Beleza Natural strives to help clients “be naturally happy.” Founded in Rio de Janeiro in 1993, this beauty institute has developed solutions for the maintenance and treatment of curly hair without compromising natural wave or shape. The company receives more than 70,000 clients at its 11 facilities every month, and yearly growth comes in around 30% in revenue, a testament to the demand for an organic solution to beauty and, especially, haircare.
Beleza Natural is the result of the entrepreneurship of its four partners. It all began with Heloisa de Assis’ search for a better product to use on her own hair in the ‘70s. After enrolling in a hair styling course and experimenting with various products to develop a perfect hair relaxing formula, Assis eventually found her winning combination after ten years of dedicated work. With the support of her husband, Assis opened her first salon in their backyard but soon expanded to a rented space thanks to the help of Rogério Assis and Leila Velez.
Velez, who is now the company’s president and has become a popular lecturer at international entrepreneurship workshops, explains the business savvy behind Beleza Natural’s natural appeal: “Brazil is a mix of people from all cultures and colors, and we do have about 70% of our population with curly and thick hair. It is a niche that the cosmetic market didn’t pay much attention to…[but] that is exactly what we did when we started this business.”
Each of Beleza Natural’s 11 salons receives up to 1,000 clients a day despite requiring more than an hour per treatment. Such prolific output is due in large part to the company’s assembly line efficiency and gracious customer service: with salons measuring around 1,500-square-meters, which seats up to 40 clients at a time, and approximately 1,300 highly specialized professionals adhering to a strict seven-step process for applying Beleza Natural’s pattented Super-Relaxing formula, patrons leave feeling “naturally beautiful, with [his or her] curls defined and more soft.”
But interaction is a crucial component of the Beleza Natural ethos. The company has built a factory in order to continue lab research and product development for client maintenance—much of which is based on creative customer suggestions. “It is a privilege to be so close to our public and be able to respond to them so fast,” Velez remarks on this interaction. Beleza Natural also maintains partnerships with several universites in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Sao Paulo, which promotes research that might not otherwise be fulfilled in the factory.
Following its growth throughout Brazil, Beleza Natural’s next step is the North American market. “We do know we have a big market over there,” says Velez. “There seems to be no brand or institute that works with our concept: the preservation of our natural beauty and roots.”