Beauty entrepreneur Tiffini Gatlin is making home shopping history as the first Black-owned faux hair designer to offer her breakthrough products on QVC.
Gatlin, the Atlanta-based businesswoman and founder of Latched and Hooked Beauty, creates a line of premium synthetic hair extensions. She says what makes her product different is that they are designed not to cause irritation or inflammation on the scalp. The product was even one of Ulta Beauty’s MUSE 100 honorees in 2021.
Latched and Hooked Beauty’s target audience Black women who experience scalp and skin sensitivity to hair fibers. To make sure the wigs can be used with sensitive skin, Latched and Hooked Beauty tests its hair fibers for toxins, that they are free of soluble heavy metals, lead content, phthalates, and formaldehyde in a lab.
“I wanted to design a wig for women who don’t wear wigs,” Gatlin told AfroTech. “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.”
Latched and Hooked Beauty was created in 2016. Gatlin used social media to market her debut Curlkalon Hair Collection, a line of crochet wigs, and the company raked in $1 million within one year, Essence reported.
Now Gatlin is taking things up a notch by offering her hair products on QVC. QVC had about 15.1 million consolidated consumers worldwide in 2021, according to Statista. Of those, 4.7 million were QVC International customers.
To sell products on QVC, a company must have the ability to mass produce their goods. QVC’s minimum purchase order is typically $30,000 to $35,000 per item at wholesale cost, the Houston Chronicle reported. For an item with a $30 wholesale cost per unit, this would mean a minimum order of 1,000 units, all of which must be received by QVC before the on-air promotion of the product.
According to AfroTech, a QVC hair buyer contacted Gatlin to create a product for the network’s live show in 2021, but COVID-19-related production and delivery issues caused the debut to be pushed back to this year.
On Feb. 4, Gatlin’s synthetic wig design was presented on QVC, making her the first Black-owned faux hair designer on the network.
“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.”
Boost From Google
In 2021, the product got support from Google.
Through the tech giant’s small business startup foundation, Google for Startups Founders Academy, Latched and Hooked Beauty was awarded $100,000, Linked Inclusive reported. Gatlin also got the support of companies like Visa and PayPal.