Women of colour have rocked braids for centuries – first as a cultural identity and now as unique expressions of our ornate style – check you out, sis!
But when it gets to taking down those protective styles though, how is it for you?
Do you wince at the thought of the stress? – the hours dedicated to shedding those braids – walking around with one side of your hair partially loosed – the arm work – the hair loss – the “who sent me?!”
Meet Saraa and Angela Green the dynamic mother and daughter duo who designed a tool to help you let down your braids without the added stress of dealing with hair loss!
TheBraidReleaser is an effective tool to help you take down your braids quicker, easier and without damage to that precious thick black mane of yours.
TheBraidReleaser, as it was named in 1992 by Angela Green a working mom of three girls at the time, was born out of a need to look beyond the traditional methods of losing her daughters braids.
Angela struggled with taking down her daughters braids without breakage, tangles, and damage. So she created the first prototype for TheBraidReleaser that allowed her to do just that, and dreamed of one day making it available to everyone.
At the time, it was Angela’s desire to make this tool available to women of colour. However, due to a lack of resources, the project had to be shelved.
Over 25 years later, her daughter Saraa Green took the original design, applied the finishing touches and brought the much loved and highly acclaimed tool to the doorsteps of women of colour all over the world.
Sarah revealed that in the process of developing TheBraidReleaser she realized that there is a huge market for beauty products tailored specifically to meet the needs of women of colour, but alas not enough products to meet the demand. That was how she resolved to push forward with her design.
In an interview with Create Cultivate, Saraa talks about how she came up with the idea of reviving her mother’s creation, supporting the product from the ground up – researching, financing, marketing- and… Surviving imposter syndrome:
“My parents and my siblings didn’t know about the business until the business was registered a month or so in. I didn’t initially include my mother and prototyped the wrong tool design. I suffered from imposter syndrome, so I felt starting this business on my own would show them I can handle it and that I’m successful. Wrong! Sometimes in certain circumstances, you have to do things by yourself, but if you have family members, who can help you get your business on its feet, include them”.
Speaking on Funding, Saraa revealed that she and her mother had to combine all of their resources together which despite that, was still not enough.
“We had to think of a creative way of raising capital for TheBraidReleaser and Crowd funding became a viable option for us”.
Still, it wasn’t all smooth as Saraa recalls losing over $8,000 in funding as a result of the COVID pandemic.
“It was tough losing over $8,000. I felt like I failed my mother because she entrusted me to handle the business operations. When I spoke to my mother, I could hear the concern in her voice. This wasn’t because she didn’t have faith in me; it was because I didn’t have an immediate plan for the next steps. Giving up wasn’t an option for us. We invested so much time and money into our business. I had to let go—you have to believe that the universe will take care of you. Once I stopped trying to control every situation, things started to fall in place”.
Despite receiving several rejections from major brands that they reached out to for marketing and collaboration, Saraa admits that the key is not giving up. “My boss would always say to me, “Saraa, how bad do you want it?” If you want your business to succeed, you will do every and anything to make sure your business doesn’t shut down”. “We sent packages to magazines and kept going till we got a response. The worst thing that an editor could say is “no.”
Luckily, we’ve gotten ‘yesses’ from magazines like Essence, Instyle, and media platforms like OffcialBlackWallStreet to write about us.
What do you say to this amazing collaboration and Saraa’s relentless pursuit?
Share with us in the comments!