When the estate of Black hair care pioneer Madame CJ Walker reaches out to give you kudos, you’re officially a part of history. As the first Black woman with a patent on a natural hair care product, founder and CEO of Naturalicious, Gwen Jimmere, is not just a part of history; she is a history maker. In honor of her momentous achievement, Jimmere was honored at The History Maker gala held April 17, 2016, at the Garden Theater in Detroit. Sponsored by Nissan, the event was attended by a host of Jimmere’s business associates, family and friends, from as far away as Japan. Jimmere launched Naturalicious in 2013 after she was laid off from Ford Motor Company. At the time, she was going through a divorce and was a new mom, yet she persevered.
Naturalicious’ innovative Ooo La Locks hair care system promises to significantly reduce the amount of time ladies spend washing and styling their natural hair by 80 percent. Customers report that their wash day time has gone from three hours to as quick as 40 minutes after using the Naturalicious system. The revolutionary product’s smart marketing and efficient customer service have fueled Naturalicious’ increasing popularity. It’s available nationwide and on three continents.
The black-tie affair required formal attire; however, the vibe was casual, as guests mingled and indulged in pastries and a parfait bar, while DJ XO played ’90s R&B and hip-hop jams. Swag bag favorites included jewelry, soy candles and Naturalicious’ Morroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment, which detangles hair with fascinating ease; and is also the product for which Jimmere received her historical patent.
The rising entrepreneur delivered a poignant and impassioned speech about her success and appreciation for her supporters. She also spoke about the importance of supporting the enrichment of our youth through programs such as the Detroit Area Pre-Engineering Program (DAPCEP). DAPCEP exposes children ages 4-18 to science, technology, engineering and math educational opportunities. Standing behind her mantra to give back and serve others, Jimmere presented DAPCEP executive director Jason Lee with a $500 donation.
Photos by Raquelle Harris for Steed Media.