Nicole Rose believes that beauty is empowering—and that a solid beauty routine can actually change a person’s life. “Beauty is health,” Rose tells thirteen lune. “It’s how you take care of yourself, and it promotes confidence. People think beauty has to do with looking good everyday,” but it’s much more than that, she explains.
“Beauty is health.”
For Rose, beauty is a form of self-care just as much as meditation, exercise, mental wellness, and more. That’s where she got the idea to start Ella Dean, a natural beauty brand designed for people with textured, curly hair.
When trying other hair care products and lines on the market, Rose found that the oils in many of the formulas would leave her curls dull and dry. Instead of relying on the unsatisfying options available to her, Rose began experimenting with fruits, vegetables, and herbs to find the perfect blend of nourishing and organic ingredients for textured hair like her own.
As a result of her efforts to find the perfect formulation, Rose produced four hair oils that aid in hair growth, while also reducing scalp inflammation and hair loss. These oils are now what customers know as Ella Dean, which Rose runs out of Portland, Oregon, where she was born and raised.
Ultimately, through her brand, Rose wants to educate her audience, showing them “healthier ways to take care of their hair without harmful ingredients,” by using “organic fruits and vegetables,” she explains.
A passion for the care and keeping of hair runs in the family, Rose says, referencing how during childhood she would watch her grandmother style client’s hair at the family salon. “Styling hair is a special craft,” she says. “The steps it takes for a client to get their hair styled is an amazing, transforming process.” While the clients were already beautiful, she notes, new hairstyles elevated their personal looks.
“Styling hair is a special craft.”
“Being at the salon and learning about hair has taught me that our crown is versatile, glamorous, sexy, and powerful,” Rose says. Now, she hopes to channel this same ethos through her work with Ella Dean, bringing people with textured hair the education, tools, and formulas they need to achieve their own version of a healthy, gorgeous curl crown.
GET TO KNOW – NICOLE ROSE
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up? What are some early beauty influences?
When I was a young girl, I would go into my mother’s jewelry box and I would try on her earrings. I would also put on her clothes and shoes and style my hair as if I was getting ready for a special occasion. I loved the way her earrings looked and how they made me feel: attractive and elegant.
My mother knew I was in her jewelry box, most of the time she would be in her room watching me go through her items. It never bothered her, she enjoyed seeing me play dress up. Earrings symbolize beauty. They complete my everyday look. Earrings allow me to express myself and to show off my character and personality. It also accentuates my facial features, drawing all the attention to my face. Earrings are the one beauty accessory I cannot live without.
What does self-care look like in your life?
Being more active, hot yoga, eating healthy and nutritious meals, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, monthly massages, and enjoying downtime.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
I like how brands are taking the time to educate themselves and their customers on clean ingredients and figuring out what works best for their target audience. My haircare products are made with organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs, which is unique. I hope my ingredients encourage my consumers to develop a healthier lifestyle and to take better care of their hair.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
Not having the proper funds to operate Ella Dean. When I started my business, I did not understand how much my supplies, marketing materials, and inventory was going to cost. It made it very challenging for me to grow my business. I had limited resources, no business plan to obtain capital from investors, and I did not qualify for a business line of credit. Since Ella Dean has grown tremendously, my cash flow management has improved, and I have been able to scale my business.
What has been the biggest win thus far?
Having my products sold at thirteen lune! Aside from that major accomplishment, I landed my first magazine feature with Sheen Magazine in their November-December 2021 Holiday Issue.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
I would like to see a continuation of diverse models in the beauty industry. I believe the beauty industry is already doing a great job at representing people of color and allowing them to showcase their styles, beauty, and elegant features. When it comes to beauty products, I would like to see beauty brands market their products to the male audience. Men tend to shy away from beauty products due to the feminine packaging, not realizing that they can use the products as well. I think beauty brands, including myself, should do a better job at making sure men feel included and represented in the beauty industry.