This year NaturAll is turning 5! That’s right, your favorite organic hair care brand is celebrating it’s 5 year anniversary. Our company was founded by Muhga Eltigani, our CEO, in 2015. Since then we’ve proudly produced natural and effective hair care products geared specifically for curly hair textured hair. In honor of this grand moment, we’re having a homecoming celebration to commend just how far we’ve come! Read on to learn more about our journey from homemade products blended in a dorm room, all the way to the pages of Vogue and Essence!
Although now featured within the pages of major publications, the NaturAll brand comes from very humble beginnings. At the start, Muhga created informational videos on natural haircare and styling. She often struggled with her hair, and finding the best products that would work for her. She often documented her experiences with review and tutorial videos, which landed her many loyal subscribers. After a while, Muhga began researching various ingredients and her hair’s reaction to them, then showing the results to her followers. One day, after seeing less than positive results after trying to repair her damaged hair, she decided to do a big chop, cutting her flowing locks so that she could begin anew! After starting a fresh natural hair journey in 2012, Muhga took her viewers along for the ride, and began making homemade avocado hair masks in her college dorm room.
As the years went by, Muhga continued to build her audience online, and perfect her avocado hair mask recipe throughout her undergraduate career. By 2016, she found herself working as a Marketing Director for a startup based in Cleveland, Ohio. After building up a successful social media following, she began receiving requests to share her homemade products directly with her viewers. There were so many requests piling up that Muhga decided to take a leap of faith, and quit her job after college, so that she could go full time with her newly established business. After making such a huge decision, Muhga went straight to work on NaturAll diving head first into her new position!
She was able to acquire a small office space in Cleveland, and proceeded to assemble her NaturAll Club team. Muhga chose some of the best people she knew to begin on her new journey, and together they worked tirelessly to build the brand from the ground up. Their first step was to build her online presence into a reliable brand that was recognizable to those in the natural hair community. The team set to work establishing connections with influencers, stylists, and other social media gurus. They submitted the products to reviewers, and entered several competitions to receive both funding and recognition.
After winning many of those competitions, Muhga and NaturAll Club became even more popular. Their social media profiles were flush with new and excited followers and sales were on the up and up! After receiving even more accolades for her revolutionary products, and for her business savvy, she was even invited to celebrate the holidays with the Obama family at the White House! In 2017, Muhga was featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for her outstanding branding, and for being able to secure such significant funding for her brand. This incredible win secured her even more placements, speaking at events, offering advice on panels for others who sought to follow her path, and a slew of interviews detailing NaturAll’s significant rise.
During this time, NaturAll was also winning various pitch competitions and investments from various organizations designed to jumpstart small businesses and startups with the funds they need for further growth. In 2018, NaturAll Club received funding from the New Voices Fund. The New Voices Fund is an organization that works toward leveling the playing field of investment capital by donating specifically to women of color entrepreneurs. They work to ensure that these small businesses receive everything they need to excel by holding various competitions throughout the years, and remaining a huge resource for the African-American and Latina women business owners who are so often underserved by investment bankers. Their investment was a huge opportunity and a statement to what Muhga had created! On that day she became a part of history as their investment was one of the largest ever received by a black woman owned hair care brand to date.
Following the New Voices investment, NaturAll Club team hit the ground running, promoting the brand and using the spotlight to our advantage. We were featured in Forbes, Essence, Vogue, Allure, etc. From there, NaturAll began to soar to even higher heights. We upgraded our offices and packaging, expanded the team even more by hiring customer service agents and a larger fulfillment team. We moved throughout the Philadelphia area, from co-working spaces, to small business suites, growing bigger and bigger by the day. Although we were experiencing amazing growth, we continued to work toward building the brand even more.
In 2019, NaturAll Club was awarded a Y Combinator investment, a prestigious honor which only solidified that we were on the right path. We acquired a beautiful office space in Philadelphia to house our ever growing team. Complete with our own production studio, NaturAll finally had a place to create gorgeous content, breathtaking graphics, and even more innovative products! We had certainly come a long way from making products in Muhga’s old dorm room! From here the team sought to make their mission all the more clear. With their new office, fulfillment center, and staff members, NaturAll set out to continue to support our community with outreach and uplifting programs.
