The SheaMoisture founder keeps his promise.
In 2017 the founder of the hair care company SheaMoisture Richelieu Dennis caused an uproar within the black community when he announced his plans to sale the company.
Shea Moisture was founded in Harlem in 1991 by Liberians Nyema Tubman and Richelieu Dennis (and his mother Mary Dennis), both of whom were refugees to the United States. For years, women of color embraced Shea Moisture for hair products catering to naturally coily and curly hair. The family-owned business — inspired by his grandmother who sold shea butter across the Sierra Leone countryside nearly a century ago — has prided itself on empowering and meeting the needs of women of color.
The company’s founder Richellieu Dennis has dealt with his share of mishaps and controversy. In September of 2015 Dennis signed a partnership agreement to the firm Bain Capital LLC. Many in the black community saw this move as disloyal.
The internet hit the roof back in the past and Black Twitter were not too happy either when the Shea Mositure company created a commercial promoted black women speaking negatively of their hair. Many were displeased. Some hated the New Shea Moisture commercial so much that they were forced to shut it down.
The Shea Moisture commercial showed three different women discussing their hair woes. The first woman was a black woman discussing the problems of dealing with her natural hair, stating how much she “hated her hair”. Read more….
Even through the negative press the SheaMoisture founder keeps his promise and has worked continuously to maintain and regain their customer base. Earlier this year Richelieu Dennis’ company Essence Ventures bought Essence Magazine from Time Warner, the owner at the time. This move returned Essence Magazine 50 100% black ownership.
Also recently SheaMoisture’s founder has announced the donation of millions of dollars that will be given to assist entreprenuers who are women of color. “ When Dennis sold SheaMoisture to Unilever part of the agreement entailed the creation of the New Voices Fund with an unprecedented initial investment of US$50 million to empower women of color entrepreneurs, with the intentions of increasing it. This announcement was made at this years Essence Festival, which was very befitting.
These strides may or may not make up for the betrayal felt by SheaMoisture’s supporters, but it may be a step in the right direction.
“I’ve always wanted Sundial Brands to be an inspiration to other minority-owned companies of how a business against all odds can achieve excellence, have significant social impact in our communities and be successful on a world stage,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO, Sundial Brands. Source