10 Black Business Power Couples In Black History - Page 4 of 10 - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

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  • Edward and Betti Ann Gardner: Soft Sheen Products. Ed and Betti Gardner launched Soft Sheen Products in 1964, from the basement of their home on the south side of Chicago, with one product–a hair and scalp conditioner. The couple created one the nation’s largest African American hair care empires with Soft Sheen grossing nearly $100 million annually at its height. As the company and its name grew to become a national brand, so did its product line, to include items like shampoos and conditioners, relaxers and gels such as Care Free Curl, Let’s Jam, Frizz Free, Sportin’ Waves, Wave Nouveau and Optimum Care. After over 30 years in business, the Gardners sold Soft Sheen to L’Oreal in 1998. Soft Sheen-Carson was born from the merger of the Carson and SoftSheen companies within the L’Oréal Group in 2000. Founded in 1901, Carson’s Dark & Lovely no-lye relaxer kit led to the company becoming leading hair relaxer brand worldwide.
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