How They Launched It: Betting on Affordable, High Quality Hair Extensions with Amizade Hair

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November 5, 2012 ‐ By Sakita Holley

Each year, African American women spend millions of dollars on hair extensions and hair care products, contributing to the multi-billion dollar bottom line of a market that is 90 percent owned and operated by Korean businesses.

In recent years, there’s been an outcry by the African American community calling for an investigation on the Korean domination of the market and many media outlets including Madame Noire have tackled this issue in the past.

Michelle Morant (background) and Kendra Austin

In spite of higher-than-normal barriers of entry to entrepreneurship in the black hair care and weaving industries, veteran companies like Carol’s DaughterDudley’s Q and newcomers like Huetiful and curlBOX are working feverishly to reclaim ownership of the brown beauty conversation.

Joining those ownership ranks is Amizade Hair, a new hair extension company founded by friends Michelle Morant and Kendra Austin that launched this past August.

According to Austin, the company provides “quality, affordable, and luxurious virgin hair extensions from around the world, in a range of textures, styles, and lengths,” and hopes to become a go-to brand among extension loyalists who may have traditionally purchased products from a non-black owned company.

We recently caught up with Morant and Austin to learn more about how they launched Amizade Hair, discuss industry obstacles and where they see themselves in the marketplace.

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