I’m on a seriously frustrating journey of transitioning my hair to natural. It is definitely not convenient and much more expensive than perming my hair. But, I really do want to give it the best effort I have and see what my natural curl pattern looks like. Amid the frustration, however, I have found many products that I love and would not otherwise be introduced to if I weren’t on this journey.
One of the most amazing products I have come across so far is by All Caps Hair. It is a one-stop shop bonnet that takes you from shower, to conditioning treatment, to spa and to sleep. Yes, you can do all of this with ONE product!
All Caps Hair boasts that it helps you “Preserve your Pretty!” by combining the best fabric and technology. It’s not just a shower cap. It’s not just a spa cap. And it doesn’t just work for one hair type. If you have long braids or twists your hair can fit into this bonnet. If you want to put your hair up while at the spa, this will work for you. Finally a product that anyone with any hair type or style can use! It is comfortable to wear thanks to the terrycloth band that protects your forehead from unsightly marks. It is machine washable, pleasing to the eye and the All Caps Hair team has plans to make this product even better by teaming up with influencers to design the fabric and colors for future bonnets. You know we at The Diva Inc. Magazine love pink and gold. So maybe there is a Pink + Gold All Caps Hair bonnet in our future…
When I found out about All Caps Hair, I knew that I wanted to get and share with you the inside scoop on how this product came about and why this is a game changer in the beauty industry. I sat down with Jessica Rowell Greenfield, Co-Founder of All Caps Hair and asked all the questions you want to know about how the product works, launching a beauty business, and keeping a work-life balance as a woman entrepreneur.
TDIM: What problem in beauty were you trying to solve when you came up with the idea of All Caps Hair?
ACH: Several! It started with the desire to have something adjustable so that I wouldn’t get marks or headaches like I did with traditional shower caps. I wanted the friction reduction of a satin cap, but I wanted it to be waterproof. I also wanted a way to cover my hair but not have to twist or wad it up to maintain my hair stye. Once we opened up the idea of something multi-use we tackled other problems – protecting your pillow during keratin treatments or color transfer, overnight hair treatments, preserving your hair during spa treatments and spray tans with a hypoallergenic fabric. Also something that will never get that fungal smell and is washable and eco-friendly in production. All Caps solves all of these issues and more in one beauty tool.
TDIM: That’s AMAZING that you were able to solve all of those beauty issues in one tool! How many years did you spend researching All Caps Hair and what advice would you have for entrepreneurs who are in the research phase of launching a product?
ACH: Research and development was part-time for two years. Research, particularly when you are trying to innovate a product that people have strong preconceptions about, is important. It is also both frustrating and rewarding. There is often nothing more than your belief in a good idea to prop you up at the end of the day. You also have to be open to how things get done. We believed, in the beginning, that there were people that would be able to design All Caps better than us. We learned, with lots of trial and error, that we really had the vision of what this thing could be so we eventually made it completely in house. Definitely look at your market and take time to travel and look at trade shows and other industry standards for your product. Subscribing to professional publications is key too, especially of you are entering a completely new industry as we were. The learning curve is very, very steep but learn, learn and learn some more!
TDIM: Your product has been a hit with all types of hair. Did you consider how versatile and attractive a cap like this would be to a diverse audience when coming up with All Caps Hair?
ACH: Yes! If you are going to develop a hair tool you have to start with people who actively address their hair concerns. Women with textured, curly and kinky hair have always figured out ways to make hair care and styling easier. So we looked at what worked best for them. I’d never had a satin bonnet, but it made so much sense! Also, when you are looking for ways to preserve and protect your hair, restorative treatments matter. So the idea to make hair oil and masking treatments simpler was born. We also looked at women who covered their hair regularly but still wanted it to look nice when they were able to uncover their hair. Our cap, when down, resembles a snood because we researched the Orthodox Jewish community and how they maintained their hair style with covers or under wigs. We started with diversity in hair care which is what makes the cap so great for all types of hair. We didn’t solve all the individual problems, we just came up with a combination of solutions and added eco-friendly fabric technology. We really intended for this product to be All Caps and maintained from the beginning that #allhairmatters.
