Kendra Woolridge’s Clean Nail Polish Brand Wins $10,000 Jack Daniel’s Pitch Competition
Inspired by the strength and legacy of her grandmothers, Janet Lee and Jo Woolridge, Kendra Woolridge embarked on a mission to create a clean beauty product that blends passion for nail polish with love for family. Woolridge’s entrepreneurial spirit recently earned her top honors at the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey pitch competition, the Washington Informer reported.
The event, “New Beginnings: Make It Count,” took place on Oct. 18 at The Gathering Spot in Northwest, D.C. Woolridge’s nail polish business secured the first-place prize of $10,000, while Rejuvenation, a 100% plant-based alternative energy drink company led by CEO Anna Cobb, claimed the second-place prize of $5,000.
Woolridge’s journey led her to establish Janet & Jo, a luxurious nail lacquer brand named after her grandmothers that avoids harmful toxins commonly found in nail polishes.
Both Woolridge and Cobb competed against four other Black-owned Washington, D.C. companies. The contestants made their pitches in front of judges from the Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce and their supporters. Each entrepreneur had three minutes to present their business ideas and faced two minutes of questions from the judges, covering topics like marketing strategy, personnel, and plans for utilizing the prize money.
Woolridge revealed her plans for the $10,000 prize, emphasizing a significant purchase order that needs fulfillment. Her vegan-based nail polish is already available in spas, specialty stores, and hotels. The product, which she developed through a process of “trial and error,” has gained considerable traction, with over 75,000 units sold and a workforce of five employees.
Anna Cobb’s Rejuvenation energy drink carries a mission of offering individuals a “second chance at life” by replenishing their vitality. Presently, 275 retailers across the nation sell her product, including major grocers like Harris Teeter and Kroger. Cobb aspires to see Rejuvenation become a household name, underscoring the product’s potential to revitalize the body.
Ben Osei, field marketing manager for Jack Daniel’s, expressed the brand’s commitment to supporting budding Black-owned businesses. He stated that the “New Beginnings: Make It Count” program aims to promote the growth of local businesses and raise awareness about Black-owned ventures. The program, initiated in 2020, intends to provide equal opportunities for Black founders striving for business success. Osei acknowledged the economic challenges faced by Black entrepreneurs during the pandemic and highlighted Jack Daniel’s dedication to addressing this disparity.