According to Nielsen, at some of the world’s biggest beauty brands, less than 10% of senior-level executives are Black women despite African-Americans possessing $1.2 trillion in spending power. The Black hair care industry alone generates billions in annual sales, mostly at the hands of their women customers. 

To rectify this disparity, PITCH PLEASE!, powered by Pull Up for Change’s Impact Fund and New Voices Foundation convened up-and-coming Black women-owned beauty brands to deliver the pitch of their lives to change the beauty business game. During the pitch competition, Peak and Valley, Peculiar Roots, and Undefined Beauty among others competed for cash prizes ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 plus valuable business coaching to launch & execute their beautiful entrepreneurial dreams.  

After sharing why their businesses are poised to disrupt the beauty industry, judges deliberated and announced finalists during the 2021 Essence Festival. Winners include: 

$100,000 – Peak and Valley is a mindful company that creates potent mushroom and herbal supplements for holistic wellness. Their neuroscientist-formulated blends bring together herbal wisdom from ancient healing traditions with premier scientific research. A small team based in Seattle, WA the company was found in 2019 with the mission of providing sustainably packaged, mindfully sourced, and inclusive products to the world of wellness. They create potent mushroom and herbal supplements for holistic wellness. 

$100,000.00 – Peculiar Roots was launched after the founding husband and wife team researched and developed their line for over 5 years, in March 2020, right at the start of the pandemic. Both proud loc wearers, the couple was inspired to develop their own line of beauty products after noticing there were few that catered to their unique textures. 

The line is currently being sold nationwide and can be found at Sally Beauty Stores. 

$50,000.00 – Undefined Beauty creates innovative, inclusive, clean, accessibly-priced plant-based solutions across skincare and ingestible wellness, operating through the purpose-driven lens of conscious capitalism. 

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“My mission is to democratize wellness, “undefine” what holistic beauty looks like and destigmatize plant magic (aka plant-based solutions like cannabis and adaptogens),” said its CEO Dorian Morris. “We ALL deserve access to high-quality, clean products that don’t cost your first-born child. Undefined is bridging this gap with an inclusive approach to celebrating wellness while elevating accessible luxury. Wellness shouldn’t be elusive or exclusive—let’s democratize it.”

$10,000 – Chilon Industries, led by Paula Ilonze is described as “the CONAIR for textured hair.” Chilon Industries designs state-of-the-art hair tools for efficiently styling curls. Its first product is the Curl-eeze brush; a product dispensing detangling brush that helps you style your curls with ease. After decades of hair companies designing and releasing the same brushes over and over, Chilon Industries is here with true innovation to make an impact in the natural hair community, and improve styling proficiency for curly girls around the world. 

“Starting a business that involves developing a consumer product from scratch is not for the faint of heart,” Ilonze told Essence.”I’ve had many setbacks and have navigated through challenges I’d never thought I could. To be recognized by Essence and Pull Up for Change for a random idea I had to make the lives of Black women with textured hair a bit easier is incredible.”

$10,000 – CurlIQ, an artificial intelligence company specializing in hair recognition says they are currently building Shazam for the hair care industry. 

$25,000 – Moodeaux® is a clean, luxury fragrance label that exists to enhance the way scent-crazed beauty fanatics think about, and ultimately, nurture their mental/emotional/physical well-being. Moodeaux’s CEO Brianna Arps says “we’re a #topshelfmoment, sure. But more than that, consider us a link between feeling good, smelling good, and looking good. A not-so-secret weapon to accessorize your mood with real skin benefits — at less of a cost to the environment. A VIP invite to put the world on pause and explore all of what makes you, you.” 

$25,000 – Nuekie, an innovative skincare company for people of color was founded by an African cosmetic chemist, which develops innovative skincare products for Black and Brown complexions.  

Visit Pull Up For Change for more information about the Pull Up For Change Small Business Impact Fund.