During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, we dedicated an entire section of our fulfillment center to the production of hand sanitizer which we gave away free with every purchase. At the time, the country was facing a huge dearth in sanitizing product availability and the decision was clear. We also released important information, highlighting new safety measures for both ourselves, and our dear supporters at home. Our warehouse was modified to allow for our new social distancing practices, and protection for our staff ensuring the safety of everyone we serve. We also donated the hand sanitizer to local organizations to share in their surrounding communities, and made sure to reach out to our supporters to ensure that they remained updated on the situation from reliable and scientific news sources.
We also launched our Revitalizing Line from NaturAll Kitchen, which is a collection of products that include CBD, a naturally derived substance that holds great benefits for the hair and scalp. The products, unfortunately, aren’t legal to sell worldwide, and in keeping with our mission to always support our community we decided to partner with local non-profit, The Bail Project which is based in Cleveland, Ohio.
Research depicts that it is more difficult for minorities to break into the marijuana and CBD industry. Barriers to entry include high start-up expenses, legality issues, supply chain limitations, and an assortment of FDA regulations. To put it into perspective, our team at NaturAll Kitchen had to work on fresh and authentic CBD products for an entire year to ensure compliance.
With so many barriers to creating our own business within the industry, large corporations continue to profit off the exploding CBD market while our own community is still disproportionately incarcerated for it.
As a business selling CBD products, we assume responsibility for shedding light on the injustices within the industry and providing support to our affected community members. We hope this will serve as a call to action for all other companies within the field to pursue justice for players who have been sorely affected by the one-sided jurisdiction that has plagued our communities for so long.
The impact of marijuana and CBD products as a controlled substance under federal government guidelines also convicts thousands each year. Although marijuana use is roughly equal across racial lines, studies have shown that Black people are almost 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. The Bail Project is a non-profit organization that helps post bail for individuals arrested for nonviolent crimes like marijuana possession. As such, we committed to donating a portion of each sale from our CBD collection to support their efforts as a symbol for our continued effort to always support our community and provide a good example for other businesses who may not be as conscious of the impact of their product offerings.
During the periods of civil unrest and protests inspired by the work of the Black Lives Matter organization and the various injustices our community faces, we showed our support in the form of providing various scholarships, charity events, and donations. NaturAll strives to constantly make sure that we focus on our mission to uplift and serve our community and make our political beliefs known. Our CEO even participated in the Black Lives Matter protests of early 2020 after the tragedy of George Floyd. She stood proudly with her peers against the enormous police presence of Philadelphia to make sure their voices were heard. At NaturAll, we published an assortment of Black Lives Matter inspired posts in support. We released a safety guide for anyone who was preparing to protest in their respective city, a resource offering for ways to help and organizations to donate to, as well as emails in support of all who were actively working for change in order to send our support through the tumultuous time.
The NaturAll team has also made sure to utilize our platform to inspire our followers to participate in their government during the Presidential Election of 2020. In support of increasing voter turnout, we also covered the presidential election, and created guides that would be available for all to use for everything from finding a polling location, to registering to vote, and submitting an absentee ballot. We even sent reminders to our followers in order to notify them of any upcoming deadlines for their respective states in the case of registering for voting, requesting absentee ballots, and for early voting. We maintain that using our social media presence to increase awareness for the various social justice and political initiatives in our country is extremely important, and we strive to always be an ally and active participant in creating positive change for ourselves and the world around us.
Now that 2020 is coming to an end, we’re excited to announce that we will launch a new collection of Avocado and Kiwi products specifically designed to work for all hair types! We’re crafting this collection so that our customers can style, hydrate, and treat their hair with the most amazing ingredients that provide beautiful results, with a new and fantastic scent well! We look forward to sharing our informational content with you, as well as new and improved packaging for the products as well! It has been a long road, but we are happy to work toward being the best in what we do for all of our supporters and customers.
NaturAll’s journey through these last 5 years has been such a crazy ride, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world. We want to send our gratitude to everyone who supports us and our mission to create products with integrity, while fostering and uplifting our community. We’ve committed ourselves to the highest standard in both performance and ingredients - only using natural, safe, nontoxic ingredients to make products that we nourish your hair and body, and we hope that you continue to grow with us as we introduce newly optimized formulas in the future. NaturAll’s goal remains to cater to our community in all that we do. This year, as we turn 5 years old, we are honored to share our anniversary with you all! NaturAll is a hair care brand unlike any other and we’re on a mission to completely change the world of natural hair care for the better!
Happy Homecoming, NaturAll Nation!