Were you one of those kids who grew up tender-headed? Or know someone who was? Well, recently I was introduced to Jilea Hemmings, of Stretchy Hair Clipz. I was so impressed by her story that I had to share it with our readers, because this product is genius and going to help people everywhere!
Stretchy Hair Clipz is a quick, painless detangling device that will make your hair routine easy and pain-free. Check out our interview our interview below.
Tell our readers about your career background
I am Jilea Hemmings Co-Founder of Stretchy Hair Care. I am a staunch believer in the power of entrepreneurship. I had a successful career revamping Fortune 500 companies but that was not enough for my entrepreneurial spirit, so I began focusing on my passion helping startups. I have successfully built 6 startups of my own to date —beginning with the formation of my own consulting agency, Eshe Consulting. My passion for entrepreneurship continues to flourish with the development of Stretchy Hair Care, focusing on relieving the pain associated with detangling and styling natural black hair. For far too long, people with tender heads have suffered in pain with no resolve. Stretchy Hair Care changes that narrative.
What made you enter the haircare space?
As a family, we entered the haircare arena because of my daughter Anika who is 9 years old. She is extremely tender headed. Stylists did not have the patience to comb her hair. It would take 10-12 hours just to wash her 4C hair. As a family, we felt no one should be tortured this way and we had to create a solution. We needed to find a way to still do her hair but to take away the pain. The only time she would get some relief was when my husband would hold her hair tight with a manly grip so I can detangle her hair. He would always find his hands cramping up afterward since he held her hair so tight. We knew if we could create a clip that could grip her hair as tight as his hand and relieve the tension from the scalp, she would not be in pain anymore. This is how Stretchy Detangling Clipz was created. It took Anika from crying to smiling in seconds. Not only was it a relief for her but the rest of us who sympathized with her pain.
With everything going on in the world, how do you keep yourself motivated?
We are living in crazy times. We put our children’s future as our primary focus, and this keeps us mentally grounded. We want our children’s inheritance and legacy secure. That cycle can be broken, and they can extend their hands to help to elevate others. This is giving birth to a new generation of entrepreneurs, financial security, and community connection and involvement.
What is the best advice you’ve received when it comes to business?
When I started my business, it came with a lot of excitement but also a lot of anxiety. The last thing you want is for the business to fail. In fact, a lot of times people don’t start a business because they are afraid to fail. When I found myself worried about failure with one of my businesses my mentor Dion gave me some great advice. He said live in the failure for a moment. Plan what failure looks like, create a contingency plan, and then get back to work on growing your business. This was a really helpful exercise because I realized afterward that while I might not be successful, I would still be okay. A lot of times we don’t start a business because we don’t plan for what failure looks like. After the exercise, I became completely fearless because I knew I had a plan.
If you could get Stretchy Haircare in the hands of 3 women who would it be?
Erykah Badu, Solange, Oprah
What does the future hold for the haircare industry?
There are a lot of amazing brands on the market created by black-owned businesses. We need to continue to support these brands.
What’s next for Stretchy Haircare?
We are launching 3 companion products this year Stretchy Detangling Spray, Stretchy Moisturizing Pudding, and Stretchy Edge Jelly. All our products are made with tender heads in mind.
One of my favorite motto’s is “You must evolve, or you will dissolve!” What’s your motto?
Dare to Fail Up! This way you know you are pushing yourself to the limit and trying every angle to help yourself win.
All images by Jasmine Hutcherson