It has been a busy, busy, busy couple of weeks!
I have attended several events recently, including TOWIB (which was excellent – more on that event next week), the Afro Hair and Beauty Show (which has been brilliantly covered by the likes of Afro Blush, Dija’s World and United KINKdom) and at the end of last month I also attended the Beautiful Textures UK Launch which took place at Bar Soho, in the heart of the West End.
I arrived at the location around 7pm on the evening and the venue was already teeming with beautiful women of colour all boasting a variety of multi – textured styles!
The event was hosted by the lovely Lukwesa Burack , Sky Newscaster and Founder of online retailer of products for ‘naturally curly, kinky, afro or mixed-race hair’, Gidore. The Beautiful Textures range is part of the Strength of Nature family (the company that is behind brands such as African Pride and Elasta QP) and the company’s Marketing Director, Charlene Bastien, who co-created the Beautiful Textures line up was on hand to talk about the range. Natural hair maven Felicia Leatherwood was also in attendance to share her vast expertise on how to care for and style natural, multi-textured hair using the newly launched range.
My heart really did skip a beat during the event, because seeing ambitious, talented black female business owners/leaders producing and retailing the products that meet our hair and beauty needs is really important to me!! It is SO exciting to see us taking CONTROL of an industry that generates millions and millions of pounds each year….and this is just the beginning!
As well as finding out more about the products, I was keen to catch up with Charlene to tap into her knowledge and wisdom as a leading figure within the US Ethnic Beauty sector, and here is what she had to say:
BPL: What was the inspiration behind the Beautiful Textures brand?
CB: We believe that everyone one has the right to be beautiful, so we aim to create products that are affordable but that also deliver results. To create the product I interviewed over 1000 women; all types of women with different hair textures. What myself and my team found is that women want to experiment with their texture and wanted to have the education to be able to achieve the look that she desired. Thus we developed a range that would give her the option to create many looks and packaging that facilitates the education process. A unique QR code is featured on each of the products that takes the customer to the Beautiful Textures website, which explains how to use the product.
BL: When did the brand launch?
CB: Only in November last year! It is now listed in Wal Mart, Sally’s Beauty and beauty supply stores across the US. I am now here in the UK to hopefully create key partnerships with retailers and key influencers to be able to grow the brand.
BPL: Tell me more about yourself!
CB: I have a professorial masters degree in social care and a degree in business management! Despite this unconventional background, I followed my passion to embark on a career that I really believed in!
BPL: What 3 pieces of advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs/ambitious women looking to make it in the beauty industry?
CB: 1) Believe in your self 100% and try to eliminate fear – especially the fear of failure. 2) You can only rely on yourself 100%. Don’t get me wrong, you need a strong, capable team to be able to achieve your full potential – but you have to remain the key driver of your project. 3) Manage your expectations and be realistic – dream big but stay keep focused.
What did I think about the event overall?
I was really impressed with the calibre of the event, it ticked all the boxes of what a quality event should have in my opinion…
… a trendy CENTRAL location, that is easy to get to from work/uni/college
…drinks and canepes to keep those hunger pangs at bay
…a quality presentation – one thing I love about Americans is their unashamed approach to selling. Now don’t get me wrong, the evening wasn’t a pressurised hard sell, but I admire the way Charlene and Felicia talked up the benefits if the products during the presentation and the demonstrations.
All in all it was a fun evening!
So what about the products?
The range comprises of seven items:
- Tangle Taming Shampoo and Leave-In conditioner
- Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Cream
- Shine and Silken Growth Oil
- Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner
- Curly to Straight Flat Iron Silkener
- Curly Control Defining Pudding
I have to say, for the price point that each item retails at (just £4.99 on gidore.com) – the ingredient list is pretty impressive. Each product boasts a combination of Aloe Vera, Coconut, Olive, Soy and Argan oils and Shea and Mango butters.
As my hair is currently in twists (thanks for all the lovely compliments by the way 🙂 ), I have only been using the Leave-In conditioner on my scalp. I really like the consistency of the product, it is not to thick, so it is easy to work into my scalp (unlike the gloop that was Pink Moisturiser – which took FOREVER to disappear!! #throwback), and the fragrance is pleasant and long lasting…it is nice to inhale the candy like aroma whilst travelling on underground in the morning!
Now would YOU like a chance to try a product from the range??
Well, I am giving away a full size Curly Control Defining Pudding to one lucky reader*!
To win, just complete the following sentence in the comment box below:
“I love my Beautiful Textures because…..”
…and it is as simple as that! If you are on Twitter do follow me, Gidore, Felicia Leatherwood and Beautiful Textures too!
Find out more about the Beautiful Textures range here!
Purchase items from the range here!
Check out the images from the launch on the Gidore Facebook fan page here!
*Giveaway open to UK and ROI readers only. Giveaway closes on 30th June 2012.
Okay. So….I’m loving all of the UK curlies! And I wish I had been there to experience the event. It seems like it was well-attended and all around wonderful. I have to agree with you about the key features of a successful meet-up. As you mentioned, location.location.location! Good food and drinks and great presentations. I couldn’t agree more about that. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Tiffany! Thanks so much for your comments! I really do appreciate them.
The UK natural scene is hotting up – and we are really grateful for the support of US brands helping us to look after and style our hair with fantastic products and education, and inspiring us to become leading entrepreneurs too! It is great to see the relationship that is being developed between the UK and the US brands and consumers and I hope that it will continue to grow and develop!