How Tech and Beauty Subscription Box Founder, Jamelia Donaldson is Recreating the Black Hair Consumer Experience
FEATURED VIDEO AND PHOTO SOURCE: Created and produced by content producer, Kami Simmons (Official video and photo coverage). Nov. 20, 2018
Our lead content producer and on-air TV and digital reporter, Kami Simmons attended Blavity’s AfroTech Summit last week and this past weekend. The one place where many in the Black Tech world connect! Google, Lyft, Amazon, Founder Gym, and many more were there and the Noire TV Network, Caspen Media, LLC covered it all for our viewers all over the world, both in and outside of the United States. Article to follow.
“We’re revolutionizing the retailing space for Black women in London.”
Millions of Black women all over the world wear their hair is a variety of textures . From braids to Bantu knots, to a weave, Black women have done it all and have seen it all and continue to just do that. In fact, according to research, women of color hold two trillion dollars in buying power. The idea of continuing to focus in on naturalistas on a global scale, inspired London-born tech and beauty founder, Jamelia Donaldson, to launch the Treasure Tress Box subscription service, a bi-monthly product discovery box and lifestyle brand for consumers, which her company describes as, “Mini-Me’s, Tweens and Queens with Kinky Curly Hair,” helping women with naturally kinky curly hair of all types, to find new products for their hair.
Jamelia – who has worked as a marketing assistant in Beijing, China. She later worked with PR and entertainment mogul, BJ Coleman. Where she worked with Coleman Entertainment Group’s client list boasting of the likes of Naomi Campbell, Vivica A Fox, Tyson Beck-ford and Tatiyana Ali, this was the beginning of a fascinating journey into the world of PR, Communications, and Brand Development.
It was just two years in when she was building this hair community when founder, Jamelia launched her now very popular social media page (launched in 2014) in conjunction with a initial roll out of her first two interns and the hiring of her team shortly after. It was then when this beauty and tech venture took off.
“We’re revolutionizing the retailing space for Black women in London.” The gaol of the pop-up event is to encourage brands to think about how they talk and communicate with Black women. Her goal was to challenge attendees and fellow hair product consumers to think about their shopping experience and what the experience should be like, both in and outside of London, for them when they are shopping for beauty products.
“We’re taking them completely away from the beauty supply experience and just recreating it,” says the 26-year-old tech and beauty entrepreneur.
The event will include a braid bar, nail bar, and will also give women attendees the opportunity to build their own Treasure Tress Box and fill it with five full-size products of their liking in order to create their ideal individualized box.
"We’re helping women customize their own box and encourage brands to think about how they talk and community with Black women and what the shopping experience should be like when they're shopping for beauty products."
“We’re raising the bar completely when it comes to the consumer experience,” explains the founder and CEO of Treasure Tress, Jamelia.
The highly-followed social media channels and website hair-driven platforms will continue to allow the community of Black hair consumers, all over the world, to interact with one another and also meet up during the various Treasure Tress in-person experiences. Securing the bag within the Black Women beauty and tech space in London and all over the world through her e-commerce subscription business model.
Her desire to educate and equip young girls with knowledge on their natural hair, is what initially birthed Treasure Tress, and continues to fuel the beauty and tech operation. She continues to equip young girls and women across the United Kingdom, with quality products, hair tools, and resources. One of her many initiatives is the Teen Experience series. An initiative focusing on personal development workshops for teen girls in conjunction with Treasure Tress and influencer Simone Powderly, a Mental Health advocate, Curls Like Us Creative Director, and Co-Founder of the Sisters Space Podcast (a podcast show expected to launch in spring of 2019). The beauty box enterprise also facilitates afternoon teas for native UK mothers and daughters.
So, when asked the question, “Why beauty and tech and why come to AfroTech?” Her answer: “There are so many strong founders here and it is a great way to build out your network, learn from some really key speakers, hear about the experiences of other people, and really have the chance to speak to a lot of people straight from online to face-to-face.”
So, "Why beauty and tech?" With her forward-thinking spirit, she answered, “Because I love beauty and I feel like tech is the future, so why not merge the two?”
We then played a game of what we like to call, “Secure the Bag: Tech Edition," where we got even more of an insight into how this tech beauty founder secures her own bag.
Reporter, Kami Simmons: What would be your three pieces of advice for founders and entrepreneurs, both in and outside of the beauty space, that you wish you would have known before getting into both of these spaces?
Jamelia Donaldson: Number one, find a mentor. I always think it is very handy to have someone who is able to guide you, answer questions that you have, and have experience that you don’t have. It will save you time and it will also help open you up to their network. Tip number two, just start, because I feel like a lot of the time we just procrastinate. We try to perfect the idea, the concepts, but you don’t know until you actually try and make headway with it. And then three, I would say, find the right people to work with. Building my team was pivotal in terms of like revenue that the business was generating because you can’t do everything yourself or you can’t try to, to a certain extent. When you go that step further, you’re going to need other people around you to support you.
Reporter, Kami Simmons: How many people are on your team?
Jamelia Donaldson: On my team right now, we have five women. So we got a community manager who does a lot of the engagement. So, social media and our offline events. A brand director whose does brand partnerships. A warehouse manager who fulfills our orders, and a content creator who helps us with tutorials, professional photography, etc. and then myself of course.
Reporter, Kami Simmons: Are you more on the business side or the tech side?
Jamelia Donaldson: I am definitely more on the business side. That’s why I’m here (2018 AfroTech Summit). To meet more tech people.
Reporter, Kami Simmons: What are your opinions on retailer giants like Target, who are starting programs to continue to integrate themselves within the tech space and eventually partner with tech and beauty founders and businesses?
Jamelia Donaldson: I think it is amazing. I wish that more of those existed when I was first thinking about Treasure Tress, but it is never too late, so it’s definitely something that is of interest to me now as well.
The global beauty box brand continues to host a variety of events in London, UK and New York. The events have been well attended. From interactive and engaging pop-up events to hair product and empowerment-driven education events, Jamelia and her team continue to dominate the beauty and tech space. Serving well over 54,000 Treasure Tress Box buyers in over 26 countries to date. Originally operating out of a coffee shop, to Ms. Donaldson’s bedroom and now, a brand new office space since this past August.
Ever since the beginning of Treasure Tress Box's conception, she continues to ride her own wave, delivering a digital salon experience to the front doors of many Black women hair product consumers all over the world.
KAMI SIMMONS | Content Producer | On-Air Host
For more stories like this follow me @_kami_simmons on Twitter and Instagram and, if you’re an in the tech, beauty/fashion, entrepreneur and overall pop culture space and want your story told, feel free to reach out to her.
Don’t forget to check out Noire TV, Caspen Media, LLC AfroTech special segment on Verizon Fios channel 269 and Optimum channel 1100 (check your local listings for the particular channels in your area and region of the world.
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