Q&A with Founder of Treasure Tress, Jamelia Donaldson
Jamelia Donaldson has become a household name in the natural hair community, meet the hardworking powerhouse behind the brand Treasure Tress. The beauty and hair entrepreneur has carved out a positive name for herself by creating ‘Europe’s first and largest natural hair product discovery box’ for women and young girls with naturally kinky and curly hair. The curated brand provides a variety of new products to discover each month and may we add which makes wash day much easier! Jamelia has also created a safe space for women of colour to reinforce sisterhood and celebrating your authentic self. We discuss inspiration behind the brand, entrepreneurship and her well-being tips during this quarantine season.
Jamelia tell me about your brand and what motivated you to start Treasure Tress?
Treasure Tress was founded out of frustration. Frustration with the lack of access to quality hair products and the quality of service received in these shops. As a Black British young woman with kinky curly hair, I found shops that catered to my hair type substandard and uninspiring. Most of the staff were unwelcoming, lacked variety and had little knowledge of the products that were being sold. I wanted to introduce an element of fun, community and excitement when it came to discovering new hair products. I also understood the need to educate consumers with this in mind Treasure Tress was born.
What are the main challenges you have faced since starting Treasure Tress and how did you overcome?
Access of capital, lack of experience, location. Access of capital: made the decision to bootstrap and just get started. In actual fact it wasn’t until I had already launched Treasure Tress that I realised that there was potential to use other people's money to invest in and grow your business. As we have grown, I have come to appreciate how much faster we could’ve grown if I had not only this knowledge but also the capital to support.
Treasure Tress innovative approach to the natural hair community has been highly recognized. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
The Forbes feature was a massive milestone. A milestone I had included in my vision board years ahead but didn’t expect for it to come into fruition so soon.
My true greatest moments occur when I am sharing my experience, creating opportunities for women and girls (and a few guys) who otherwise wouldn't have had insight, access or knowledge. I love our community, I love the impact we're having making Black British and Black European culture and consumers visible to multinational brands who for so long has overlooked us. And how can I not mention, my pride when I see my nieces embracing, loving and learning their natural hair. Something I did not at their age.
Jamelia you have a strong social media presence. What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs that want to create such social media engagement?
My advice is sharing the journey. People want to come along for the ride, they want to learn from you, invest in you, get to know you. Once you learn you have the responsibility to teach so do that. We’re all here to serve so you can choose the medium you want to do that through but ultimately your job is to add value.
Unfortunately, we are in the midst of a global pandemic and it has significantly impacted businesses and the economy. How has it impacted your business?
Our subscriber base has literally shot through the roof. To the point where we have had to create a waiting list which is growing at a ridiculous rate. It has provided us the opportunity to do what we have always done - provide high quality hair product direct to doors but now is the time that we can really lean in, learn our consumers even more, vibe with our tribe and show how necessary quality and reliable services for Black women truly are.
Do you believe businesses can come back from the shattering effects of Covid-19?
Absolutely! But businesses cannot afford to return to normal. We all need to take note, pivot where we can and study our consumers and come back stronger.
In these unprecedented times, how are you keeping positive during the lockdown?
Not watching the news :) I’ve never watched the news historically; I did begin once this started then I realised it was beginning to take a toll on my mental health so I have shut it off completely. Exercising as I would before but this time in my garden is actually that much more rewarding.
If you could give 3 tips to boost your well-being during this season. What would they be?
1) Stop watching the news
2) Carve out time to pamper yourself
3) Don’t feel pressured/guilty for not being productive/doing work. Simply getting through to the other side with a healthy mind and healthy body are a true sign of success.
You can find Treasure Tress here: www.treasuretress.co.uk
Thank you for reading.