Black History Month: African-American Beauty Entrepreneurs
Black History Month: African-American Beauty Entrepreneurs
Titi and Miko Branch of Miss Jessie's
Company:Miss Jessie’s Founded: 1997 About the Brand: Miss Jessie’s is a textural based product company that has styling products for every type of hair from the tightest curl to the loosest wave. Known as “The Leader in Curls, Kinks and Waves,” Miss Jessie’s revolutionized the natural hair movement by offering its unique styling techniques at its salon and by formulating award-winning products.
Miss Jessie's Super Sweetback Treatment
“Super Sweetback is a moisture locking deep conditioner that has centella extract, which promotes hair growth,” says Titi and Miko.
“Baby Buttercreme is a dual function product. It is a rich and decadent emulsion used to moisturize parched curls, and is also used as a styling crème for two strand twists and coil outs. Adults love it and it is an excellent moisturizer for children too,” says Titi and Miko.
Company:SheaMoisture Founded: 1991 About the Brand: When Sofi Tucker was widowed with four children at 21, she made and sold her handmade shea butter soaps and other natural products all over the countryside in Sierra Leone to support her family. Years later, Sofi’s grandson, Richelieu Dennis, grew up watching Sofi make her creations, and she shared her recipes with him, teaching him how to make her natural remedies. Dennis created the SheaMoisture brand and made it his mission to keep four generations of family skin and hair care recipes alive and share them with other families around the world. SheaMoisture is Sofi’s legacy.
SheaMoisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo
“We created a reparative shampoo that transforms dry, damaged hair as well as helps to make transitioning easier, which is sulfate-free with reparative and moisturizing ingredients such as unrefined shea butter, argan oil and sea kelp. The shampoo has been a hit with our customers and embraced by people of all hair types,” says Dennis.
“The mission in creating this was to offer a product that would perform on all types of curly hair, chemically treated hair, wash-and-go styles, braid-outs and twist-outs. Our customers have revealed the Curl Enhancing Smoothie’s versatility,” says Dennis.
SheaMoisture Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Healing Lotion
“We’re first and foremost a family brand with products created from our family recipes for the whole family, from newborns to seniors. We saw a lack of natural baby products in the mass market and set out to create a chemical-free, therapeutic baby collection. Our Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Healing Lotion offers a healthy alternative to baby lotions with petrolatum, mineral oil and artificial fragrance,” says Dennis.
Company:Polish & Company Founded: 2010 About the Brand: A long, successful career as a salon and boutique owner gave Theresa Williamson the knowledge, business savvy and experience to launch the Polish & Company, a line of nail polishes, at the end of 2011. Her own and her clients’ concerns about toxins in polishes and acrylic nails led her to create and develop nail polishes that are designed to be equally effective on natural and acrylic nails. In 17 colors with brilliant shine, the polishes are made in the USA with no toxic compounds so customers can feel confident in the safety of Polish & Company. Williamson’s mission is to make each customer feel beautiful, pampered and confident.
Polish & Company's "Location, Location, Location"
“This is a true, rich red – with no blue or orange – that’s goes perfect with whatever you’re wearing. It’s just what everyone needs to look pretty and sexy. ‘Location, Location, Location’ is inspired by that hot spot in your town – where do you go to have fun? Red means HOT,” says Williamson.
“This is a rich, luxurious, delicious deep mocha latte shade that makes you feel good. The number 1174 is actually text code for a nudie bar so I chose the name because this hue goes with every skin color,” says Williamson.
Company:Carol’s Daughter Founded: 1980 About the Brand: Carol’s Daughter is Lisa Price, a woman whose passion for fragrance led her into the kitchen to create “good for you” products, for her friends and family. Inspired by the delicious recipes and irresistible smells from her Nana’s kitchen, Price’s creations all began with a beautiful fragrance and the best ingredients. Family and friends could not get enough of her homespun fragrance oils, body butters and hair pomades. Her dedicated following only grew as she took her formulas from the kitchen to the flea market to her first boutique in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Today Carol’s Daughter products can be found in Carol’s Daughter retail stores and on carolsdaughter.com, at Sephora, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Regis, and on HSN. Carol’s Daughter continues to honor every woman’s individual beauty with universally effective formulas and the award-winning fragrance, My Life by Mary J. Blige.
