How many times have you heard: Necessity is the mother of invention? In no case is that statement more true than when dealing with our newly natural hair. When you are a new natural, you try pretty much anything and everything while learning your new texture. Meet Gwen Jimmere, CEO of Naturalicious. She has simplified your search by creating products that are not only natural, safe and beneficial but also multi-tasking which greatly reduces time on wash day and money out of our wallet.
Gwen is not a first time natural; like many of us it took a few attempts to make the natural journey stick. Her first attempt was as a teenager trying something different when she cut out her relaxer. It was a total fail, mainly because Gwen didn’t like it. Others were complimenting her new look but no matter how she tried to like having short natural hair, she just didn’t. Gwen’s second attempt was due to severe damage to her hair. This time she was in her mid-twenties but it didn’t matter. She still hated it. It was really short, had no shape and very importantly, her significant other at the time did not like her new look. It was around this time that Gwen made the connection between how she felt about her hair and her overall self-image. The third time’s a charm they say and it was so for Gwen. Concern for her unborn child led her away from relaxers with its dangerous chemicals to a natural hair transition. The difference between this time and the previous two was representation. By the time Gwen made her third attempt at being natural, Shea Moisture and Carol’s Daughter existed and the natural hair gurus were just getting started on the internet so there was finally a way to get information easily and ask questions. But there was still a lack of products for all types of natural hair.
It was never Gwen’s intent to create a product, a company or a business venture. She just wanted to protect her baby from potential harm. But one thing led to another and instead of putting a relaxer back in her hair post-pregnancy, she just kept up her natural hair. But keeping her natural hair required getting in her kitchen to make what her hair needed: products that had clean ingredients and worked on her hair. Gwen started like most of us, using other people’s recipes with meh results. During her research of various ingredients, she discovered rhassoul clay. Once she mixed it with liquid, she had her personal grail. For the first time, she loved her hair. It was softer and more hydrated. She felt euphoric and couldn’t stop touching her hair. Family and friends noticed and asked her what she was using on her hair. Thus in the early stages, she just made extra and gave it away only charging enough to cover her costs. But as friends of friends and distant third parties wanted the product, Gwen decided to create a website and raise the price to make a profit. Naturalicious came into being when she got laid off and decided to invest herself and build the business she accidentally created.
One of the things that makes Gwen stand out versus others in this natural hair product space is her patent. Not only is she the only African-American woman patent holder in this space, but she did it herself without legal representation. What motivated her to file for a patent? A mother that didn’t let it go. Gwen’s mother nagged her so much that Gwen decided to investigate how to get a patent just to get her mother off her case. But research showed Gwen that a patent was in reach so she spent hours at the satellite US Patent and Trademark Office in Detroit and in the intellectual property section of the library teaching herself patent law. When she sent the application in, she did not expect to be granted the patent. However, one day she got a call and the man on the other end was from the Patent Office with a few follow-up questions. Months later, her patent was awarded. One hopes her mother got a shout out somewhere in there.
Naturalicious was created by a new mom who did not have hours to devote to wash day. The primary line of Naturalicious, Hello Gorgeous, reduces the amount of time spent on wash day by 80%. For some naturals, they can be completely done in 30m. The three products do the work of twelve. The crown jewel being Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment which functions as a shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner and detangler. Whew! And it’s safe for everyday and everybody’s use, including babies. Check out the entire Hello Gorgeous line here.ceogwen jimmereinterviewnaturalicious