Black women with various hairstyles. © BasheeraDesigns – Fotolia.com
Women of color – particularly black women – are bombarded with mixed-messages about our hair. A divide between natural and relaxed coifs have recently emerged. Natural and relaxed women use different beauticians, peruse different websites, and adhere to different hair regimens. Madame You, a new social networking site for women of color to “connect with hair gurus and each other” aims to bridge the divide by providing a platform for all women to tackle hair issues and bond over hair successes.
Madame You spoke with Clutch about the inspiration for the social network and offered advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Q: What inspired the creation of a social networking site for black women’s hair?
A: MadameYou.com is powered by Techturized; a hair technology company that was birthed from a combination of frustrations with inadequate hair care solutions on the web. All of the co-founders have experienced issues that most women face! These issues vary from inability to find and purchase the right products for their hair type, to not knowing how to find a stylist in their area that caters to her hair type. Although some of this information is currently available on line, we wanted to have a space where women can find everything they need in one place. We are using our backgrounds in computer science and chemical engineering to revolutionize the way women interact with their hair!
Q: How did you bring the idea from concept through fruition?
A: By really understanding our consumer’s pains we were able to create a product that our consumers truly needed. We have interacted with thousands of women at hair shows and meetups across the country and the common denominator of all our interactions was wanting styles and products that worked for their unique hair properties. Now our concept has evolved into a real solution for Black women, which is MadameYou.com. Madame You is the only social network for hair and beauty that combines science and technology to provide recommendations for women to make better hair decisions.
Read the rest of this story on Clutch Magazine.
In 2005, Devin Robinson was threatened with a golf club by a store owner while shopping in the owner’s beauty supply store. Out of anger, two months later Robinson had his own store. Eighteen months later he had two additional locations.
Another Black-owned beauty supply store opens. In this $15 billion industry, 96 percent of the revenues come out of Black pockets, but only 3 percent of the stores are owned by Blacks.
In 2007, he self-published “Taking it Back: How to Become a Successful Beauty Supply Store Owner” and launched Taking it Back University to train others how to be successful in beauty supply ownership too. In 2008 he was featured in Ebony magazine and appeared in the documentary, “Black Hair.” In 2009 Devin Robinson led a national boycott against non-Black-owned beauty supply stores. Since then, he has rebranded Taking it Back University into Beauty Supply Institute.
Beauty Supply Institute staffs 11 people working in two divisions: Training Operations and Field Operations. The company is in its sixth year of business, in its fourth year of two annual conferences and recently partnered with Herzing University to offer a nine-month beauty supply ownership program. The company also has online courses, materials, on-site consulting and full store opening services.
By the end of 2012, the revenues of stores Beauty Supply Institute is responsible for opening topped $10 million. When asked about this accomplishment, Robinson said: “Putting these revenues back into the hands of Blacks and in urban communities is severely important to me. For the past six years when aspiring entrepreneurs ask how to open a beauty supply store or how to become a beauty supply store owner, I wanted us to have every single answer for them. I am very pleased with my team. In this industry, we have more answers now than any question a client can ask us. I view the problems in this industry as an economic hate crime against Blacks, thus making entrepreneurship the 21st century civil rights issue.”
Continue reading “Devin Robinson’s Beauty Supply Institute Earns $10 million in Revenues for Urban Communities”
A black woman with natural hair. © Lvnel – Fotolia.com
From Clutch Magazine:
To say the least, black hair seems to have remained one of the most debated topics this year amongst women of color. It has remained a topic of cultural anguish, with tales of tampered coils and unruly strands ruling online forums and video blogs. The essence of black hair has rarely been adored simply for its beauty and uniqueness. One Black woman, however, is seeking to bend the conversation by doing just that through her artwork.
Andrea Pippins, a Baltimore-based graphic designer,released a four-poster series of prints titled “Crowns of Color” last week as answer for her need of diverse affordable art a light-hearted celebration of black women’s hair. In an interview with Colorlines Magazine, Pippins describes how she hopes to steer the black hair conversation in a different direction:
“With all due respect, I am personally tired of the natural hair conversation in regards to one having to defend the choice to go natural, encouraging someone to go natural, or speaking to it from a place of political debate.”
Read the rest of this story on Clutch Magazine.
“Give your brain as much attention as you do your hair and you’ll be a thousand times better off.”
— Malcolm X, activist, minister, civil rights leader