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Google Chat NYC: “Against All Odds” with Mahisha Dellinger hosted by the Kaye Sisters

DSCN2557[1]Success does not occur overnight nor is it handed to you. It has many meanings depending on your achievement. Some consider happiness and being free as success. Curls Founder/Author Mahisha Dellinger is a prime example of that definition. The Oakland native who was raised by her drug dealing mother and Rolling Blood gang brother witnessed many trials in her life. Her testimony speaks volume and inspiration to many. Despite it all, her surroundings didn’t  keep her from climbing mountains and making it to the top. Mahisha has seen and done it all from living in a gang infested neighborhood, working in racist Corporate America and owning a multi-million dollar hair business. You wouldn’t think one would endure so much pain from the look of her success. Her story  is one of many.

Mahisha held a private, but public event with RSVP at the Hudson Terrace for an in-depth discussion of her new book Against All Odds: From the Projects to Penthouse ($10 event sale price). It is a story that has never really been told discussing the several stages of her life including sexual trauma, Corporate America and the start of her business.

As I entered into the event, each area was advertised with different products from Curls. The first 50 guests to arrive received a special edition of a Curls t-shirt with their goody bag. We were greeted by the Curls street team and other event staff including hosts Shalleen-Kaye and Seana-Kaye aka the Kaye sisters. This dynamic duo are the founders of Natural Hair Does Care. Before the main event, guests were treated to complimentary Curls Blueberry Bellini and food. The Kaye sisters took photos and mingled with some of the guests. Mahisha graced the room with her lovely presence with her bright smile and going around to greet everyone. I briefly spoke to her and was amazed by her humble spirit. She was conversational and willing to speak to anyone when she had a chance.

A live google chat took place when the discussion began. After the introduction, the Kaye sisters began with a game. They asked Mahisha to give one word after a topic was brought to her attention from the book. She referred to Oakland as “murder” and other topics were sometimes three words. She touched on some of the most important issues including a traumatic experience that I will not disclose due to sensitivity. It was a sexual trauma, which Mahisha had to reencounter and fight back tears. She paused at one point as it took her back to somewhere that many often remain silent if spoken. The major factors of almost each chapter were discussed including meeting her husband, starting a small business and Capitol.

Before starting Curls, Mahisha was a Marketing Manager and one of the few African American women at Intel. Her decision to leave Corporate America was mostly due to racism and focusing on her career interest. Once she started brain storming, researching chemist and other resources, Curls was born. The importance of education and researching were points for potential business owners. Mahisha believed that you don’t necessarily have to return to school to start a business. But, using resources such as sites ( that offers business tips and free business classes.

Once the discussion ended, the floor was open for a Q & A session with event guests and google chat users. Several of the questions asked were based on career advice and personal questions. Mahisha and the Kaye sisters took photos with guests, spoke privately for personal discussions and signed copies of the book. If there is page that could be taking from a book, it would be Against all odds: from the Projects to Penthouse.

Images from the event: