Five Minutes With Jamelia Donaldson
Jamelia Donaldson is the founder of TreasureTress, the monthly product discovery box for kinky curly girls. She took time out to tell us how she created her brand.
What made you decide to set up your own beauty business?
I launched my beauty business, TreasureTress because I was bored of the typical hair shop experience. I found it uninspiring, and substandard compared to mainstream beauty shopping experiences. Dusty shelves, very few options, unwelcoming staff - it just didn’t ‘feel’ good to me and I wanted to change that. I wanted product discovery to be fun, exciting and luxurious. Our hair is our crown and it deserves to be approached with that same respect. I also wanted to share information I had learned over the years with women who looked like me.
What is the concept behind TreasureTress?
TreasureTress is a product discovery service for women and girls with naturally kinky curly hair. Women who receive their boxes and open them to find new gems, begin to uncover the true value of their hair and discover how beautiful it really is. Treasure chests look attractive on the outside but it is what lies within that adds its true value; and I understand the same to be true for women.
What we look like on the outside is important however the inner work and our inner being are most important. This is heavily influenced by how we treat ourselves and others. By receiving a monthly box our subscribers have no choice but to pamper themselves, get themselves feeling good on what we hope is a weekly basis and enter the world, confident (with their kinks and curls popping!) ready to share their own gifts with the world. Beyond our monthly box, we are continuing to build an equally powerful offline community of women and girls who attend our regular events, offer advice and support to each other, collaborate with each other. We are very much about sisterhood - it is central to our brand.
What sort of research did you do to find out what sort of products your customers wanted to see in a hair box?
We have the best, most engaged community of women and girls who have strong opinions and preferences for hair products. They’re curious to know what the latest and greatest products on the market are, but also have a voice and use it to elevate brands and products that they love. We listen, our ear is always to the ground. What our community love, we’re continually working to give them more of, while also introducing them to brands and products they wouldn’t have tried before.
How did you decide on the look and feel of the brand?
The brand is very much based off of what I feel I as a young woman, I need to see and experience. We need to be uplifted, see positive images of ourselves, we deserve to be celebrated and informed on how best to take care of our hair. We deserve quality. My friends and family are very important to me, so I am always reaching out to creative women initiating collaborations, forming new friendships and connecting women within my network. It is important that we all win - literally and so TreasureTress is very much about doing the same. Elevating black and mixed race women and girls, and connecting them with each other to develop true relationships and friendships.
What are your future plans for TreasureTress?
TreasureTress will become the ultimate GPS system to help women and girls along their natural hair journey. Every and anything you need to help you along this path, we will provide. For brands, we are doing important work in meeting and board rooms, exploring accessibility of products, representation within marketing campaigns, and offering our expertise to help brands launch effectively and successfully but also breathing new life in to brands which are falling behind and need some key advice. And of course we will continue to do a lot of work within the community through The Teen Experience (personal development workshops for black and mixed race women and girls).
What are your favourite beauty products?
I just discovered Shea Moisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Skin Care range which is definitely a staple for me now. Hair products I enjoy change month on month dependant on what is in our latest box but I truly rely on a quality conditioner/deep conditioner/mask, a light weight leave in, an oil/serum and ecostyler gel. On my body I mainly use Olive or Coconut Oil or Palmers Cocoa Butter.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to set up their own beauty business?
I would recommend that they do their research, decide which issue they want to provide a solution for without recreating the wheel, but ultimately just go for it and seek out a mentor as early as you can.
For more information about TreasureTress, please visit their website.