Where did you grow up?
Chris-Tia: I grew up in Detroit. Spent seven years at Harvard (4 in Undergrad; 3 in Law School). Now, I live in the Windy City, Chi Town, in case you don’t know.
What do you want to make sure your audience knows?
– About you?
Chris-Tia: I want my audience to know that I’m actually running the day to day of this company, and when I say it’s the HARDEST thing I’ve ever done. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But, it’s not just me making this happen behind the scenes, I have a great team to thank for helping us to get to the next level.
About your career? What made you decide to begin?
Chris-Tia: Back in 2003, when I went natural, there were so few products on the market for women looking to embrace their natural curls, kinks and waves. In 2002, I was in my final year of law school and had this major internal struggle. I wanted to look professional, but I was also sick of getting chemical relaxers. I was in between a rock and a hard place, because I had been offered a job at one of the most prestigious law firms in Chicago, where Barack and Michelle Obama used to work. So, after doing what is now called the Big Chop, I decided to rock a wear a wig while I experimented with what look best for me.
At the time, the only thing really on the market for natural hair were old school products like Murray’s, Pink Lotion, and Blue Magic. All of which were made with like petroleum and lanolin and left my hair feeling weighed down and greasy. So I came up with the idea of starting my own product line to fill the void in this space as a follow up to my best-selling book, Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Natural Hair. Never would I have imagined that our products would one day be on the shelves of a national retailer like Target.
What was your main drive to write the book?
Chris-Tia: I wroteThank God I’m Natural to help dispel some of the most common myths and misconceptions about kinky hair. Part of the reason it took me so long to let go of my relaxer is because I was so misinformed. Like so many black women living in America, I spent almost a quarter century wishing for hair that looked nothing like my own, and thought I couldn’t wear my hair in its natural state, because my tresses looked nothing like Alicia Keys’ or Mariah Carey’s. When I came to the realization that I could go natural, I wanted to share all the information I learned about caring for my hair with others. I also wanted to let the ladies know that going natural would not put an end to their career, prevent them from getting a date, or require them to join the “movement”.
What is the motto of tgin? What does your company stand for?
Chris-Tia: Wow, great question. Of course, we are always trying to create products that live up to our name, “Thank God It’s Natural”. We constantly seek to deliver the best in class of natural products for men and women looking to care for their hair and skin, naturally.
What business people/individuals most influences you and why?
Chris-Tia: I would say, I’ve always been in love with Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is just so damn bad ass! She has put up with so much, as a woman in power, to get to where she is today, and she’s still standing, I’m really hoping that she becomes our next President. It would be amazing for little girls everywhere to grow up knowing that they can be President of the United States.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
Chris-Tia: The most rewarding part of running this company would have to be inspiring people to do their best, and to exceed their own expectations. I constantly tell my team “Good Enough is Never Good Enough. It has to be perfect.” Of course, no one is perfect and it’s nearly impossible to be perfect all the time and in everything, but when you set the bar super high for your employees, they come as close as possible to perfection, and I love it, which means the customer is happy.
Who depends on your success? Who are you doing this for? ((aside from yourself))
Chris-Tia: For God, my parents, and my kids. I feel like God choose me to do this. tgin is my life purpose. I could have never in my wildest dreams or with my own strength and intelligence have gotten this company where it is today. I also owe so much to my parents for sacrificing to help me get where I am today. My mom died less than 2 months before I started my freshman year at Harvard, and that situation/experience has made me the strong woman that I am today. I was made to do this, so when we set backs, no matter how big or small, I know we have to pull it together and move forward, like I did when I got to Harvard. Finally, tgin is for my kids. I want them to have the OPTION of not working for anyone but themselves.
If you weren’t in your field, what would you be doing?
Chris-Tia: I would probably be a Corporate Lawyer, who wanted to quit her job and work for the Innocence Project. If you’re not familiar with the Innocence Project, it is a not for profit organization that helps to exonerate innocent individuals who have been convicted of life sentences for crimes they did not commit.
When did you discover you were passionate about your craft?
Chris-Tia: When I first started working on my book. It was like this subject matter consumed me. It still does. I think about tgin all the time. It’s fun, exciting, but sometimes it’s a little annoying that I don’t know how to turn my mind off.
What’s going to be your legacy?
Chris-Tia: I want to take this company as far as I can, and continue to help and give back to my community through job creation. I also want to continue to expose our youth to the idea of hard work and excellence. A lot of people talk about kids not being willing to work hard these days. The problem is they don’t have the right examples. I love showing kids how to think, use their minds to analyze and solve problems.
What sets tgin apart in the natural hair community?
How did you end up partnering with Target?
Chris-Tia: Our recent partnership with Target is one of many steps we’re taking toward continued growth. Now, not only is tgin an affordable and effective hair care solution, but is also highly accessible for those who prefer to shop in store. We’ve been asked repeatedly by Target shoppers just when will our products be available at Target? We’ve always taken into account the needs and concerns of our customers and so, naturally, we listened.
Are you in just Target stores locally or nationwide?
Chris-Tia: We’re in select Target stores nationwide. For a complete visiting, you can visit our website and click here
Tell us about tgin Products?
Chris-Tia: The tgin Moist Collection is formulated specifically for thirsty and dry curls, kinks, and waves, adding an intense hydration boost to every stage of a healthy hair care regimen. Each product is made in small batches with unique blends of natural botanicals and butters working gently yet effectively to infuse dry hair with maximal moisture. The result is healthy hair that stays soft, moisturized, and easier to manage with every use. The entire tgin Moist Collection is free of parabens, sulfates, petrolatum, lanolin, artificial colors, and animal testing—and gentle enough for children.
Where can we find tgin products?
Chris-Tia: Along with select Target locations, the tgin Moist Collection can be purchased online at www.tginstore.com, on Amazon.com, and at local health and beauty supply stores nationwide and abroad.
What projects do you have coming up? What should we look out for?
Chris-Tia: Well we’re looking to get in Target. Hopefully, some other major retailers are next. We just have to take it one store at a time, but we also ask our customers to continue to support the small local health and beauty supply stores that have been there for us since Day 1. After that, I would love to do like a cookbook and to get into more health and wellness endeavors, like healthy snacks. Plus, it would be really cool to one day just own a farm. I would so love that!
What are your social media platforms?
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.