June 24, 2020

This family business set out to fill a gap in the beauty industry

Racheal Williams says Black customers are underrepresented in the hair-care industry. She and her relatives founded a business to fix that.

Racheal Williams, her mother, and her aunt spent years buying Black beauty products from non-Black retailers, and they were tired of it. 

“We found it very problematic that we were purchasing from people who don’t understand our hair, who don’t understand our pain points and our needs,” Williams said. 

Hair care in the US is a $4.2B industry, and Black shoppers represent a big chunk of the customer base. But Williams says their interests are underrepresented.

Alongside her relatives, Williams founded JSDK Hair to fix that. 

It took $10k out-of-pocket and a £5k loan from a UK small business fund to get started. The company has been providing high-quality, chemical-free hair extensions for over a year now. 

But the pandemic forced Williams to get creative. 

Stock sold out during the quarantine, and lockdowns prevented JSDK’s manufacturer, based in India, from resupplying. Williams began offering a free hair-care course to entice customers.

Over the past few weeks, Williams said the company has been using its social media accounts to “harness our economic power and uplift our community.” She’s promoted #BuyBlack movements and hosted online chats with other Black female entrepreneurs.

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