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Black In Business: Former Bank Executive Turned Her Side Hustle Into A Multi-Million Dollar Beauty Brand

Posted by Abeiku Ebo on

Black In Business: Former Bank Executive Turned Her Side Hustle Into A Multi-Million Dollar Beauty Brand

An Atlanta-based hair entrepreneur started off as a bank executive while braiding hair as a side hustle in 2010. Tiffini Gatlin took the risk and put the earnings of her twenty-plus years of side hustling into her business and launched her first beauty brand.

She became known as a beauty pioneer in 2015 when she created the first patent-pending process of pre-curled and looped synthetic hair.

The mother of four had a terrible experience where one of her teenage daughters’ scalp got highly irritated by hair purchased from a beauty supply store.

The wave of curling synthetic hair in 2014 was also a deciding factor that pushed Gaitlin to look for safer and easier ways for Black women to style and protect their hair after she almost burnt a client who wanted her synthetic hair curled.

So, after a year of strategic marketing and social media engagement, a million-dollar e-commerce beauty brand, Curlkalon Hair Collection, was born. That business was launched with a partner. Over time, it was acquired.

The Atlanta native founded her second major beauty brand which has made her a household name among Black women in the US and beyond. Latched and Hooked Beauty, launched in 2016, offers synthetic hair options that have already been pre-curled so that women would not have to go through the ordeal of having their protective styling rolled and dipped into boiling water.

According to the beauty brand’s site, they “are the original creators of textured, pre-curled and looped, synthetic hair designed to match a woman’s natural hair texture that is great for crochet braiding.”

“In the last four years, we have helped to debunk the myth that Black women wear hair extensions because we hate our hair,” Latched and Hooked Beauty’s Gatlin told GMA.

Gatlin believes wigs are like accessories that help to change up one’s look in under two minutes. They literally help fix bad hair days under seconds. Today’s woman is always on the move. Gatlin’s wigs are meant for the time-conscious woman.

“Manipulating Black hair takes time, and our ready-to-wear hair extensions give Black women an additional 45 minutes back each day.”

“Latched and Hooked is where innovation meets self-care,” she added.

All her products are carefully curated as she designs them. The sketches are sent directly to the manufacturers and the hair, though synthetic, is done to mimic the natural curl patterns of a Black woman and they easily blend in with the hair as well.

“I design my curl patterns from trends I see in beauty, mass media, or styles I’ve personally worn with my natural hair,” said Gatlin. “It’s important that the synthetic hair has movement and mimics the texture of my consumer. I’m also inspired to create colors within my collections from Pantone colors and paint swatches.”

Gatlin has been braiding hair since she was 16-years-old and her own experience coupled with research has birthed a new product that is meant to soothe the scalp while it remains in protective styling.

The Scalp Soothie is a 3-in-1 scalp massager that removes dead skin cells, stimulates hair follicles, and relieves neck tension and headaches among others.

Her goal for creating this product is to educate more Black women on the importance of keeping a healthy scalp regimen for optimal hair growth. 

Latched and Hooked Beauty’s wide array of hair solutions cater to women with different hair needs, ranging from alopecia, eczema to sensitive scalp. The reviews over the years have been top-notch as Gatlin continues to evolve in the Black beauty industry.

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