As you’re reading this, fascinators are being crafted for the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle and the ox blood coverings of “The Handmaids Tale” are sweeping awards shows left and right. Ladies’ hats have been in and out of style for decades. From practical protection to ladies-who-lunch wearing them as embellishment, women of all ages have worn hats in public and at home. I think it’s safe to say that hats are here to stay but with technology, not only trend is entering into style, comfort is as well.
Tracey Pickett landed a dream job at a Fortune 500 healthcare tech company after graduating UGA Law School. However, she didn’t let opportunity hinder innovation. At night and on weekends, she lived out her entrepreneurial dreams as the founder of Eboticon, a design startup that aims to produce culturally-relevant emojis. The company launched in 2015 and quickly became a social media starlet with personalities and entertainers using them to express their #MOOD. Eboticon apps eventually reached #2 Paid App Overall and #1 Paid Social Networking App in the Apple App Store.
Growing up, Tracey endured long hours at the hair salon only to be greeted by rain when she walked out the door. “As the daughter of two pastors, my parents were committed to me looking my Sunday Best at all times but the weather didn’t always agree”, she reminisces. This ominous cloud followed her as she matriculated through grade school to undergrad on the campuses of Atlanta’s Spelman College and UGA Law School.
She tried everything from plastic shopping bags to shower caps but failed to find a product to protect her hair from the rain. Eventually, she stopped searching for the solution in the marketplace and looked in the mirror. “Entrepreneurship has always been in my blood. Imagination and innovation are roommates in the condo of my mind and they’re constantly manifesting my next move. I saw a need for myself and other women like me and I was determined to find the fix”.
With the help of a local manufacturer, she developed countless prototypes. “We went from treating a fabric to finding a waterproof textile that was much heavier than what we wanted to basically driving around to every fabric store on the east coast. Once the material was decided on, we still had to cement the design. Did we want a pouch or a pocket? Should the PVC visor be clear or tinted? There was an approximate three year journey to the finished product but I didn’t let that deter my vision.”
Finally, Hairbrella emerged in its final form, combining fashion and function to protect various hairstyles, lengths, and textures from the elements. Tracey introduced Hairbrella through a successful Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2016 and is steadily growing her company, spreading the gospel of fierce confidence no matter the forecast. “When it’s all said and done, I want to empower women! I know what it feels like to wake up, ready to conquer the day, and the weather completely knock you off your game. You can control your power point presentation, meal prep for the entire month, and set every alarm on your phone but you can’t control Mother Nature. With Hairbrella, you can walk out into the world polished, protected, prepared and ready for anything. I want to see women change the world without worrying about the weather!”