on innovation by Black entrepreneurs in beauty and wellness, whom we expect to continue to outperform as leaders of culture and creativity,” said general partners  Bracken-Ferguson and  Stone, citing reports that fewer than 1% of venture capital investors are Black women and fewer than 1% of Black women founders are funded by the venture capital community. “The BrainTrust Fund exists so that as the massive, multitrillion dollar beauty and wellness marketplace grows, Black founders, supported by Black funders and allies, may participate in creating and selling what shoppers want,” said Bracken-Ferguson and Stone. 


  • Listener Brands, Inc., the parent company of haircare brands CurlMix and 4C Only, received a $1 million equity investment from The BrainTrust Fund. 
  • In December 2021, the business raised $4.5 million from 6,948 investors in a Wefunder crowdfunding campaign. 
  • The founders pitched the business on Shark Tank, where they turned down Robert Herjevec’s offer to invest $400,000 for 20% of the company. After rejecting the offer the couple raised $1.2 million for a 10% stake in the business from Jeff Weiner, former CEO of LinkedIn, and Arlan Hamilton from Backstage Capital.

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