Ms. Donaldson, a Harvard-trained lawyer, developed her brand after writing her first book, “Thank God I’m Natural.” Almost 20 years ago, after stopping relaxing her hair and learning to kiss her curls and curls, she had an ‘aha’ moment.
“It was like ‘thank goodness I’m natural’,” she said. “Thank goodness I can go swimming, not sit in the barbershop, walk in the rain. I can do all of these things.
Ms Donaldson never wanted to be an entrepreneur, she said, but she saw tech start-ups run by young white men create innovative products and thought she could too.
Like Ms. Rodriguez, Ms. Donaldson started the business while working full time at her day job. For her family, starting a hair care line didn’t have the prestige of being a corporate lawyer, but she continued, frustrated by the lack of support from the industry at the time.
“You are scared because you are growing this business and you have no plan for it,” she said. “There was Carol’s daughter, there was Miss Jessie’s, but you always wonder, ‘How can I get so big? “”
Black hair politics
Today, wearing natural black hair is a statement of pride, a repudiation of an imposed beauty standard, and a determined statement of black identity. Emboldened by the passage of the Crown Act in 2019, which outlawed discrimination based on hairstyle and hair texture and which has now been passed by 14 states, black women now have the cultural and legal right to wear their hair in the way that suits them. Choose.