MEET CANDACE Mitchell who, at 28, stands at the helm of transforming the $3 billion dollar African-American hair care market with her company Techturized.
The young entrepreneur, who featured on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list, which features 600 of the brightest young entrepreneurs, leaders, launched the hair care company, which incorporates science and technology to revolutionise the way women interact with their hair, with co-founder Chanel Martin, also 28.
Techturized provides a hair care platform that gives women custom recommendations for their hair type and lifestyle. The company leverages scientific and social data to provide personalised hair care recommendations for women of colour around the globe.
“African-American women have a range of hair types, a range of hair experiences and lifestyles. It’s really hard to figure out what is personally best for us when it comes to a product or trying a specific style. A lot of times we’ll try a product and it doesn’t work, or there is some type of adverse affect,” Candace said.
“My approach was always from a scientific point of view and I imagined the different factors that affect our hair as variables in an algorithm that could be created to predict and recommend products in order to achieve different results,” she told Madame Noir. “I competed in a student invention competition with this ‘hair tech’ idea that caught the attention of former classmates who later became co-founders of the company. My co-founder, Chanel, called me after she had a dream about a hair care social network, so we decided to collaborate. The rest is history!”
The business savvy women initially had a “had several brainstorm sessions on Google Hangout (we were living in different cities at the time) to organise our thoughts and do some initial market research”.
She explained: “We later applied to a start-up accelerator based at Georgia Tech called Flashpoint. We were accepted and funded $35,000 to further develop our idea and validate our assumptions in order to build an MVP that we later tested at the Bronner Brothers Hair Show in Atlanta, Georgia. We were able to get critical feedback from attendees at the hair show, as well as founders of several hair product companies, which helped us further refine our value proposition within the market.”
Their first product Myavana, which stands for my “my hair nirvana”, provides personalised recommendations for hair products, hairstyles and local salons in your area by analysing a strand of your hair.
“You purchase a personalised hair care plan from our website (only $49 to start), then we send a prepaid mailer to your home with instructions on how to provide a hair sample. Don’t worry; it’s an easy combing process! Our hair naturally sheds every day,” she said.