Sundial Brands is lauded for its embrace of corporate responsibilities as much as it is credited with ushering in fresh thinking in merchandising for the multicultural market. Founded by Richelieu Dennis, his mother and his college roommate, Nyema Tubman, Sundial hit a chord with consumers looking for skin and hair care created to address the concerns of a variety of hair textures and skin colors. Originally sold on the streets of New York, the company’s brands, including Shea Moisture, are now retailed at major chains from Target to Walgreens. Giving back has been a hallmark of Sundial. Not only are the items made from natural, certified organic and ethically sourced ingredients, the company adheres to what Dennis calls “community commerce,” a purpose- driven model that builds stronger communities and better business.
Ten percent of its Shea Moisture proceeds go to women-led businesses or to support the Sofi Tucker Foundation. The foundation, named after Dennis’ grandmother, the creator of the formulas Sundial uses today, provides financial grants to organizations that seek to economically empower women. Thus far, more than $5 million has been awarded, primarily in the area of women’s education and entrepreneurship.