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Hey Queens! Meet Stephanie Eyison | Atarah Haircare

What’s the name of your business or organization? Atarah Haircare

Why did you start your business or organization? I have always had a dream for myself: to be a corporate communications professional, making 6-figures, wearing killer heels and designer outfits while making waves as one of the brightest and best in the communications industry. Both my undergrad and graduate degrees were in Communications and New Media. I felt destined to tow that line in order to be successful.

So when I got the call to interview for my dream job just 3 months after having my daughter, I jumped at the opportunity. As I was being ushered into a new phase in my career, my hair had entered a new stage as well; what scientists deemed the Telogen Phase of our hair growth cycle - where our hair falls out. Due to the hormones released during pregnancy, the three phases of our hair growth cycle becomes heightened. The Anagen phase, which is the growth phase, sees a lot of growth and fullness. But that is countered by the Telogen Phase which can cause severe hair loss or alopecia. My whole head was a joke which left me quite depressed and desperate. Tons of research and most importantly, prayer, led me to an all-natural and organic oil formulation which amazingly grew my edges back in about 6weeks. By the third month, my whole head of hair was thicker and healthier than it had ever been. As a nursing mother, I didn't want to any formulation that would harm or be toxic for my baby via breastfeeding, making the trial and error process tedious, but eventually worthwhile. The ingredients were, and still are sourced from all over the world; Morocco, Jamaica, Philippines and Ghana, to name a few.

A year into my dream job, I was let go (my contract was not renewed). My world came crashing down and to top it off, I was pregnant again. After a little moping around, I decided to take a big leap of faith and introduce my oil formulation to the world. My family and friends had been raving about how it had helped grow their hair so I figured it would be a great alternative to people suffering alopecia, especially postpartum alopecia. Atarah (which is Hebrew for 'crown') was officially launched July 23, 2018.

Though Atarah is just a year-old startup, I've gained great mentors such as Mrs. Lois Hines (Tropic Isle Living) and Monique Rodriguez (Mielle Organics) who truly believe in what I've created. We have also been recently tapped to participate in Macy's Marketplace program. Atarah is here to empower women of color about the beauty of their hair by providing effective healthy hair growth products. To this effect, I begun cosmetology school this February to accumulate all the knowledge and skill I can about hair as a whole. I intend on being a powerhouse problem-solver for women of color when it comes to their hair. Good People founder, Katie Longmyer, once stated in an interview, "You can start from your passion and build around it and it will eventually turn into a business." This is what I'm wholeheartedly pushing for everyday. The girl with a dream is now a woman on a mission, empowering women, especially mothers, one edge at a time.

How are you helping people with your business or organization? At the heart of Atarah is the mission to empower women of color about the beauty of their hair and help to change the narrative of what healthy hair looks like. Atarah is very involved in educating women, especially mothers about postpartum alopecia and creating a sense of normalcy around it. We have recently collaborated with a women's co-op in Ghana, West Africa, where we are sourcing raw, premium Shea Butter for a new product we will be launching in October. This is to ensure that these women in the Northern Region of Ghana (quite an impoverished area) engage in fair trade, and most importantly, have an employment and a steady stream of income.

What is the significance of your business or organization? Atarah exists to be the best, safe alternative for the woman of color who are looking for an effective yet safe solution to their hair-growth challenges. All our ingredients are natural and certified organic, ensuring that only the finest products are made.

What motivates you to continue in your business or organization? I am a spiritual person and actually got the idea to introduce my oil to the world through prayer... Knowing that this brand was established through God's direction motivates me tremendously. To me, this is just not a business but a fulfillment of my purpose here on earth and I do not take it lightly. It is a privilege to be in my position as a wife, mother, student and business owner. Secondly, my family, my two children especially, drive me. Growing up, my mother worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices so our family could be comfortable... I would be doing a huge disservice to her and her legacy if I do anything less than what she accomplished. I would want my children to have that same experience and grow up knowing they can make a difference if they strive for it.

Do you have any upcoming events to share? We will be exhibiting at a trade-show in Accra, Ghana next month from Sept 7-8 and the big news is our product line expansion. Between September and October, we will be launching three new products. We are also introducing a 21-day hair challenge on Social Media next week.

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