Naturally Drenched Founder Jamila Powell Shares Her Formula for Success

Her goal is to encourage Black women to love their natural hair.

Jamila Powell
Jamila Powell.

Looking after textured hair takes a lot of patience, TLC, and perseverance. But Jamila Powell, a mother, lawyer, and businesswoman, has a passion for helping women nurture their textured hair — so much so, she's made a business out of it. 

Powell, is the founder of Maggie Rose Salon, one of the top texture salons in the country specializing in naturally curly hair, and Naturally Drenched, a vegan hair care line.

In an interview with InStyle, Powell discusses how she got the company started, the challenges she faced, and advice for aspiring beauty bosses. Read on to learn more about her steps to success.

What inspired you to open a texture salon and formulate a haircare line? 

When I was in law school, in Washington DC, the natural hair movement was in full swing and textured salons were popping up around the city,  that’s when I went natural for the second time. I was on a search for how to properly care for my hair, it was still a struggle. I ended up having a standing weekly appointment.  

After law school, I moved to South Florida.  It was extremely hard to find a salon that catered to my natural curls, so I ended up going back to relaxing my hair.  Right before I had my daughter, I went completely natural but still couldn’t find many salons in my area that catered specifically to my hair type. I decided to open a salon with the goal of teaching customers how to care for their natural hair.  I was inspired to formulate my own line of hair products because the salon helped me see what ingredients worked best on different textures. I had yet to find a complete line that catered to all curly textures. I wanted to create a line that focuses on the health of hair, based on the knowledge I was gaining.

What was your journey towards launching your product line and opening the salon?  

I wanted ladies with textured hair to have a place they could go and know their hair would be well looked after. I also hoped the salon would help me earn a little extra income when I had my daughter. My salon is called Maggie Rose, it’s named after my daughter, Magnolia Rose.  

I decided I wanted to open a salon on Memorial Day in 2013, and by August, I had opened it. I’m a Sagittarius so once I commit my mind to something, I dive right in and push to see the idea come to fruition.  

For Naturally Drenched, I had always wanted to have my own haircare line, but COVID really pushed me to get it done.  I had to temporarily shut the salon down in 2020, and decided that moment was my chance.  I found a cosmetic chemist, design team, and PR team on Instagram, and launched in February 2021.

How did you go about raising funding for your business? 

To start my brand, I used money from loans and my own funds.  It’s very scary, especially in a saturated beauty market. I’m grateful for my support system that pushes me through the difficult times.

What were some of the challenges you faced while growing your business?

Lack of money has been the hardest part. I wear every single hat possible in my business.  Not to mention, I’m constantly trying to learn and improve my business. As the business grows, so do all of the responsibilities that go with it. Manufacturing and packaging has also been very tough. Starting with a hero product was difficult in terms of waiting. However, adding products to the line has brought on challenges that have really pushed me to adjust and pivot.   

What has been your proudest moment?  

My proudest moment was going to New York City with my mother and daughter and seeing my product on a shelf in a brick-and-mortar store.  That was a milestone moment for me, and we have made it an annual girl’s trip. 

What sets Naturally Drenched and Maggie Rose apart from other natural haircare lines and texture salons? 

I have a true passion for haircare. I love it, and that shines through in the salon and with my haircare line. For me, testing out my products on several different textures and having the benefit of seeing what works is critical to Naturally Drenched’s success. I really just want everyone to love and embrace their hair. I have been at every stage of the hair journey, and am glad I finally figured out to truly love my crown. 

Every brand defines vegan and eco-conscious differently, how does your brand define this in the way your products are formulated?

I believe it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Just when I think I’ve fine-tuned my definition of vegan or eco-conscious, a new thought process pops up, which has to be considered. For me in the practical sense vegan means no ingredients are used that are a by-product of an animal. In terms of eco-conscious I look to studies for any toxins, best practices in regards to packaging, and fair trade. It really is an ever-evolving space in the beauty world, but I am committed to continuously learning, progressing, and doing what’s right to the best of my ability.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to aspiring beauty bosses?  

Just do it! If you think about the process too much, or wait for the right moment, you might talk yourself out of moving forward.  There’s no one way to launch a brand, they all vary, with different levels of success.  What’s meant for you, is meant for you.

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

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