How Frizz + Co. CEO Daphné Eastmond Went from CPA to “Best Hair Day”

By Aleah Balas

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Entrepreneurship is rarely a straight line. Many founders started in very different careers before eventually landing in their area of expertise. This is no different for Daphné Eastmond, the Montreal-based founder of Frizz + Co., a line of hair care specifically made with textured hair in mind.  


As a Chartered Professional Accountant, Eastmond had worked in the financial industry for nearly five years. The continuous struggle with her natural hair eventually led to the development of her own product line for textured hair and eventual exit from the financial industry. As a result of her entrepreneurial endeavour, she was able to learn to love her curls—and help others do the same. 


GLORY sat down with Eastmond to learn about her journey into entrepreneurship and how she has embraced both her natural hair and the uncertainty that comes with starting a new venture.

Three models with full, natural, frizzy curly hair in white tank tops and jeans leaning against each other against a white photo backdrop.
Photo courtesy of Frizz + Co.

What is your elevator pitch?


Daphné Eastmond: Frizz + Co. is a clean hair care brand that focuses on developing products specifically catered to curly and textured hair, from all-natural ingredients. Beyond the product, we are growing a community around curls and texture that is strongly guided by diversity, inclusivity, representation, and education.


What are you doing that no one else is doing?


Daphné Eastmond: Frizz + Co. is here to elevate curl care through innovative ingredients. We sourced innovative, all-natural, performing ingredients such as baobab oil, algae oil, and vegetable proteins to formulate the repairing hair mask. Also, a custom scent was sourced with the help of a specialist in the marketing of the scent for a full self-care experience when using the product.


We also consider sustainability through every step of our product development. Our conditioning base is biodegradable, our packaging is PET plastic, and our shipping materials are made of 100% recycled materials.


Finally, we are community-focused. We host quarterly events around hair care and build partnerships with stylists to bring an educational piece to our community to help them figure out their curls.


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What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?


Daphné Eastmond: My experience as a consumer with curly and textured hair really inspired me to launch Frizz + Co. I felt like this was a segment of the beauty industry that was misunderstood and underrepresented, even though between 65-75% of women have textured hair. There are also growing amounts of studies linking a rise in cancer cases in Black women and the hair products they are using. It honestly just felt like we could do better, and I was someone who could (and wanted to) actively do something about it.


Additionally, when building Frizz + Co., I wanted this brand to be impactful beyond the product and grow the community I wish I had when transitioning to my natural curls. Curly and textured hair is complex and usually comes with trauma, frustrations, and deceptions. This is a connector for a community like the one we are building, so I knew I wasn’t alone in going through those experiences.


What skills from previous roles have you leveraged most in your entrepreneurial journey?


Daphné Eastmond: My experience working in audit was very formative. It was a very fast-paced environment of having a bunch of new things being thrown at you and just having to figure it out, while supporting a team on short deadlines.


When it came to developing a product, it was very much a similar case of figuring it out on the go. I connected with people with prior experience in product development, had mentors (i.e. the chemist I worked with was super helpful in helping me lay the foundation) and joined entrepreneurship groups that could help guide me through the process.


The thing with entrepreneurship is that you don’t know what you don’t know, so I learned quite quickly as I moved through the process, and I still am learning.

Black and white image of Daphné Eastmond in a denim shirt and jeans sitting on a stool and looking into the camera.
Photo courtesy of Daphné Eastmond

How long did it take from ideation to execution of your idea?


Daphné Eastmond: All in all, the process took nearly two years to formulate, develop, and launch our first product.


Being an auditor by trade, I had never formulated a product from scratch. Knowing I wanted to develop the Repairing Hair Mask, my first instinct was to reach out to laboratories and chemists on LinkedIn. The chemist that I was going to work with needed to have experience with formulating products specifically catered to curly and textured hair.


A few laboratories referred me to the same chemist, so she was my starting point. While other chemists would simply ask for a product I liked to base their formula off of, we started from scratch. I gave her a list of ingredients that must not be found in the product (e.g. sulphates, parabens, mineral oil, etc). I stated what the product must do, the results, and that the product must be formulated with natural ingredients. 


