Jamelia created TreasureTress to take the multidimensional conversation of black hair and blackness GLOBAL. As she saw how much of the discussion surrounding black hair surrounded African-Americans, she felt compelled to create a global community for black women to embrace that natural textures. As a result, TreasureTress is Europe's largest hair care product discovery box shipping to over 26 countries and has a waitlist of nearly 10,000 women hoping to be next in line to experience the brand.
TreasureTress has recently announced their TreasureTress Awards, aiming to provide a space where Black beauty voices and the Black vote are amplified and prioritized within the beauty market. TreasureTress awards are specifically for brands who celebrate Black beauty and want the chance to hear from Black women themselves regarding their favorite products. Brands will submit to the TreasureTress Awards beginning May 28, 2021, and voting will commence on June 17, 2021, across 14 categories.
BET spoke with Jamelia about her global business and the upcoming TreasureTress Awards.
BET: Can you tell me about the TreasureTress Box? Are there different products monthly, or are there standard products included in the package?
Jamelia Donaldson: It's different products every month. So, you don't know what you're receiving until it arrives. And there's an element of surprise and delight there. Essentially, we just promised to make sure that your wash day is delivered to your doorstep. So, you'll have everything that you need to complete a full wash day. On occasions, we will double down on styling and moisture boxes, dependent on the season. But widely speaking, it's different brands every single month. And we'll make sure that your full wash day and all your hair care needs are met with one box.
BET: What would you say your most important lesson is that you've learned since launching TreasureTress?
JD: The biggest lesson is the problem that I was solving. Initially, I thought that I was solving the issue of accessibility to quality products. But when we started receiving orders from the States, it made me realize that we created something a lot bigger because women were subscribing to TreasureTress to receive products that they could go to Target and buy. That made me realize that it's more about the sisterhood. It's more about the company's culture, being a part of a collective that's much bigger. It's about the unboxing the ritual self-care that made me realize just how important community and sisterhood are. So, I would say that that's probably my biggest lesson being that it's not just a UK problem. It's a global problem. And women all over the world just want to feel more connected.
BET: For women wanting to start a business but aren't too sure how and don't have the resources or the community, what advice would you give them?
JD: Do your research. And then start, because I feel like failing and trying and failing is probably your best teacher, alongside a mentor. So, please do your research, find out the model you want to enter, check that it is an actual problem, and then test the issue. And then find mentors that can help you get on track to where you need to get, so you don't have to make the same mistakes that they did.
BET: How long would you say it took you from your idea to launch?
JD: That took me about two years, primarily because I had been interning for free in the states for a year. So, I was broke. When I got back to the UK, my main focus was getting a job. So, I entered the corporate world. I went into finance. And while I was there, I was toying with the idea. And I was researching for about a year. By the second year, I was floating the idea by friends and family to get their take on it. And then eventually, I launched the Instagram page. And that's literally how we launched the whole company through an Instagram page. The first year was more ideation, me just thinking it through, and the second year was more experimentation.
BET: Where are you hoping to take your brand next?
JD: Next is very much about just a global takeover. So that means making sure that black women are represented the same way that all other women are representative globally. For example, when we look at how much black women spend in the UK, they spend seven times more money on cosmetics than white women do. So, it's about creating a global conversation and ensuring that the Treasure Tress experience is global, which means that any activations that we have in the UK should also be replicated worldwide. So once Black women get in a room, we know that hair is probably going to be the second topic of conversation. And from there, it opens us up to much more expansive conversations. And as a result, we must also educate women on finances, health, business, and entrepreneurship. The goal is to get back to that and replicate it globally.
This article has been edited and condensed for clarity.
(Photo courtesy of Treasure Tress)