How Hairbrella and Eboticon Founder Tracey Pickett Went From Consumer to Creator

Holland Reid / Holland Reid Photography

Sponsored by Nielsen
ESSENCE.COM Oct, 02, 2018

Black women are shaping the digital frontier, and Tracey Pickett is a part of the Black Renaissance of African Americans who are successfully leveraging and navigating the boundless opportunities within the digital space ‒ and winning.

The Atlanta native began her professional path as an attorney at a Fortune 5 technology company working in the areas of corporate and intellectual property law. Then, launching in 2014 and 2016 respectively, she became the founder and CEO of Hairbrella and Eboticon. “The idea of creating and growing my own business has always excited me,” the serial entrepreneur says. “I have always been passionate about entrepreneurship and knew that I would not be living my best life if I didn’t go after that dream.”

According to Nielsen and its report, From Consumers to Creators: The Digital Lives of Black Consumers, the majority (61%) of African American adults agree that they are fascinated by and more likely to try new technology products than other consumer segments. That’s true for Black women who see women like Pickett making career strides on digital platforms and want to do the same.

Aaron Hamilton / Hamilart Photography

In fact, both of Pickett’s businesses were inspired by a void in the digital space for African American women: Eboticon, the first animated emoji app that reflects Black culture, serves women who want to express themselves in online or via text with emojis that accurately reflect their personality and culture. Additionally, Hairbrella, a hands-free hair protection product, is a solution that would help women keep their hair dry and their style intact no matter the forecast.

However, it’s not just tech fueling Black women to switch from consumers to creators. Pickett believes Black women are creators by nature. “What was missing was access and know-how,” she explains. “The internet and social media have provided a limitless supply of information and access to resources that have begun to level the playing field for those of us who have aspirations to create products and businesses.”

Aaron Hamilton / Hamilart Photography

African Americans are leaning in on all things done on a smartphone including ownership, usage, social networking, as well as video and audio streaming. Pickett is a prime example of how Black women are using today’s tech not only to be seen and heard, but also to create brands and to generate meaningful revenue streams.

The self-proclaimed inventor welcomes the new wave of consumers-turned-creators as it now presents an alternative to settling for products that weren’t designed or best suited for Black women.

“Black women of this generation have a unique opportunity to create and build in ways that we never have before. We are making the shift from established big box brands due to a preference to support our own. For instance, all of the skin care, hair care, vitamins and supplements, and candles and burning oil products that I consume are all black-owned brands. That was an intentional choice. In the past, we have settled for products that weren’t designed or best suited for us. But now that Black women are creating products, we are able to take advantage of even better products while supporting our own.”

Discover more about Nielsen and the digital habits of today’s African American consumers in the report, From Consumers to Creators: The Digital Lives of Black Consumers. Follow @NielsenKnows for latest trends and information on Black and other multicultural consumers.