Pure preciousness was in abundance when a Black female entrepreneur celebrated the haircare expansion of her positivity-spreading brand.
Showers who is the first Black woman to own a licensed character sold by a major retailer, hosted a “mommy & me” event at The Black Hair Experience where adorable attendees were treated to photo ops, hairstyling, mocktails, and Afro Unicorn goodies amid stunning backdrops.
During the event, Showers also chatted with BOSSIP about her conscious brand that reminds women and children of color how unique, divine, and magical they truly are.
See our conversation with the visionary below.
BOSSIP: How did the Afro Unicorn brand start?
It started because someone was referring to me as a unicorn. And once I realized what a unicorn was… I really did not know. I looked it up. I saw they were unique, they were mystical and I’m definitely unique. I’m all things Black girl magic. And I saw the emoji on my phone and I said, “What the heck? This is white. You don’t even look like me!” And then I went to go find one that looked like me. I couldn’t find one. And so I decided to create it. And when I saw it, I was like, this going to be just for me… My little avatar reminded me of who I was. I was not a donkey, I was a unicorn.
And then I was like, “Hmm there’s a lot of women out here that probably think like I think or want to have more… or are maybe managing a lot,” because I’m a serial entrepreneur. I own and operate a state farm agency and I’m a licensed real estate broker and I’m a single mom of two boys. So I said, maybe there’s more people like me, so I want to go find my tribe, I want to go find my unicorns. And then the vision that I had for once I saw what it looked like, I was like, “Man, this going to be big. This going to be a household name. It’s going to be a worldwide brand.” I’ve said that since 2019 that that’s what was going to happen.
Absolutely, and now you have this signature brand with the colors and of course, the afro on the unicorn. How did you come up with the design?
I just wanted something to look like me. So I wanted her to have some flare because I have a little attitude sometimes ad have a little side eye. I wanted her to have earrings. I wanted her to be so different from the unicorn that was out there. I was like, my unicorn wears the crown, so she’s the only unicorn that actually has a crown over her horn. I just sat with my cousin. He’s a graphic artist and just directed him and told him exactly how I wanted the unicorn.
Afro Unicorn has exploded, and you are the first Black woman to own a licensed character sold by a major retailer. Number one, how does that make you feel? And number two, when did you realize that your dreams were coming to fruition?
Well like I said, I saw this coming to fruition in 2019 but I did not know about a licensed brand. I thought I was building it to sell the brand. And I think that’s where I have a challenge now with people not really understanding the depth of what I do. Because when you truly think about I have 500 skews in retail, over 40,000 doors and over 25 different retailers, how? How do you do that? How is it even possible? So I didn’t know about licensing. I thought I would have to sell it to a Mattel or a Hasbro. I thought somebody with all this money was going to have to come buy it for it to be a household name. But then when Walmart reached out to me and introduced me to the world of licensing and we started with party supplies. And then from there we grew. Now we’re in 19 categories in Walmart including now Magical Tresses. I’m excited about that.
You talked about the Afro Unicorn tribe. What is the tribe like for your brand? You have some dedicated consumers who love this, my mother included.
I’m an entrepreneur and I literally started by highlighting other entrepreneurs on my platform from day one. Never purchased one follower, everybody that’s there they’re there because they wanted to be there. But I went out and I found them. I found women who were hashtagging Black unicorns and I would go into their comments and I was like, “Hey, have you ever seen an African unicorn before? I created a brand of women of color who hustle, follow the movement.” I started off day one saying this was a movement. That’s how I established the brand, by creating a movement. I did that in Tiffany Haddish’s comments and within a month of us launching it. And she was like, “Hell yeah, you send this. I’m rocking it!’ She’s been rocking with us ever since, same with Alicia Keys. I found women and then what I would do is I would highlight them on my page. So I would say, this is what this person has going on, they have this 9-5, but then they also have this dope business that all you guys should support and follow, and this is what makes them unique, divine, and magical. So people was just like, “Ah, crap. She’s literally promoting other people for free who’s rocking her brand.” And that is how it grew legs. And people just saw how organic and how true. Every Saturday morning since 2019, I’ve been up at 6:00 AM sharing people’s businesses for free on my story.And it hasn’t stopped. Not even at this level. It will never stop. Because I understand the why I started it. I started to find those other unicorns.
So you’ve found the other unicorns and now we’ve expanded to Magical Tresess. Talk to me about the Magical Tresses expansion for Afro Unicorn.
It was only right because I said that Afro Unicorn is a lifestyle brand for my women and children of color showcasing how unique, divine, and magical they truly are so they can love the skin that they’re in and the crowns on their heads. So we’ve got to have a hairline, it just makes sense. It’s seamless. And interestingly enough, both Walmart and CVS reached out to me a day apart and said, “We would like for you to create a haircare line for our stores.” I didn’t know anything about that, but I always tell people, don’t worry about how. It’s not your job to worry about the how. Just do it. They said they wanted to do it. And I was like, “Okay, we’ve got to figure this out.” And so we teamed up with Magical Beauty, which is also a Black-owned brand to be the licensee. And I’m really happy because they’re one of the first Black-owned licensees. This space we’re in in the licensing world, they don’t look like us. It’s a very small-knit community in New York where they all know each other. Most of them are related. And my goal was to find other Black manufacturers that I could bring to the licensing home. I love this, because I’m doing exactly what I said I was going to do.
Something you said stood out to me; “Don’t worry about the how.” Is that some advice that you would give fellow female entrepreneurs, Black female entrepreneurs at that?
Yeah, I give it to everybody. Your job is to see what it looks like for you. I knew Afro Unicorn was going to be a household name, the universe figured everything else out. You say what you want and then you can start moving. One of my friends out in Florida just put a post up today that said, “God gives you more on your way going than he does when you first start.” But he has to see that you have that movement going. You got to move, I really, truly believe that you don’t have to worry about the how.
It’s definitely worked out and we are here at the Black Hair Experience. What are we doing today with Afro Unicorn Magical Tresses?
So today we are celebrating Magical Tresses, both at Walmart and CVS and just highlighting moms and daughters and showing them the wonderful products, how they smell and allowing them to do photos. It’s a selfie museum. So we have a couple of Afro Unicorn photo ops set up and there’s some very creative ones that they have in this space already and we’re just letting them have fun. They have their mocktails, their cotton candy, their Afro Unicorn cupcakes. It’s an experience.
Where can we buy your Afro Unicorn products?
You can go to AfroUnicorn.com, but please shop at Target and Walmart. People are like, “Oh, should I buy from you directly or should I go to retail?”
Go to the retail, that makes a difference. Support that way. I need y’all to light up retail because if it doesn’t work for me, it’s going to be very difficult for the next.
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