Meet the First Black-Owned and Woman-Operated Faux Hair Distributor to Launch on QVC
Over the last several years, former corporate bank executive turned entrepreneur and digital influencer, Tiffini Gatlin, has become a pioneer in the hair and beauty industry, winning in a niche market with no blueprints.
Kicking off Black History Month, Gatlin is celebrating a trailblazing move in innovative self-care. She is the first Black-owned and woman-operated faux hair designer and distributor to debut a textured hair extension product for Black women on QVC in their 37-year history.
With Black women in mind, the Latched & Hooked founder created a pre-tied turban wig that can be donned in 60 seconds or less. It even requires no lace cutting or gluing. Whether you wear wigs or not, the newest and high-selling “On the Go Pineapple Wig with Headband” can save you an average of 45 minutes, while eliminating the physical or mental conditioning caused by styling textured hair.
The recent launch, which aired on Feb. 4, continued to prove just how much the Black dollar shows up and shows out. The innovative wig already sold out of 1 of the 2 colors. Shop the launch here.
“Black women are expected to do it all and look presentable while doing it,” Gatlin told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“My wig design is a reminder to Black women that it’s okay to not have it all together but you don’t have to look like you don’t have it all together. We have beauty solutions for that!”
Considered the nation’s largest electronic retailer, QVC broadcasts to 380 million households around the world, including 7 countries, selling a wide variety of merchandise that includes clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, electronics, housewares, and toys.
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Since 2021, Gatlin has been behind the scenes anticipating her launch, while enduring COVID-induced delays, product testing, and more. But the timing is perfect for the CEO.
“The fact that it took 37 years for Black women to finally see a product that was specifically made with their hair texture in mind– is emotional, yet I feel honored that I was chosen,” Gatlin told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
She added: “I never remember seeing a Black-owned product on QVC, let alone a Black host, when I was a young girl watching in the early 90s and helping my mom secure her black porcelain dolls. If there were Black owned products you never knew about it. I never asked my mom but I think she was so amazed to see a black doll on live television that she started collecting them whenever they would make an appearance.”
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In 2018, Gatlin’s journey to seeking out quick and efficient solutions for Black women’s hair landed her on a solo trip to China, where synthetic hair for extensions (and wigs), are typically manufactured. Wig export accounts for more than 70% of the global supply.
In a completely unregulated industry, it can be practically impossible to determine how the synthetic hair of plastic fibers is manufactured. Sources have reported on how this low-grade acrylic plastic can affect the environment and the health conditions of those who dare to switch their hair as quickly and often as their outfits. For instance, Black women make up one third of the women who suffer from Traction alopecia.
“I was curious as to why my daughter along with so many other Black women were suffering from scalp irritation. I wanted to know what the synthetic fiber was made of and I wanted to find a solution to their problems,” Gatlin explained.
The boss lady of several successful digital brands, including multi-million dollar e-commerce beauty brand Curlkalon Hair Collection, Gatlin expanded her vision from the first patent-pending process of pre-curled and looped synthetic hair to the launch of Latched & Hooked, a lifestyle and beauty brand that offers textured synthetic hair extensions and hair care products.
The company aims to relieve Black women’s scalps and skin sensitivity by testing its hair fibers for toxins and ensuring they are zero percent of soluble heavy metals, lead content, phthalates, and formaldehyde.
Though synthetic hair products have failed to meet proper informative and efficient health and safety legislation, Gatlin is changing the narrative with her products and the help of her community. She leans on the support and her first mentorship in entrepreneurship with Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price, even as she strives to pursue scalp care and protective style maintenance.
“My goal is to deliver exceptional customer service and premium products in a way my customers aren’t used to purchasing,” Gatlin said. “My customers tell their friends and family how much they love our product and then we are lucky enough to engage that referral and gain them as a customer. I am always just doing the work.”
She continued: “We made history on QVC because a participant in a focus group that QVC had mentioned our name. It’s the classic example of how your name is being spoken in rooms you’ve never entered.”