Based on this, she suggested multiple base ingredients for the hair mask (including coconut oil and mango butter) and she would formulate samples for me to test. I curated a group of friends with different curl types and textures as a focus group. The main elements we based our reviews/feedback on were the scent, texture, and the slip (the part of the product used to detangle your curls). To get the full picture, I asked them to rate the results while their hair was wet and dry, and then again a few days after wash day.


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I knew I found the right chemist to work with because she would constantly challenge the idea I had for the product based on her experience versus simply formulating based on my wish list. She would push boundaries and test new ingredients (i.e. the product is formulated with a biodegradable conditioning base), she taught me how to order my ingredients and how to build a relationship with the laboratory producing the product, and helped me find the right jar (because the ingredients are natural, we had to go through multiple stability rounds to make sure the formula would not be altered because of the jar).


This product is a special one. We worked hard on the small details that make up the product such as the custom scent, ingredients, conditioning base, and texture, and this chemist helped me bring my vision to life.


What excites you most about the work that you are doing?


Daphné Eastmond: The hair care space is one I’m passionate about: I am a product junkie and can confidently say that I have the equivalent of a beauty supply store in my bathroom. It was an incredible process to formulate and develop a product from scratch. There is also great potential to keep innovating through ingredients with future product development.


I am also excited about connecting with people in the curly and textured hair space. We all have our horror stories around navigating our hair and it’s been inspiring to discuss and highlight individual journeys. These stories serve as a powerful means of connection within the community that we’re building.

Daphne Eastmon lying on a pillow holding a jar of her Frizz hair cream over her eye.
Photo courtesy of Daphné Eastmond

Can you discuss some of the major challenges or obstacles you’ve encountered as an entrepreneur?


Daphné Eastmond: There are so many challenges, and I think the one I have to come to terms with is there is no secret recipe. I would seek guidance from other seasoned entrepreneurs for their secret sauce  (i.e. what really moved the needle for your business). But it is a game of trial and error, being creative, and trying new things to see what sticks, especially in an ever-evolving market.


I’m learning to step out of my comfort zone and out of the idea of perfectionism or what my business is supposed to look like based on other people’s success.


What would you consider as some of the key milestones or achievements in your entrepreneurial journey so far?


Daphné Eastmond: At this time, a major milestone is getting to see the results of my work daily (i.e. the finished product). I tend to forget how far I’ve come as a business owner, and creating a product from scratch is definitely key milestone material.


Another milestone is the positive feedback received from the product. We put a lot of thought into this product, and I am beyond happy to see the positive response to people using it.


What is the best mistake you ever made?


Daphné Eastmond: I launched my business with a good friend of mine, we were co-founders. We ended up parting ways early on because he didn’t have the time or energy to put into the business. It was a complex situation to navigate, however, part of me feels like I wouldn’t have started if it weren’t for him encouraging me at the start of this venture.


Notably, you made the jump from being a CPA to becoming the founder of Frizz + Co. What advice would you give to those wanting to pivot to entrepreneurship?


Daphné Eastmond: Entrepreneurship was never really part of my plan. It sometimes feels like I landed in entrepreneurship “by mistake” without really understanding the implications of what I was doing.


I navigated both for about three years and, in the end, it wasn’t sustainable. I had a plan, and revenue goals to hit before launching full-time into entrepreneurship but the decision was somewhat made for me after a round of layoffs at the firm I was working at.


My advice would be to ideally work out the perfect timing: build a safety fund, save for a 12-24 month runway to support your business, use the stability from your full-time job to fund your business, test the waters with your product, and build and test your prototype.


However, in reality, there is no perfect timing, so you just have to fully trust your vision.


What is your vision for the future of your business?


Daphné Eastmond: We launched with one hero product to build a reputation around the brand with a product that is essential to the curly hair regimen. However, my vision for Frizz + Co. is to develop a full line of high-quality, innovative products. Additionally, more than just a product, we are building a strong community, a safe space, and an education hub around curls.”