Carol's Daughter Hair Milk
“The Hair Milk is as crucial as water is for me. I love this product and absolutely cannot go a day without using it. I created this 15 years ago and it is the perfect lotion for defining my curls. Hair Milk keeps my hair soft and manageable and allows me to wash-and-go and I NEVER have a bad hair day,” says Price.
“I wanted to recreate that sweet, warm feeling you have when someone thinks of you and brings you a gift, no matter how big or small. That was how Almond Cookie was born and it continues to be a favorite amongst the brand’s fans. My husband Gordon brought me home a fresh batch of Chinese cookies and the smell was so intoxicating and comforting,” says Price.
“I love the Monoi mask because the key repairing agent comes from Tahiti and is made with a version of my favorite flower, the gardenia. I look forward to going back to Tahiti and witnessing the ritual the women perform to make the oil. This mask not only has a great story, it smells incredible and is clinically proven to repair hair,” says Price.
Company:Huetiful Founded: 2010 About the Brand: Huetiful provides innovative and effective beauty care solutions for women of all hues. The Huetiful Hair Steamer is the company’s signature product and is renowned for its ability to restore and lock in moisture into the hair. The company was founded in Burkeen’s garage and, after a few months of growing sales, he expanded the business into the successful brand that it has become today.
Huetiful Hair Steamer
“The Huetiful Hair Steamer was designed to resolve an age-old challenge among women with curly hair — restoring moisture and hydration to dry hair. The Huetiful Hair Steamer infuses steam inside the hair shaft and facilitates more effective absorption of conditioners and oils. The end result is hair moisturized 5x more effectively than with deep conditioners alone,” says Burkeen.
“The Huetiful Hair Steamer can convert to a facial steamer with the addition of the Huetiful Facial Steamer Attachment. The moisture from the steam softens the surface layer of dead skins cells, which helps to free any dead cells, dirt, bacteria or other trapped matter that could be causing breakouts. In addition, it allows your skin to better absorb any other products you might use after the steaming,” says Burkeen.
“The Huetiful Hydrating Hair Masque with Moringa Oil is sourced from the most precious, nutrient-dense oil available so that we could effectively restore the essential building blocks of healthy hair. Once we sourced the most nutrient-dense oil, Huetiful formulated the hair masque to be no less than 20% organic oil-based to ensure that it would effectively restore moisture to curly hair,” says Burkeen.
Dawn Fitch, Donna Lynn, Tricia Akinwande and April-Reeves Mathis of Pooka
Company:Pooka Founded: 2000 About the Brand: Pooka was created when co-founder Dawn Fitch became ill and decided to explore alternative therapies and healing. Combining her love for aromatherapy and the need to take better care of herself inside and out, she began creating her own bath and body products. Just for fun, she took a few of her hand made products to sell at a local festival and sold out! That’s when the realization hit that she had an incredible business idea and Pooka was born.
Pooka Hair Butter & Hair Nectar
“The Pooka Hair Butter contains shea butter & olive oil to moisturize the hair and scalp. Rosemary essential oil stimulates hair growth and lavender essential oil soothes the scalp. The Pooka Hair Nectar has contains lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils and makes an amazing hot oil treatment,” says Fitch.
Company:Karen’s Body Beautiful Founded: 2004 About the Brand: Karen’s Body Beautiful is a luxury beauty line and spa created to provide the purest, highest quality of all-natural products for the body. The brand boasts an extensive offering of natural, luxuriant, emollient-rich body products created for hair, body, face and bath time. Comprised of all-natural ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, aloe butter, olive oil and apricot kernel oil, the Karen’s Body Beautiful line is offered in 13 fragrances and provides the very best in all-over body care for women, men and children.
Karen's Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-in Conditioner
“Sweet Ambrosia Leave-in Conditioner moisturizes, detangles and defines your tresses for lush, radiant, soft hair,” says Tappin.
“Conditioning doesn’t get deeper than this because everything you need for your hair is in this jar. It will detangle, soften, strengthen, and help your hair grow. It’s called Luscious Locks for a reason,” says Tappin.
