With a paltry $500, Courtney Adeleye started “The Mane Choice” in her kitchen in 2013. She formulated a science-based product line to help women and men in the African diaspora take care of their natural hair. She built her little business from the ground up into a multi-million-dollar brand and her company employs black men and women in leadership roles.
Her personal healthy hair care journey on YouTube captivated viewers, who watched her amazing hair growth progress and yearned for her self-discovered solutions for their own hairs. Her unique healthy product mixes attracted huge following.
She sensed an opportunity to help other women improve their own hair health, so she mixed and packaged her first deep conditioner from home. As a registered nurse by trade and a University of Michigan graduate, her science-based background helped her identify what products and ingredients would render the best results.
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She continued the business from her kitchen for a year until the demand for her natural hair care products expanded the business. From a $500 investment, her business grew to a $25 million in sales in just four years.
The Mane Choice grew from a home-based hobby into a multi-million-dollar business that carries products for all ethnicities and hair concerns, including growth and retention, moisture, repair, infants, kids, body and even styling tools.
Adeleye is not only committed to helping Black women realize their beauty and retain the health of their hair, she cares for and serves her community as well.
In 2018, she started ‘The Bawse Conference’ which hosts hundreds of women for a weekend of learning from the best in business. These women participate in workshops with experts, who equip them with real and actionable tools to help grow their businesses.
In 2019, Adeleye built the Generational Advantage Fund of $30 million for women entrepreneurs, providing financial literacy, capital, mentorship programs and more.
Last year, The Mane Choice – now available in 60,00 stores in the U.S – went public and was acquired by MAV Beauty Brands, a Canadian beauty group.
“I was very intentional about my decision and even more intentional about who I decided to do this deal with because the structure of this deal that I was looking for could not be obtained with just any company,” Adeleye said in an Instagram video.
She revealed that while she technically sold the company to MAV Beauty Brands, she also became one of the major shareholders of the entire MAV Beauty Brands company.
“It was important for me to become a partner with the company who acquired my company. And that, my friends, I don’t think has ever been done in this category, especially for a Black female in her 30s.”
According to Adeleye, who also established “Olbali Corporation” to house all of her private brands, The Mane Choice IPO is just the beginning of something bigger.
“I am no longer waiting to be invited to a seat at the table,” Adeleye said. “I want to make sure that whatever table that I sit at, or whatever table that I build, there’s plenty of room for women who look just like me.”
Adeleye is the mother of Lily Adeleye, a five-year-old young entrepreneur who is the youngest CEO to have her products sold at the retail giant, Target. She runs a girls’ fashion brand called “Lily Frilly”.