Gwen Jimmere, the founder and CEO of Naturalicious, is the first Black woman to patent a natural hair care product. In the fast-growing natural hair care industry, Ms. Jimmere’s company has become a global success, although she has not forgotten her humble beginnings.
Jimmere’s natural hair journey began when as a divorced mother with a toddler son vying for attention, she needed to find a way to groom and style her hair more quickly. Jimmere began mixing up a product for her hair needs using Moroccan rhassoul clay. After she created a quicker, one-step product for her curls, Jimmere’s friends began demanding the product.
With her mother’s encouragement, Jimmere started the the patent process for her Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment, which does the job of cleaning, conditioning, deep conditioning, detangling and leave-in conditioning, all in one product. While similar products of the sort have existed in the past, none were based on the rhassoul clay formula crafted by Jimmere.
Based in Michigan, the two-year-old Naturalicious line can be found in Whole Foods, Indonesia, Trinidad and Tobago, and she hopes to expand to South Africa as well. There are two lines geared for either coarse or fine hair, along with a skin care line.
In a brief chat with Jimmere, she explained that the basis of her hair and skin products is to cut down the time to style and prepare for the day while maintaining an emphasis on quality.
As a mother, she and other mothers are not just focused on their own hair but the hair needs of their children as well. Jimmere also said that the natural hair care products get quite expensive, especially for those just starting the process of transitioning to natural hair.
In other interviews, Jimmere said that while obtaining the patent has allowed her to expand her business, it was a tough 15-month process. She says she was inspired by other pioneers like entrepreneur Madame C.J. Walker, who also owned a patent on a hair care product.
Jimmere also co-founded Pitch Proof, a company that coaches budding entrepreneurs on how to obtain funding and investment for their respective business ventures.