Who are ya?
We are cousins who were frustrated with how black women had to compromise their haircare shopping experience. Both Catia and I [Jo] who regularly shopped at the typical black hair shops felt the disconnect and lack of representation. Not only were the sales advisors unable to recommend us products correctly, but their hair type and ethnicity were completely different to ours. They also were unaware of what was good for our hair type.
How did you get here?
My [Jo’s] entry to haircare started with my job in Beauty PR. I looked after haircare brands such as Tresemme, DOVE Hair, Vo5 and NEXXUS. Before influencers were introduced to the industry, we would have to sell stories of the products to publications like Vogue, Elle, Grazia etc. We were also encouraged to try the products as it would be easier to pitch them across.
However, I noticed whenever the topic of hair would arise, only caucasian hair was spoken about and textured hair was completely disregarded. When curly hair was mentioned, it would be around curling wands and tools. From there, I took an active approach to study my natural hair and how to maintain it. I stopped using heat and focused on using natural, healthy ingredients catered for textured hair. I also started documenting my journey on IG and teaching young girls how to look after their hair.
Catia’s story came from the frustration she had always experienced when being faced with going to the black hair shops. She would invest so much money in finding the ‘right’ product for her coils. As cousins, we would talk about our experiences and realised we could potentially give textured women & men a better shopping experience with educational product knowledge. We studied the products on the market and with God on our side we pushed to make this dream come true.
What sets you apart?
We are very particular with the brands we introduce to our portfolio and not afraid to say no. We both have different hair types (Catia has coily hair and Jo has curly hair), we always try the products first before introducing them to the shop and carefully look at the ingredients. We also like to show a true presentation of each brand by doing intense product training so we are able to effectively communicate its message and respect the brand’s identity.
We also held Kids workshops (before COVID) where we taught preteens how to look after their coils and curls in fun, educational and interactive ways.
Next 5 Years…where are ya?
It would be our dream to take the business to Portugal (where we’re from) and start educating the audience there too. We would also love to open a second location in London by God’s grace and build the HAIRITAGE team.