SheaMoisture returned to the highly anticipated Essence Festival of Culture and, after a two year hiatus, was thrilled to host a dynamic weekend full of events, experiences and joy — all anchored by the announcement of winners of the Next Black Millionaire impact program.
The initiative is one of the brand’s biggest wealth generation initiatives yet, done in collaboration with The New Voices Foundation to support, invest in, and propel Black entrepreneurs. All together, a full community experience was realized for Black women and men who gathered, connected, and celebrated.
Starting on Thursday, June 30, locals and visitors alike were welcomed to the House of Shea Popup to experience four days of activities, and took part in the celebration of Black and Brown wellness. The popup showcased stylist demonstrations; offered styling services, wellness activities, and live DJ sets; the chance to win free goodies, including products from the brand and from the Next Black Millionaire program winners; and more. The weekend also featured panel discussions from SheaMoisture executives and community leaders exploring critical topics impacting the community, with a special day dedicated to panels on issues impacting Black men specifically.
“For the last two years, SheaMoisture has doubled down on its commitment to our consumer and community, and we’re thrilled to be back in New Orleans to share all we’ve been up to and celebrate our collective culture, legacy, and future,” said SheaMoisture Chief Executive Officer, Cara Sabin.
“The activities this weekend reflect our love for and unwavering commitment to the Black community as we continue to amplify our investments in meaningful and substantive ways.”
One of the marquee moments of the weekend was the announcement of three winners of the brand’s Next Black Millionaire Fund. The fund — launched in collaboration with the New Voices Foundation — an investment initiative that underscores the joint mission to support Black entrepreneurs, and is meant to help recipients with financial and educational resources needed to grow their businesses to $1 million in revenue.
“New Voices is proud to co-present the Next Black Millionaire Fund alongside SheaMoisture to collectively drive Black wealth creation” said Richelieu Dennis, founder of the New Voices Fund and New Voices Foundation; founder of SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage; and founder and chairman of Essence Ventures.
“The New Voices Foundation has supported over 26,000 entrepreneurs since its inception and this partnership is an important continuation of our work. It is with intention and purpose that we continue to spotlight and invest in Black entrepreneurship and help cultivate a new generation of business leaders.”
The House of Shea Popup was located at The Jaxon (620 Decatur Street #2B) from Friday, June 30 until Sunday, July 3.
Beyond the House of Shea, the brand also showed up strong at the Essence Fest Beauty Carnival, taking place at the Convention Center. At the Carnival, SheaMoisture also presented stylist demonstrations, offered styling services, and gave fans more chances to win additional products and prizes. Visitors to the SheaMoisture booth also had the opportunity to win SheaDollars, which they could then redeem at the House of Shea for items from some of the 250 plus Black-owned small businesses that make up the brand’s SheaList.
More About the Next Black Millionaire Fund
Launched in 2021, the fund is part of SheaMoisture’s longstanding commitment to reinvesting in the Black community and aims to close the $11 trillion-dollar racial wealth gap. The brand, alongside the New Voices Foundation, will announce three Black entrepreneurs as the winners who will receive unprecedented support in their journey towards growing million-dollar businesses.
The three winners are: Neil Hudson from Atlanta based sauce brand, Scotch Boyz, Latoya Stirrup from Miami haircare brand, Kazmaleje, and Dorian Morris from Los Angeles based beauty brand, Undefined Beauty.
(Image: LaToya Stirrup, co-founder, Kazmaleje)
Each of the three winners will receive $100,000 in innovation seed funding, access to executives who will share their recipes for success, and mentorship and coaching from the New Voices Foundation.
In addition, the three winners will be featured in a planned docuseries that will start filming over the weekend and will capture the momentous journey the entrepreneurs are about to embark upon, with the support of leaders from SheaMoisture and the New Voices Foundation.
A new group of aspiring entrepreneurs will be able to apply to the program once admission for a second group opens later this year.
More About the House of Shea Programming
– The SheaList Marketplace: A four-day display of the products from our SheaList beneficiaries, a growing community of 250 plus businesses. The purpose of the marketplace was to spotlight the Black Entrepreneurs in our community that we proudly invest in and celebrate everyday. Festival goers were invited to come and shop our community of businesses. Guests could redeem their SheaDollars at the Marketplace, yet another way the company’s investment with Black-owned businesses was furthered.
– Salon and Barbershop Sessions: Salon sessions were open all day over the weekend for women to swing by for a consultation. For men, a barbershop experience was provided on July 3.
– Getting Physical: The Soca n Sweat session (June 30, 10:30 a.m.) helped you get snatched. The Fab and Fit Cardio cardio session (July 2, 10:30 a.m.) got your heart pumping. The Breath to the Beat yoga session (July 3, 10:00 a.m.) helped you get re-centered.
– Times to Party: DJ Kitty Cash spun a private opening night event on June 30 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Additional sets included one by DJ Envy (July 1, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) and a second one from DJ Kitty Cash (July 2, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.).
