Donaldson’s death was revealed via the brand’s Instagram account in a video posted the next day. The cause of death was not disclosed.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our founder and CEO, Chris-Tia Donaldson, on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 13,” said Aris Singleton, Donaldson’s niece and employee, in the post.
“Through her passion for beauty and purpose, she redefined beauty and created a community of women empowerment, teaching us the importance of advocating for ourselves,” she continued.
As reported by WWD, Donaldson came to found the brand when transitioning away from lye-based hair relaxers during her time at a Chicago-based law firm, and tapped into her personal savings to get started. TGIN launched in 2013, and counted Walmart, Target, Whole Foods and Walgreens among its retail partners.
Donaldson received her A.B. in economics from Harvard University and her juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School.
She even penned a book, called “Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair.”
Donaldson was a breast cancer survivor, and started the TGIN Foundation to help uninsured women receive treatment for breast cancer.
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