TDIM: Yes! We love that you considered the fact that #allhairmatters and how important hair care is to a diverse group of women. What were some of the challenges you faced when launching All Caps Hair? How did you overcome these challenges?
ACH: We are in no way original in our struggles to find how and where to spend our limited funds. We are completely self-funded so budgets are tight. We spent a lot of money on PR up front and it garnered some results but we really didn’t understand the best way to capitalize on it through social media and other channels. Investing in fabric and production labor, produces a product that is tangible. Investing in PR and Marketing is a bit of a crap shoot. It is not that it isn’t necessary; it’s just expensive and with a small budget you don’t have a lot of capital to make mistakes. I do believe that Social Media can be a great equalizer for small businesses, but if you don’t have a skill for it – which I didn’t – its just another confusing area to manage. My first suggestion is to find someone who can help you help you across your channels and integrate your PR and Marketing. Small hits, when leveraged correctly, matter. You also have to make sure that whoever you are dealing with understands the challenges that small businesses face. It is literally the opposite of many of the challenges of larger corporations in the beauty industry. Make sure they know and understand your product because they are going to have to get creative in positioning you.
TDIM: What advice do you have for the entrepreneur that wants to launch a product in the beauty industry?
ACH: Collaborate! I cannot stress enough how important it is to network and bounce ideas off other beauty business founders. I belong to the Bay Area Beauty Association and we have a subgroup of women founders that are amazing. We are always supporting one another and look for ways to leverage ourselves as a group because individually our companies are small.
Also, when you are looking at the Beauty Industry you have to have a strategy for distribution. As a small company you have more flexibility but the retail landscape is changing constantly so you have to keep up on what is happening in brick and mortar and online beauty spaces. Research, research, research – as I mentioned, the learning curve is incredibly steep so you have to keep up on the terminology and the happenings in the Industry. You can’t know everything but at least you will be able to talk and think about the industry in an intelligent manner.
Find your story. Whether you like it or not, as a founder of a beauty company, you are part of the selling point. Interest in you and the ability to speak to your story is what people relate to and how you inspire support. That has to be more important than if people laugh at you. My product and my platform celebrate and embrace diversity and I am often the least diverse person in the room. When you are talking to women about their very personal hair story you have to be authentic. You have to mean it when you say that the expectations on women these days are overwhelming and wanting to increase self-esteem with healthy, beautiful hair can be daunting. It is absolutely my mission to make hair care, something so very personal, a little easier and precious time and energy go a little farther. If you share your story and mean it – people will listen.
TDIM: It is no small feat that you are able to develop an outstanding product like All Caps Hair while balancing motherhood and other responsibilities. What are some of the ways you balance mom life, work life and entrepreneur life?
ACH: I have always struggled with the term “balance” as it is so subjective. Every day is a struggle to make sure everyone’s needs are met, whether it’s my family or the business. I continue to [work in my] office at home which is one way I am more available to my family. It is not always ideal, but we make it work. I think about separating into an actual office often but it is the choice I’ve made until the number of employees is too many for the space. This is easier now that my kids are 7 and 9; they are in school until 3:15 each day so I try to get as much done as possible by 4. Some days are business-heavy and some are kid-heavy but it’s the only way I know how to do it. Sometimes it’s just outright whacked and you have to put your head down and work anyway. Two months before our product launch, my very fit, healthy husband had open heart surgery to remove a tumor from his mitral valve. I say this because you just never know what is coming around the corner and you just have to get things done. It is also a reason to pursue your passion with intelligence because you just can’t control nor predict the future. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. There are going to be days, weeks and months that are harder than others and you can only do the best you can do. I am on a family vacation as I write this but I am taking a block of time while my husband and kids are at the beach! Help and flexibility are key – there are no office hours for entrepreneurs.
TDIM: That was amazing and truthful advice. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. What can we expect from All Caps Hair in the next year? Three Years?
ACH: We will soon be in distribution in the UK which is very exciting. In three years I hope that we’ve launched another product or two with the same idea in mind: fabric technology + smart design = an eco-friendly time saver that helps women live their beauty story more efficiently.
* This is a sponsored post. I received product complimentary of All Caps Hair for review purposes.