Aveeno has announced that Alodia Hair Care founder, Dr. Isfahan Chambers Harris, is the first ever recipient of the Aveeno Skin Health Startup Accelerator. Dr. Isfahan will receive the tools and funding necessary to grow her business including a $100,000 grant and ongoing mentorship and a feature in ShopEssence – ESSENCE’s e-commerce portal.
Aveeno launched the Skin Health Startup Accelerator program in December 2020. The goal of the program is to create opportunities for Black women entrepreneurs in the skincare and hair care industry by providing access, education, and resources to help grow their businesses.
“I’m honored to be the first Black women entrepreneur Grand Prize winner of the Aveeno Skin Health Startup Accelerator program,” Dr. Isfahan said. “This is substantial in helping my company grow our business and fill a need that Black women consumers are searching for when it comes to scalp health. The support and recognition from industry-leading brands like Aveeno and Essence is powerful and so important in building a more inclusive industry, which I’m grateful to be a part of.”
Dr. Isfahan, who has a Ph.D in Biomedical Science, used both her expertise and personal hair health experiences to launch Alodia Hair Care. The brand offers science-based hair and scalp products made from ingredients inspired from nature. After speaking with hundreds of people about their hair care regimens, she saw a consistent trend surrounding textured hair types and scalp disorders, such as seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff.
“This is only the beginning,” Aveeno Senior Director, Suzanne Goldstein said. “There is unlimited potential surrounding the impact we can make within the skincare industry and for Black consumers, specifically. The passion Black women have for changing the course of representation in beauty is inspiring and our brand is proud to be able to support their journey.”
The Startup Accelerator program has also awarded finalist Ariane Turner, founder of Look Good Live Well, a $100,000 grant in addition to mentorship session with both partners and a feature on ShopEssence.
“At ESSENCE, we believe that providing purposeful platforms for access, capital, and expertise is vital to ensuring Black women and communities aren’t just surviving, but are thriving with the creation of generational wealth as the ultimate goal. This is why our partnership with Aveeno is such a valuable opportunity for Black women entrepreneurs,” said Latraviette Smith-Wilson, ESSENCE Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer. “For 50 years, ESSENCE has been committed to highlighting the achievements of our community, and we are thrilled to celebrate Dr. Isfahan Chambers Harris and all of the finalists for their innovation and creativity.”