In the beauty industry, it can be a little disheartening to be a woman. At most professional beauty shows, the companies are owned and run by men. Women may be delegated to marketing positions, but it’s still very much an old-boy’s club when it comes to who is making the decisions. Women can feel a little left out.
That’s one of the reasons it’s been so refreshing to be an entrepreneur in the curly space. This is a segment that has literally been created by women - by women fed up with the lack of products, information and services for their hair.
There are mixtresses like Lisa Price who created the recipes that launched a major brand – Carol’s Daughter. There’s Tito and Miko Branch of Miss Jessie’s and Mahisha Dellinger of CURLS and Kelly Foreman of MopTop and Ouidad of Ouidad and Lorraine Massey of Devacurl and the list goes on and on. That doesn’t even include the growing list of women who have started vlogs and blogs – and places like NaturallyCurly - that have overtaken traditional beauty publications as the place to go to get hair advice In our world, women have basically transformed an industry. I believe it’s the creativity, passion and yes, the stubbornness of women that helped our industry take root and flourish despite numerous naysayers and financial hurdles.
The power of women hit home to me this week when I was a presenter and speaker at the Texas Conference for Women. The Austin Convention Center was packed with thousands of women of all ages and ethnicities. Some were looking for advice in how to balance work and home life. Some wanted start their own companies. Some wanted the inspiration that came from listening to powerhouse speakers like swimmer Diana Nyad, journalist Soledad O’Brien and author Gail Sheehy.
The conference was a refreshing reminder of what women have accomplished, even in a world still dominated by men. I felt inspired and encouraged by everything I heard, and everyone I met. It’s the kind of day that makes you believe that the beauty industry’s days of being an old boy’s club may be numbered.