Johnson & Johnson Innovation has invested in Black-owned hair-care brand Sunday II Sunday.
Founded by entrepreneur Keenan Beasley and launched earlier this spring, Sunday II Sunday is targeted at Black women who exercise frequently and want to remove sweat and build-up from their hair. Beasley, who started his career in corporate consumer packaged goods and beauty with companies such as Procter & Gamble and L’Oréal, compared the line to “ath-leisure” for textured hair.
The amount of investment was not disclosed. The brand has also secured funding from Ignite Venture Studios.
Sunday II Sunday is part of Beasley’s larger business, a “venture studio” that aims to build personal-care brands to meet unfulfilled needs for Black consumers.
“I started to identify the pain points in the consumer experience, and the challenges African American women face around activity and hair were glaringly obvious,” said Beasley. “It’s ridiculous that there weren’t already solutions.”
Beasley is looking to lean on Johnson & Johnson’s labs for research and development support. Sunday II Sunday sells products such as the Root Refresh Micellar Water, $31; Soothe Me Daily Scalp Serum, $28, and Revive Me Daily Moisturizing Spray, $31. The brand’s products are made with a proprietary formula, composed of natural ingredients, that is said to soothe the scalp and reduce itching and inflammation.
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In the wake of social unrest, consumers are demanding that retailers devote more attention to Black-owned brands and products for consumers who are Black, Indigenous and people of color. Many have responded by taking the 15 Percent Pledge, a promise to broaden their assortment to ensure 15 percent of total brands carried in the store are from Black founders.
The Black hair market is an especially big opportunity for growth — Mintel in 2018 estimated the total Black hair-care market to be worth $2.5 billion, though at some mass-market stores in the U.S., the category is treated as an afterthought.
Sunday II Sunday’s products are, for now, sold direct-to-consumer on mysunday2sunday.com.
Black-owned brands are not often invested in or acquired by major consumer corporations. One exception is P&G’s 2018 acquisition of Walker & Co., Tristan Walker’s portfolio of brands targeted at Black consumers.
Beasley thinks his professional experience in CPG comes in handy when pitching his own brands for funding. “I’ve been on all sides of this industry, and CPG speaks a certain language,” he said. “I think I’m able to position a start-up in a way that speaks to them.”