More About the Panels
– Black Women in Beauty (12:00 p.m.): True beauty is an inside job. A panel hosted by successful Black women beauty entrepreneurs for an intimate conversation on how they built their beauty brands to help you nurture your beauty and wellbeing from the inside out.
Moderated by Genel Ambrose, founder of beauty and wellness project Good Mirrors.
Panelists: Alicia Scott (founder of Range Beauty), Melissa Butler (chief executive officer of Lip Bar), Tai Beauchamp (co-founder of Brown Girl Jane), and Sylvia Brown Lee (chief executive officer of Skin by Brown Lee & Co).
– Creating in Color (1:00 p.m.): The power of Black creativity is felt worldwide and cannot be denied. Culture does not move without us. Hear from a panel of multi-faceted artists, content creators, and influencers as they share their blueprint to building their creative strategy to influence and create a profitable personal brand in today’s ever-changing digital world.
Moderated by Greg Emmanuel (journalist).
Panelists: Laci Jordan (multidisciplinary designer and artist), D’Ara Nazaryan (art director and illustrator), Micaéla Verrelien (content creator), and Donye Taylor (director of Creator Initiatives at Fohr).
– The Next Black Millionaire: Building Black Wealth Through Responsible Beauty (2:00 p.m.): Entrepreneurship is not an easy road, so it’s crucial to leverage our success to support the next generation of Black business owners. A conversation with the newest members of the SheaList family — SheaMoisture’s three Next Black Millionaire $100,000 Fund winners — will give us a peek into their entrepreneurial journeys while highlighting the importance of Black wealth building and how access plays a huge role in our community’s success.
Moderated by Tamica Lee (anchor, Good Morning New Orleans).
Panelists: Dorian Morris (founder of Undefined Beauty), LaToya Stirrup (co-founder of KAZMALEJE), Neil Hudson (co-founder of Scotch Boyz), Taydra Mitchell Jackson (head of Marketing of Sundial Brands), Marie Clark (director of Strategy and Communications of New Voices Foundation), and Monica Lightfoot (senior director, Beauty Partnerships, Target).
– Making Money Moves (12:00 p.m.): Ready to secure the entrepreneurial bag and live your dream? This is the panel where you’ll get in-depth insights from successful emerging Black entrepreneurs who have paved their own journeys and continue to make monumental strides each day.
Moderated by Kezia M. Williams (chief executive officer of The Black upStart).
Panelists: Alicia Scott (founder and chief executive officer of Range Beauty), Dinorah Peña (founder of talent management agency Bodega7), Neffi Walker (interior designer and owner of The Black Home), and Kim Lewis (co-founder of CurlMix).
– The Blueprint to Entrepreneurship (12:00 p.m.): When Black male entrepreneurs thrive, the whole community thrives as well. Join us for a discussion with Black males who are running emerging brands as they share the trials, triumphs, and everything in between.
Moderated by Trell Thomas (founder of Black Excellence Brunch).
Panelists to include: Gavin Mathieu (founder and designer of Supervsn Studios), Antoine Gregory (brand director of Theo Philio and founder of Black Fashion Fair), and Kent Johnson (co-founder of Grey Candle Company).
– #ShineWithShea: Making Black Millionaires* (12:50 p.m. to 1:10 p.m.): SheaMoisture is committed to reinvesting in the Black community and helping to close the $11 trillion-dollar racial wealth gap. That is why SheaMoisture, in partnership with the New Voices Foundation, is supporting three Black entrepreneurs on their journey towards growing million-dollar businesses through an unprecedented program that provides the funding, education, mentoring, and access they need to succeed and thrive.
Celebrate the winners of the SheaMoisture Next Black Millionaire Fund, alongside New Voices and Target, as we highlight three emerging Black-owned brands you should know about, and learn how they are fueling growth from the successful Black leaders who came before them.
The Next Black Millionaire Winners are: Neil Hudson from Atlanta-based sauce brand, Scotch Boyz, Latoya Stirrup from Miami haircare brand, Kazmaleje, and Dorian Morris from Los Angeles based beauty brand, Undefined Beauty.
The presentation to the winners will be hosted by Tamica Lee (journalist and television personality) and will feature the following speakers: Cara Sabin (chief executive officer, Sundial Brands and Beauty and Wellbeing General Manager North America, Unilever), Richelieu Dennis (founder of the New Voices Fund and Foundation, founder of Sundial Brands, and founder and Chair of Essence Ventures), and Mimi Udezue (senior buyer, Beauty, Target).
It is the only panel taking place at the Convention center; all other panels to take place at the House of Shea.
– No Rough Days, No Rough Days: Normalizing Health and Wellness Amongst Black Men (1:00 p.m.): Black men’s health matters. Come connect with a panel of Black men who are using health and wellness to reshape their lives and their communities. This discussion will dive deep into the importance of Black men prioritizing their health — mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Moderated by Joe Holder (health and wellness consultant and founder of The Ocho System).
Panelists: Mike Austin, Jeremy Walton (Mindful Performance coach), Etienne Maurice (founder and chief executive officer of the film and television production company Walk Good Productions), and Ailrick Young Jr. (graphic designer).
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