Founder: Gwen Jimmere
Sales: $2.5 million
Launched: March 2013
Point of difference: Naturalicious began as an all-natural hair care line for naturally curly, kinky, coily, or coarse hair. Each item has been designed to replace at least three products to save users time, money and space, while also creating less waste for the planet. Gwen studied intellectual property using library books and wrote her own patent for her Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment ($12), a cleanser, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, deep conditioner and detangler. It was approved in 2015, making her the first African American woman to hold a U.S. patent for a natural hair product.
Team: Her team has grown from one to 13 with headquarters in Detroit.
Distribution: Ulta Beauty, Sally Beauty, Whole Foods, and online at naturalicious.net
Biggest challenge: “In 2013, I found myself in an unpredictable situation: having been recently laid off from Ford while going through a grueling divorce and caring for my one-year-old son, I was forced to make quick decisions in order to generate an income,” shared Gwen. “Living in Detroit with only $32 to my name, I decided to turn a hobby and passion of creating all natural hair care products into a business. It was by far the hardest time of my life and my decision to invest in myself and focus on what I could create on my own was the biggest payoff I could have imagined.”
2021 plans: Naturalicious is expanding from a hair care brand into a full lifestyle brand. Beginning in the fall, the brand will roll out beauty supplements, wellness powders and hair care tools. “Through our hair repair challenge that we started during the pandemic we were able to meet and work one on one with hundreds of amazing women,” said Gwen. “We realized that the brand was no longer just about getting better hair, it was about education and even more, it was about creating a better life for yourself. Beauty isn’t just surface level, it’s a wellness practice and the first step for many in developing better habits for their life. That is what all our new products launching in fall/winter are about.”
Marketing/communications: “Similar to most brands we use influencer partnerships as a main channel to drive awareness,” she said. “We also work with a public relations team that helps us get the word out. But I think one of the biggest differentiators that we do is a ton of experiential activations. From the Inner Circle VIP group to the Repair your Hair Challenge, Club House, IG Lives, Super Great Lives and more, we are always working to actively meet our customers and cultivate new ones. I am a big believer in showing my face, talking about how I use the product personally (I even wash my hair on FB lives to show how fast it is) and sharing how beauty opened my eyes to a larger wellness journey.”
Do you have any mentors? “I have a business mentor, a mindset mentor and a growth mentor. Having people to go to with problems, advice and help you pave the way to your highest self is so important.”
Best advice ever received: “Waiting is not a wealth strategy.”