We have faced many challenges, but each one has helped us grow as a company, and as a team. Raising money as a minority-owned company in the south, that provides/sells products and services to women of color has been a huge hurdle. People invest in people and ideas and businesses with which they are comfortable. That means, that the old white guy probably doesn’t understand us, or our business model. We’ve spent lots of money, time, and energy educating white men and women on the black consumer market. When we explain that black women drive 33 % of the 10 billion dollar U.S. hair product industry, but are only 6% of the population, they start to “kind ofâ€ get it. But then there is the issue that black women are asking a southern white man for money.
Why we do it
If it were only about the “potential moneyâ€ that we would make, then we would have quit a long time ago. This path has been an exciting, yet a stressful whirlwind of events. There have been many times along this two-year journey where I wanted to quit. I wanted to go back to being a chemical engineer in a traditional 9 a.am. to 5 p.m. setting, but we both realized that we are on assignment from God. We are trailblazers, who are paving the path for other women to use their STEM backgrounds to create multimillion even billion-dollar companies. We are a reminder to the human race, that with perseverance, trust in God, and family support, you can achieve anything no matter your socio-economic status or skin color.
Advice to other entrepreneurs
Candace and myself work on this full-time. In addition to full-time with Techturized, I am a wife and a mother to a newborn baby girl. It’s a tough road to follow, and you need a support system to get through each day. Before walking away from that “9 to 5,” identify your support system that will encourage you and keep you lifted in prayer and daily affirmations. Understand that the road less traveled is very tough. You may get hundreds of “no’sâ€ before you get your first yes. If you truly believe in what you are doing, keep at it.
We were just accepted in to another business accelerator program, DreamIt Ventures for the fall cohort. We are also partnering with Spelman College in Atlanta to create a pipeline for women in STEM. To keep up with Techturized and Myavana, visit Myavana.com/media. Myavana is available for download in the Apple App and Google Play stores. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @MyavanaHair.
Chanel Martin (@ChanelEbone) is a co-founder and chief science officer of Techturized (@Techturized) Inc. She is also a wife, new mom, and lover of all things hair! She works full-time on her company Techturized. Techturized’s first product,Â Myavana (@Myavanahair) providing hair care personalization for female consumers around the world.
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS! Join us for the landmark 10th AnnualÂ Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit hosted by State Farm,Â March 2—4, 2015, at Fort Lauderdale Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL. This exciting, one-of-a-kind executive leadership summit is designed to train, equip and encourage women to becomeÂ industry leaders, learn career strategies, and discover proven work—life balance techniques. Register Now! http://www.blackenterprise.com/wps