From Jamaica to Pittsburg, the cofounders of Our Grandmother’s Hair used their grandmother’s handmade Jamaican Castor Oil to create a line of hair care products.
1. Where are you from?
So…this is a bit of a loaded question so I guess I’ll answer it in 3 parts. Our cofounders are from Waterhouse, Kingston, Jamaica and Coatesville, PA but our business Our Grandmother’s Hair was founded here in Pittsburgh, PA.
2. How long have you been practicing your craft?
Being an individual that has been natural for over 12 years I started to make my own shampoo as a way to ensure that the product that I was using to wash my hair included all natural ingredients. It’s been about 5 years that I’ve been making my own shampoo and maybe about a year since I have been making conditioner. My partner started making hair gold when the pandemic hit last year and she wanted to ensure that she was able to stimulate growth without having access to other hair care products.
3. Who has influenced you? Favorite greats?
The greatest influence has been Madam C J Walker. We had the wonderful experience of watching her documentary on Netflix that allowed us to see that the mission with establishing a natural hair care line was possible. We also have been influenced by our parents and grandparents that have shown perseverance, hard work, determination and the epitome of ambitious.
4. Why did you choose this route?
We chose this route because as mentioned it was the beginning of a pandemic and we had exhausted our resources in terms of hair care products. It became apparent that this area needed a local natural hair care business that sold products that tailored to people like us.
5. How would you describe your projects or brand?
Our brand is Natural and authentic. We use all natural ingredients that are organic and non GMO. We take pride in the fact that our primary ingredient of Jamaican Black Castor oil is imported directly from Jamaica and handmade by our founder’s grandmother.
6. How would you describe your fan base? Who would you like to reach?
Our target audience is individuals that are natural or looking to stimulate and retain growth. Our products are good for people with all different hair types and people of all ages.
7. Are you acquainted with any clothing lines? Any other products or services?
No…but we look forward to doing a collaboration with a couple brands in the future.
8. Do you have any other projects or businesses you’re working on? If so, feel free to explain.
We lead rather busy lives outside of OGH. One of our cofounders is a full-time doctoral candidate that is in the process of preparing to write her dissertation. Our other founder is a full-time nurse that dedicates her time to caring for others. Outside of OGH we are full-time moms to a 3 year old young King and anyone that has a 3 year old knows how much of a project and joy that can be.
9. What or who motivates you?
We are motivated by our consumers and the fact that we know we have a product that can and does work to help people gain their confidence and poise back. Our family motivates us and of course our young King is the driving force to make sure we can leave a legacy for him to continue to share with the world. We are also motivated by ensuring that we put our families in the position to live a fulfilling life free from any financial worries.
10. Who do you plan to influence with your work?
It is our goal to influence the people that are natural to continue to love and express who they truly are without any worries about being judged or disliked.
11. What do you think is your purpose in life?
Our life purpose is to make sure we are being the light that we want to see in the world while going the extra mile if necessary to help make the world a better place. We strongly believe in the principle of treating people how they want to be treated despite the way they are treating you.
12. What is the title of your latest work of art? When did you release it? Or when will you?
Our latest product have been our OGH Hair Gold and our OGH Shampoo and Conditioner. They were released on April 3, 2021. We have a couple new products that will be released in the next month or so…star tuned.
13. How often do you showcase your work? Where do you showcase? Where would you like to take your brand?
Since we started we have been using the different social media platforms to showcase of work. We use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Droop, & WeGotUps .
14. Name people or brands in your industry you’ve had the pleasure of working with.
None yet but we are hopeful that we will have plenty of time to work with other brands.
15. How did you come up with your stage/business name?
Our Grandmother’s Hair was created for a couple reason. First being the fact that my grandmother Beryl Barnes passed away at the end of 2020. At the time of her passing we were in the process of preparing to launch our hair care line and it made sense to pay tribute to her. The other more obvious reason is the fact that our grandmother hand makes all of the Jamaican Black Castor Oil that we use in our products. She has been making and selling Castor Oil in Jamaica for several years now and has always told me that she wants her descendants to learn her trade to keep the family business going. And lastly, we understand that our genes and natural tresses come from our grandparents and other ancestors. Without them there would be no us so we have to acknowledge their influence in everything that we do.
16. What is your favorite part about being in your industry? Least favorite?
The favorite part is that there are genuinely people that would like to support our brand because they understand and believe in our mission.
The least favorite part is not having the support from people that we’ve supported and also those that we thought would be the first to support us.
17. What are your plans after success?
You start with a loaded question and end with one huh? Okay so one of the plans is to open a holistic and therapeutic center that people can come to and find true healing. We would also like to open a plant just like it in Jamaica to help some of the individuals understand the importance of mental health.