Company:curlBOX Founded: 2011 About the Brand: “curlBOX is an exclusive subscription service that offers an affordable and effortless way to try new hair care products that are delivered to your doorstep each month. The goal of curlBOX is to help veteran naturalistas and natural newbies alike to avoid the frustration that comes along with buying and trying countless hair products to find what works. With curlBOX, we work with some of the top brands catered to curly hair to provide our subscribers with samples of well-known hair products.”
“Put an end to buying and trying full-sized products only to be disappointed after one or two uses. With curlBOX, you’ll receive up to six samples of top-rated products to try for only $20 per month,” says Teele.
“curlBOX has partnerships with many of the leading hair care companies specializing in naturally curly, textured hair. The February 2012 curlBOX included Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream, Hair Rules Quench Ultra Rich Conditioner, Sof’n’Free Nothing But Cleansing Conditioner, Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave In Conditioner and more,” says Teele.
“Not only does curlBOX offer premium hair products, but the curlBOX magazine is also shipped monthly with each box to offer hair styling ideas, product reviews, and special offers and discounts,” says Teele.
Company:Entwine Couture Beauty Founded: 2010 About the Brand:
Entwine Naturalle Coiffure Collezioni is the chic and functional line of salon-proven hair care and styling products for the natural and transitioning hair fashionista. The line was co-developed by Dr. Adrienne Carthon, a natural hair stylist, educator and owner of the Entwine Naturalle Salon. After spending nearly two decades styling, caring for and growing natural hair, Dr. Carthon found that very few products provided the styling flexibility she desired for her clients. Working with her cousin, Johnathan Carthon, owner of Concept>Engineers, a brand development and marketing firm, they found a way to marry real world, results-oriented technology with the benefits of natural butters and oils in an artfully crafted union that offers styling versatility, hydration, definition and curl elongation.
Entwine Couture Exotique Butter Crème Hydrator
“Our customer loves that it does what it says its going to do—PERIOD. What’s great about this product is that it does not sit on top of the hair like most butters, oils and greases, but it really penetrates the hair shaft to truly moisturize and soften the driest natural, transitioning or relaxed hair without being heavy, greasy or oily,” says Carthon.
“Our customer loves that the Argan Oil can be used as a head to toe hydrating, protective and beauty oil. You can use it on the hair to seal in moisture and add shine, on the body as an anti-aging and moisturizing treatment, or even as a nail strengthener. The best thing is that it’s 100% raw and vegan, unlike most products claiming to be Argan oil, which if you read the ingredients you will find silicones as the lead ingredients. Our blend of Argan Oil is an exclusive Alpha Series Blend from North Africa,” says Carthon.
“Our customer loves that ‘The Manipulator’ allows them to create almost any natural hair style from this one jar. It doesn’t leave the hair hard, crunchy or stiff like most gels, but gives pliable, lasting hold with great curl definition and elongation,” says Carthon.
Tamika Fletcher and Monique Mack of Earth's Nectar
Company:Earth’s Nectar Founded: 2001 About the Brand: Earth’s Nectar, is the signature hair and skin care line of Natural Resources Salon, Houston’s leading natural hair care salon and boutique. Inspired by a love for natural beauty, Earth’s Nectar hair and skin products deliver a happy balance between nature and indulgence.
Earth's Nectar Honey Curls
“Honey Curls is a natural styling gel that holds hair in place while leaving curls touchable and soft. Comb throughout curls for definition or use for setting two-strand twist-outs, rod sets, or bantu knots. Honey Curls will not cause residue or cause curls to feel dry and brittle with prolonged use,” says Fletcher.
“Nourish Detangling Spray is a gentle detangling mist for stubborn tangles and moisturizing curls before styling. Try Nourish Conditioning Spray in place of wetting hair with water everyday to stretch and soften curls for styling. A light spray will revive curls set with styling gels and reactivate styling products,” says Fletcher.
“Monoi Milk was the line’s first formula and it continues to be the most sought-after product we sell. I believe our clients love it because this product is loaded with coconut and palm oils that leave hair moisturized and soft without gritty build-up or harsh chemicals. Styling products are fun but it’s important to have good hair care staples that really work,” says Fletcher.
