This founder’s story represents how a delay does not mean a denial.
Back in 2016, Tiffini Gatlin launched Latched and Hooked Beauty — a premium synthetic hair extensions brand. The brand aims to help Black women who are on the search for non-toxic, stress-free, affordable protective hairstyles.
Then, in 2021, Gatlin’s mission caught the attention of Google for Startups as she was awarded $100,000 for her business. What’s more, she was one of Ulta Beauty’s MUSE 100 honorees.
Gatlin’s momentum continued to soar that same year after a QVC hair buyer reached out to her to create a product for the network’s live show. However, due to COVID-19, freight delays, and chemical product testing, her time to shine was delayed twice.
Now, nearly two years later, Gatlin is set to be watched on a global scale.
On Feb. 4, Gatlin will launch her synthetic wig design on QVC — making her the first Black-owned faux hair designer to launch in the shopping platform’s history.
“This historic moment means that I wasn’t crazy when I decided to enter into a niche market where there were no blueprints,” Gatlin told AfroTech. “My work over the last six years was not in vain and I have proven that Black women want quality hair products to help them feel their most confident self.”
“I may be the first to launch a hair extension product for Black women on QVC but I certainly do not want to be the last,” she continued. “I hope this moment will inspire my fellow Black woman founders to persist in the face of adversities and if you define a problem and you are passionate about solving it, don’t seek validation — solve the problem and the rest will come.”
Latched and Hooked Beauty caters to Black women who experience scalp and skin sensitivity to hair fibers. The company combats the common issue by testing its hair fibers for toxins and making sure they are free of soluble heavy metals, lead content, phthalates, and formaldehyde in a lab. Latched and Hooked Beauty has created quick and efficient solutions for Black women’s hair.
“I wanted to design a wig for women who don’t wear wigs,” Gatlin explained. “Wigs can be intimidating and the wig I’m launching on QVC is a pre-tied turban wig so there is no lace cutting or gluing. Also, because the hair is synthetic there is no daily manipulation required. The goal was to create a wig that she can put on and go in 60 seconds or less.”