Meet the Entrepreneur Confronting Masked Cultural Appropriation In The Beauty Industry

Inventor and founder of the PuffCuff® Hair Clamp (shown left) versus James Stammer, CEO of PDC Brands, which owns the brand Cantu (shown right)Hello!

On the heels of the Fashion Nova “fast fashion” controversy, I am sending this message to present you with a similar story opportunity that has deeply affected my client, the PuffCuff, but perhaps on a more profound level.

It’s another unfortunate story of Big Brand Bullies and their disregard for the black entrepreneur and small business owner. More and more products, especially in the fashion and beauty realm, designed by black entrepreneurs, are being re-developed at lower quality standards and sold by major brand conglomerates that have mastered targeting their marketing to African American consumers. Since African American consumers spend nearly nine times more than their non-Black counterparts on ethnic hair and beauty products, major brand conglomerates are using cultural marketing tactics that are so effective, it has the average consumer assuming that their brands are black-owned. However, these brands, with recognizable names such as Cantu, African Pride, etc..are in fact white-owned companies. Below, please see further details on how this practice has affected black-owned hair accessory brand the PuffCuff.  Upon review, please advise on any interest in pursuing this story opportunity further.

Recently, a black-owned hair accessory brand, The PuffCuff® Hair Clamp, was pushed out of a major distribution deal by a well-known hair product brand, Cantu, who had created a similar product design around the original PuffCuff. Not being able to compete with Cantu’s prolific name, massive product distribution platform, massive marketing machines and ability to manufacture hair accessories at a fraction of the cost (despite their quality), the PuffCuff was left to pursue opportunities elsewhere.  Never giving up hope, the inventor/founder of the PuffCuff– Ceata Lash– found another distribution deal with Sally Beauty, which now distributes her device in more than 3,000 retail stores nationwide.

Professional natural hair organization @NaturalHairIndustry recently posted an image of the PuffCuff® Hair Clamp (shown left) lined-up against the newly released Cantu Hair Clip (shown right) on their Instagram page to poll their audience’s thoughts on the striking similarities between the 2 devices.

As the first black woman to hold two natural hair accessory patents, Ceata Lash is determined to bring light to the issues surrounding the reality of big Brand Bullies and their efforts to redesign and manufacture low-quality versions of black-owned products, and then saturate the marketplace with their versions.  Thus, squeezing out the black-owned business altogether. For most black-owned businesses, they are not financially equipped to fight these major companies in legal battles. The only attainable solution is to STOP supporting the “Big Brands” and start educating consumers on who they’re really buying from. Ceata is on a mission to do just that.

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