Ginger Johnson & Liz Pickett of Ginger + Liz Colour Collection
Company:Ginger + Liz Colour Collection Founded: 2010 About the Brand: Ginger + Liz Colour Collection is the original vegan-friendly nail lacquer made for style setters. Ginger + Liz is a brand that is health conscious without sacrificing style with a line that has both classic and on-trend shades with a rich, long lasting, non toxic formula. The line is heavily influenced by arts, travel, entertainment and especially the Classic Chic, Modern Luxe, Bohemian Hipster, and Rock Glam fashion-driven lifestyles. With vibrant crème pigments, foil like metallics, and a new take on those old, boring nudes, there is something for everyone.
Ginger + Liz Colour Collection Clear Top Coat
“This is our fast-drying, high-shine top coat that helps make your manicure and pedicure more chip resistant. The rubberized control top cap makes for an easy, unfussy application. I’m so addicted to it that I always keep a bottle in my purse,” says Johnson.
Ginger + Liz Colour Collection Polish in "Skin Tight"
“This is a cappuccino-colored nude with an opaque finish that applies smoothly and looks especially sleek with the casual and luxe styles of dress. Skin Tight is another go-to for the quick at-home mani for a professional-looking manicure. Skin Tight is the perfect nude when I’m working on high fashion photo shoots,” says Johnson.
Ginger + Liz Colour Collection Polish in "Got My Groove Back"
“Got My Groove Back is an eye-catching gold foil lacquer with a smooth opaque finish. Ginger + Liz fans proclaim that an added perk is the drying time and one opaque coat dries in minutes! I love wearing Got My Groove Back with my oversized gold watch. It takes my style up a notch,” says Johnson.
Company:The Lip Bar Founded: 2011 About the Brand: “The Lip Bar is a luxury handcrafted cosmetic bar that caters to our consumer’s individuality, and through our highly pigmented lipsticks, we aim to encourage self-expression through beauty. Our mission is to challenge the current standard of beauty by creating a lipstick experience that is unsurpassed in craftsmanship, quality and color. The Lip Bar maintains the idea that beauty doesn’t have to comprise health. In that, our handcrafted lipsticks offer a unique blend of natural ingredients, designed to moisturize, soften and amplify lips all while setting consumers apart with intoxicatingly bold colors.”
The Lip Bar Lipstick in "Lemon Drop"
“If all the lipsticks were lemon drops and gum drops, oh what a world that would be! This sunshine yellow hue is sure to brighten up day,” says Butler.
Tracy Robertson, Amir Salmon, Gilda Salmon, J. Jeff Carr of TAG Concept Salons
Company:TAG Concept Salons Founded: 2008 About the Brand: The TAG Concept Salons product line has three systems, each designed to provide a hair care solution for a particular hair type and for the finished style. All three systems are vegan and sulfate-free for the best in natural hair care.
TAG Concept Salons Leave-In Protectant Spray
“The leave-in formula is unique because it contains UV protectants to guard hair and shield color against the sun’s damaging rays,” says Robertson.
“Our conditioner contains acai berry extract, which is rich in antioxidants and natural caffeine, to stimulate the scalp and protect hair against free radical damage and oxidation. Japanese Herbals soothe scalp and nourish hair follicles to reduce hair loss,” says Robertson.
Company:Camille Rose Naturals Founded: 2009 About the Brand: To address the ongoing issues of dryness, slow growth and to improve the overall health of naturally curly and textured hair types, Janell Stephens, a vegan mother of five and holistic health enthusiast, developed and launched her first line of hair, skin and body care products with the debut of Camille Rose Naturals. Stephens created products that she knew were safe, gentle and that she could trust to use on her youngest of children, but would help give textured hair moisture, while improving health and growth.
Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter
“This butter will deliver shine, softness, control frizz and define curls or twists. Customers love Almond Jai because it softens hair that is thick and extremely dry while maintaining their twists or style,” says Stephens.
“Finally, a product that is lightweight yet very moisturizing! Curl Love contains top quality oils and ingredients that will improve the overall look and feel of your curls. Customers love this product because it elongates, boosts and encourages curls,” says Stephens.
“This vitamin-packed treatment is designed to stop breakage, strengthen hair fibers and promote growth. It has a high glycogen content which makes it excellent for cell growth and beneficial to the hair and scalp. Customers love our deep conditioner because it stops shedding on contact,” says Stephens.