Meet Jamelia Donaldson. She is the founder of TreasureTress, Europe’s first and largest natural hair product discovery box for women with naturally kinky and curly hair.
According to Forbes, her cutting-edge hair products enable women with curly hair to experiment with new products that match their age, hair type, and preferences through a beautifully presented box of customized hair goodies delivered to customers each month.
The British-born entrepreneur grew up in a household where academic excellence was held in high regard. Therefore, her first inclination, growing up as a young child, was to become a lawyer. However, she could not meet the requirement to enter law school.
Dejected by the fact that she couldn’t get to study law, Donaldson wasted no time exploring other career options. She decided to study business and international relations, influenced by her love for traveling across the world.
As part of her course requirement, she’s expected to do a one-year internship, which saw her do one month in China and eight months in New York, where she discovered the subscription box model, the future model that would become TreasureTress, according to Urban Journal.
Before launching TreasureTress, she spent time attending events and immersing herself in the hair community. She saw a gap in the natural hair care market and started TreasureTress on Instagram.
“I began by starting up Treasure Tress as an Instagram page whilst still working in the financial services role, to see how much engagement the brand got,” she told Urban Journal.
TreasureTress went viral, and soon, she had to create a landing page. Donaldson said she used the buzz around her business to collect data and test the waters, an important business strategy any entrepreneur who wants to break into the market will consider.
Afterward, she started building the subscription boxes as a side hustle. Prior to that, she was interning at Coleman Entertainment Group, founded by renowned publicists BJ Coleman. She was able to learn from the best in the game and also picked up important lessons.
Donaldson decided on what goes into the subscription boxes considering several factors. “It is based on a few different factors. It could be products we try ourselves and love, a range yet to hit the market, or an old school favourite that has maybe lost momentum, or one that we just can’t get enough of,” she said.
Starting TreasureTress was not smooth sailing for her. She started the business with no money, no savings, and no financing from her parents, a story many Black entrepreneurs are familiar with. However, she was able to start her business because she had a day job.
In this regard, Donaldson advised potential entrepreneurs to “work for as long as you can whilst you’re starting your company. That way, you can save money, learn key skills, and you have that safety net. “
She continued, “I always said, when I leave that role, I’m going to make sure I leave on good terms in case I ever need to return.”