TANTV10K is an original series, a Covid-19 initiative where we highlight how Black-owned businesses are staying innovative as we continue to combat the pandemic. These are innovators of the pandemic! We aim to end this series when we reach our goal of documenting 10,000 Black business founders or CEOs. Follow the series on Facebook & Instagram @tantv10k.
COVID-19 has taken a negative toll on many business owners especially black business owners. Fortunately this wasn’t the case for Madelle Kangha, the founder of ElleDam Beauty. Madelle names Oprah Winfrey as her inspiration for her company's name.
I recall taking out a notepad and scribbling my name backwards and when I got ElleDam I told myself that someday I would start a company under that name and be like Oprah.
In the midst of a pandemic, Madelle launched Elledam Beauty.
If you’re always waiting for the perfect time to start a business there will never be a perfect time. There will always be challenges but it's pushing past those challenges that you actually get to learn and get to grow.
ElleDam Beauty is an online beauty supply store. This represents women of color in the beauty industry. All products are natural and organic and are suited to women of color needs.
Like most women of color, Madelle struggled with maintaining and trying to find what worked for her natural hair.
“When I walk into a beauty store most of the people who own the stores don't know anything about our hair. I wanted to have the information and make sure other women had the information.” She then studied and wanted to learn how to also help others out. Through her research, Madelle found that certain products lead to underlying health issues. During her pregnancy she encountered challenges due to her fibroids and discovered hair perms actually cause fibroids.
Most people would think launching a business during the middle of a pandemic is ludicrous especially because businesses were shutting down if not deemed essential. Beauty stores were closed and many people couldn’t go out. A demand for beauty supply products soared which was a positive for the business. Some negatives include sourcing, getting supplies, and shipping but her company did their best to plan ahead.
When the pandemic hit, Madelle was furloughed from her job, in the last semester of law school, on top of being a mom, and still launched a business!.
I believe sometimes we have beautiful ideas, dreams and vision inside of us and we keep stalling sometimes because we are in a job that's comfortable...Nature was forcing me to do something that I was passionate about.
This has been a learn as you go process for Madelle but she says, Elledam beauty continues to work with the times that we are in. The company is very transparent with their customers when it comes to shipping delays. Shipping cost has increased so for the customers Elledam beauty offers free shipping for orders over 50 dollars. In addition everything is sanitized before shipping it out and shipping times have also improved.
When asked what advice she has for aspiring business owners during these times-- Madelle said “have the foundation started,you will learn as you go. Start small and grow. Don't let challenges put you off.”
For more information on ElleDam Beauty visit their website
This interview was anchored and written by TANTV Journalist Cheyanne Gordon