Beauty entrepreneur Chris-Tia Donaldson has passed away aged 42 at her home in Chicago. Prior to her demise on Saturday, Donaldson had been battling breast cancer, a story she openly shared. She even wrote a book about her cancer status and what the fight taught her.
Donaldson founded haircare brand Thank God It’s Natural, also known as TGIN in 2011. Her shampoos, conditioners and more can be found on store shelves in Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Sally’s Beauty and Walgreens. She also launched TGIN Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports uninsured women undergoing breast cancer treatment.
“TGIN and the TGIN Foundation has lost a leader and a visionary and the world has lost a selfless and beautiful human being,” Donaldson’s niece and finance and HR manager, Aris Singleton Singleton, wrote on social media.
“Chris-Tia lived a life of service and was a force to be reckoned with inside and outside of the beauty community. Through her passion and purpose, she redefined beauty and created a community of women empowerment teaching us the importance of advocating for ourselves, especially our health,” Singleton continued.
“The entire TGIN family mourns the tremendous loss. No words can adequately express that sadness or the love we have for her.”
Before starting TGIN, Donaldson represented Fortune 500 companies in complex business transactions involving technology and open-source code. In 2015, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was during the treatment of her cancer that she realized that people without money could not undergo cancer treatment.
In this regard, she established the TGIN Foundation that is supporting uninsured women battling breast cancer while empowering women to be the best version of themselves.
Donaldson earned her A.B. in Economics from Harvard University with high honors. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the founding president of the Harvard Black Alumni Society. She worked full-time as an attorney when she launched TGIN in 2011.
Her first major success came in 2015 when her brand reached the shelves of 250 Target stores nationwide, the same year she was diagnosed with cancer. TGIN is today a multimillion-dollar brand.
Emotional tributes have poured in after news of Donaldson’s death. “She was such a light,” wrote Cashmere Nicole of Beauty Bakerie, who is a breast cancer survivor. “Carried herself with so much grace and concern for others. May God be with you all during this time. We will miss Chris-Tia tremendously.”