This month, in celebration of Women’s History Month, I was fortunate to sit down with Jamelia Donaldson, who is the founder and creator of TreasureTress – “the monthly product discovery box service for kinky curly hair.” While talking with Jamelia, I became really engrossed in her conversation around the lifestyle brand that TreasureTress has become. She detailed how she always knew TreasureTress would be more than just a subscription box service, even though she started as a lifestyle media page for the brand with inspirational quotes and images even before the first box shipped out. Now, TreasureTress is so much more than inspirational quotes and images. The company is even helping to shape ho beauty brands advertise to naturlistas all over the United States and overseas, especially in the United Kingdom.
In addition to the monthly product service, Jamelia owns and operates two lifestyle programs – ‘The Teen Experience’ and the ‘TreasureTress Tea Parties’. (Within seconds I knew, The Teen Experience is everything I would have wanted growing up in the white suburbs of Dallas, while the tea parties are something I would want for any future girl in my life.)
The Teen Experience is a program for teenage girls to learn about self-care AND practical skills to help them transition into young women in today’s ever-changing society. Some past workshop titles include, Girls Day In-Pamper Day, Business and Money Management, Mindfulness and Routine, and Self-love and Beauty Standards. On the other end, for young girls and their mothers, “the mini-me’s and the qweens”, TreasureTress hosts tea parties. Outside of the afternoon tea and pastries, networking, and arts and crafts for the girls, the tea parties feature live hair care demonstrations so mothers can learn how to take care of their daughters’ curly hair, if they don’t already know, and a Q&A session. These are outings for young girls to bond with their moms, and for moms to potentially learn something new while connecting with other moms in their community.
I get so inspired by black entrepreneurs like Jamelia who continually give back to the community from which they came. Jamelia cites these outreach programs as her biggest inspiration to keep going. She also credits her nieces as inspiration for HOW she gives back. She looks at them and remembers the loneliness she felt growing up in a society where she didn’t feel her natural kinky curly hair was represented, and she never wants them to feel that way. Her community outreach is such a beautiful extension of her own roots and displays a healthy balance of passion and drive. TreasureTress truly is helping to bring a fresh outlook on natural kinky curly hair care, and self-care to black communities in the U.S. and the UK.
To follow-up on this fresh outlook, through TreasureTress, Jamelia offers consultation services to natural hair care brands in the UK to make sure they have tools to help market products so they get the visibility they deserve. She has done this by creating pitch ideas, launch preparation strategies, and marketing videos. She does the same for natural hair care brands in the U.S., specifically so that brands are able to better market to natural, kinky, curly hair product to consumers both in the U.S and in the UK. Shea Moisture is just one of the many U.S. brands they have helped better market to consumers with natural, kinky, curly hair. Many natural hair care brands in the UK are not getting the visibility and exposure they deserve, and she wants to help change this.
Let us not forget that all of these programs and services were propelled forward by the success of the subscription box service. Since launching in 2015, Treasure Tress has exceeded its own expectations by revolutionizing global accessibility to kinky, curly hair products in an affordable way. What was meant to be a service for kinky, curly-haired women in the UK to have greater access to products that serve them has turned into a thriving global business. The latest TreasureTress pop-up, where attendees were able to create their own boxes and indulge in a day of self-care, carried the slogan, “No longer exchanging our hard earned cash for mediocre experiences” and oh does this sit true for many kinky curly, haired girls, as evidenced by her customer range. TreasureTress is currently shipping to customers throughout Europe, North America, and the Middle East.
Jamelia is enthusiastic when speaking on the reach the subscription box has achieved thus far, and is ready to see how far it can go. With this success she is continuously reminded of her upbringing and what has gotten her to where she is today. Her biggest advice to young moguls is, “Pay attention to your passions because they will lead you to your purpose”. Like many children of parents of African descent, Jamelia grew focused on her academics and initially pursued a practical career in finance. But it was her passion for hair care combined with her business education and experience that led her to where she is today. Never give up on yourself and don’t neglect what it is you truly care about!