Put your hands together for two black entrepreneurs putting their heads together to cross-promote their newly patented personal-care devices! Inventors Ceata Lash and Joshua Esnard are both trying to take the struggle out of hair care while black: Lash’s PuffCuff—a hair clip specifically designed to be nondamaging to curly and textured hair—helps to create and hold in place buns and ponytails or simply push hair back off of the face. Meanwhile, Esnard’s creation, the Cut Buddy, provides the perfect guide for the at-home shape-up, working equally well for hairlines and beards.
These two smart inventions are riding the wave of the natural-hair movement buoyed by the flood of do-it-yourself info on social media platforms. The cultural demand for natural-hair products landed the two of them a feature on Shark Tank and verification as vendors on Amazon.com, the portal through which much of the world’s retail now flows at an estimated $136 billion a year.
Today, Esnard, 30, has a reported $700,000 worth of the online-sales revenue stream in partnerships with eBay and Amazon. The three-piece Cut Buddy kit retails at $14.99, yielding a hefty profit margin for its owner. Juggernauts like this are rarely seen in the personal-care arena; for Esnard, the blessing of mentorship from Shark Tank regular and serial entrepreneur Daymond John (founder of FUBU) propelled his business beyond his wildest dreams.
Lash founded PuffCuff in 2013 with her husband, and company CEO, Garrett Lash. Despite a three-year head start, her strong but lightweight plastic clamps, priced from $16.49 to $49, have yet to reach the same heights as the Cut Buddy. So far, the PuffCuff has a robust social media following of 66,000 and a YouTube video rapidly approaching 250,000 views, but as she shared in PuffCuff’s official press release, “One of the biggest pain points about being a first-time entrepreneur is finding entrepreneurial mentors who are willing to help you without asking for money in return.”
As Esnard’s dreams come true, he’s opted to pay it forward, sharing his experience and exposure with Lash. These two entrepreneurs recently decided to buddy up and hit the refresh button to signal to the press, public and retailers that they are still growing and building—and, most of all, striving for brick-and-mortar distribution.
“I’m honored that Joshua has agreed to work with myself and PuffCuff,” said Lash.
Here at The Glow Up, we know firsthand that teamwork makes the dream work, so we’re thrilled to shout out this enterprising team. Here’s to getting that hustle and glow up together!