Ursula Dudley Oglesby is the CEO and president of Dudley Corp. LLC, a beauty brand that she started in 1967. The Brooklyn-born business leader and humanitarian began working at the Dudley Beauty Center in Greensboro, North Carolina, as a cashier and even sold products door to door in her neighborhood at 7 years old.
Upon graduating from law school in 1991, Oglesby became general counsel and director of customer service. In 2008, she took as president of the company to continue her parents’ legacy.
Rolling out spoke with Oglesby about continuing her family legacy and uplifting the Black community.
What mission or cultural insights made you decide to get involved in the hair business?
I am [the] second generation in the hair business. My parents Joe and Eunice Dudley started Dudley products 52 years ago, and now I take the Dudley brand to the next level. I am involved in a company for a number of reasons. I believe in our mission to change the economic place of the Black community. We do that by selling hair care products and cosmetics directly to beauty salons through our own to our own. By us being able to keep the main Black businesses we have left as a whole open by selling directly to them. That helps keep the money in our communities. That’s what is so important to us to help build up our community.
How do you compete and remain relevant in the mind of the consumer?
The current trends are natural hair and relaxer-free hair, but it’s also healthy hair. There are so many people who are wanting different styles. One day, they might have on a wig, the next day they might have on a weave, the next day they might have braids or color. At Dudley, it’s your choice to have whatever kind of hairstyle that you chose. For us, it’s all about healthy hair.
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