In 2009, while working full-time in the psychiatry department at the School of Medicine at Washington University, Tasha began to mix store-bought shea butter with a curated cocktail of oils to create a product that would soften and extend the benefits of the butter on her tightly coiled hair.
Two years later the University laid her off after more than four years of service. And it would be the beauty experiment she conducted in her kitchen to create a remedy to easily manage her hair that would ultimately lead her to her next chapter: Belle Butters.
Now 30, Tasha runs Belle Butters full-time and has expanded her line from that first product to more than a dozen products that provide benefits for hair, face and body. Her products are sold online and at Tendrils and Curls in Houston, TX, though she’s looking to expand.
I recently caught up with Tasha to learn more about her inspiration, her journey, and her vision for the future of her business.
Madame Noire: How would you describe Belle Butters to someone who’s hearing about your company for the first time?
Tasha Burton: Belle Butters is a handmade natural hair and body care product company that uses the best natural ingredients.
MN: You launched the company as a way to supplement your income while you were employed at Washington University. Was that the only catalyst to launching the company?
TB: In addition to supplementing my income, I also needed a product that would keep my very coarse, tightly-coiled and dry hair softer longer. I noticed that at the time, there weren’t many products on the market geared towards women with a similar hair type as mine. Most products were only effective on those who had a looser curl pattern and finer hair. I really wanted my products to help fill this void.
MN: How many employees do you have?
TB: None. If things get really busy, I may ask my mom or sister to drop orders off at the post office for me, but that’s about it. I do everything on my own.