Name: Jamelia Donaldson
Job title: Founder of TreasureTress
Time in current role: 1 year
Jamelia is the founder of afro hair subscription service, TreasureTress.
Why did you decide to start your business?
In my third year of Uni (which was a placement year) I spent a month abroad in China working in marketing followed by a year in New York doing PR and marketing for both a fashion house and Coleman Entertainment Group. Upon returning to the UK I landed an internship at a financial firm which kickstarted my career. I spent almost three years there before launching my start-up, TreasureTress.
My niece inspired me. I’ve always had natural (afro-textured) hair but I didn’t learn how to take care of it properly until I was in my early twenties. I didn’t want her to have the same experience – thinking that she always needed to straighten her hair for it to be manageable and pretty. I was also frustrated with the access to quality hair products here in the UK. I wanted to solve both of these problems by providing positive images of women and girls of all shades and hair textures using what is my favourite business model – a subscription service.
What are the key functions of your role?
I’m the founder and CEO so I pretty much do everything: social media, brand meetings, pitching, customer service. You name it – I do it!
Talk us through your typical working day
I wake up at 5am, meditate for 20-40minutes, glance at my plan for the week, check and post on social media, eat some brekky, work through emails then head to meetings. I’ll go to a coffee shop to prepare materials for pitching to brands and do some general admin and analysis before heading home. Then it’s back to emails and social media to ensure I’m constantly up-to-date with trends, new releases and responses to our latest box. I finish off by watching YouTube videos or listening to podcasts whilst I wrap up my day, basically I’m glued to my inbox and laptop!
I’m fortunate to work with several amazing and creative young women, and am a firm believer and supporter of working remotely, flexy working and having fun on the job.
Your favourite part of the job?
I love that I’m able to make an impact on someone’s life, even if it’s just the 30 seconds it takes them to open a box, or the two hours they spend pampering their hair with the products inside the box. Feedback from subscribers is the best feeling ever!
…and the part you could do without?
How would your staff and clients describe you in three words?
Driven, creative, focused.
Plans for the future?
Expansion of the business and more brand building. Life is about evolving, so there are plenty of hobbies I want to experiment with and, who knows, these could also develop into future businesses or brands.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Just start. Go to events, make at least one meaningful connection at each event you attend and stay in contact with the people you meet. If you have an idea already, find a mentor or advisor before you launch (I wish I’d done this!). Just make it happen. LLY