(H/T: Black Female Coders) Black female startup Techturized was on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show discussing their natural hair social network “Madame You.”
MHP: In part because I suspect some folks will think it’s odd to talk about hair as, like, a social network space or collective or communal space–you wake up in the morning to do your hair and you go outside. It’s personal. Why do you think you need a community for this?
TECHTURIZED: Because women are already doing this. If you look at Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, women are taking photos of their hair, searching for hairstyles. There are hundreds of thousands of facebook groups where women have gathered together to discuss their hair. So it’s about time that we’ve created our own space just for our hair.
In the interview, Anthea Butler connected Techturized’s work to a long history of black women entrepreneurship around haircare, mentioning one of the most recognized: Sarah Breedlove, better known as Madame C. J. Walker.
In her “Madame Walker Essay,” posted at madamecjwalker.com, A’Lelia Bundles writes:
“…During the 1890s, Sarah began to suffer from a scalp ailment that caused her to lose most of her hair. She experimented with many homemade remedies and store-bought products, including those made by Annie Malone, another black woman entrepreneur. In 1905 Sarah moved to Denver as a sales agent for Malone, then married her third husband, Charles Joseph Walker, a St. Louis newspaperman. After changing her name to “Madam” C. J. Walker, she founded her own business and began selling Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula, which she claimed had been revealed to her in a dream. Madam Walker, by the way, did NOT invent the straightening comb or chemical perms, though many people incorrectly believe that to be true….”
Congrats to them!
Techturized (Candace Mitchell, 25; Jess Watson, 22; and Chanel Martin, 28) also won the 2013 Blacks in Technology Business (BiT) Pitch Competition at SXSW Interactive.
Image Credits: (top/featured) The Techturized Team (Candace Mitchell, Chanel Martin, Joy Buolamwini, and Jess Watson) via My Natural Reality; (bottom) “Madame C.J. Walker (at wheel of car) with her niece Anjetta Breedlove, Alice Kelby and Lucy Flint, forewoman and secretary at the Madame C.J. Company.” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / Photographs and Prints Division