The multi-tasking actor, executive producer and beauty entrepreneur shares her personal journey with BoF’s Imran Amed and explains how she unlocked her full potential across a variety of pursuits.
Tracee Ellis Ross is best known for her roles in Girlfriends and Black-ish, but she is also the founder and CEO of Pattern which she launched in 2019 after more than a decade of development to address the gap in the market for products designed specifically for curly, coily, textured hair.
The Golden Globe-winning, Emmy-nominated Ross joins BoF’s Imran Amed on The BoF Podcast to talk about managing the little voice in her head, killing perfectionism and cultivating self-love and acceptance.
Finding purpose and unlocking potential starts by interrogating what you love, then finding ways to merge who you are with “what makes your heart sing,” said Ross.
Pattern was born out of frustration. Ross couldn’t find the right tools or products to serve her needs, and never saw Black women being centred — despite sitting at the centre of culture. Ross took learnings from developing a clothing line with JCPenney to help get her business off the ground. From there, she sought out the right partners. Key to evaluating partners was learning to be present during conversation. In her work with Pattern and with companies like Ulta on diversity and inclusion, Ross hopes to dissolve the myth that Black hair care and beauty is a niche market.
Modernising the Black Hair Care Market: A new wave of start-ups shaking up the textured hair care space are catching the attention of major retailers and investors, grabbing more shelf space and venture capital. Building the Glossier of the Black Hair Market: With her new DTC beauty brand, Radswan, blogger-turned-entrepreneur Freddie Harrel is pitching clip-in textured hair extensions and wigs to the digitally savvy black consumer.
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