The natural hair care business is a multi-billion dollar industry, but finding products that are created by African-Americans, for African-Americans, is a rarity. Detroit native Gwen Jimmere was inspired to invent healthier hair products for Black women after watching Chris Rock‘s Good Hair documentary, which made her realize the damage being done to natural hair due to unhealthy products.
“I grew up in a household where if you can’t find it, you can make it,” Jimmere told Entrepreneur. “I created the Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment out of necessity. Having natural hair can be very time consuming and expensive, taking two or three hours to complete your haircare regimen on what we call wash day and costing hundreds in haircare products each month.”
Gwen spent months researching how to obtain a patent without a lawyer, “I saved between $8,000 and $18,000 by filing on my own, but it did take me six months to learn patent law.”
She formed her company NATURALICIOUS in 2013 after being laid off from Ford as their Global Marketing manager, her company has now surpassed seven figures. Naturalicious products are made with all natural ingredients, and cuts the “wash day” time in half.
Gwen also dropped a few gems for other entrepreneurs who aren’t sure if a patent is the way to go. “The patent gives me leverage and can be a part of wealth building. I really want women entrepreneurs to start legally owning our creations via intellectual property. We innovate incredible things all the time,” she says. “Consider patenting these inventions. Think about protecting yourself, your business and your legacy.”