by BLACK ENTERPRISE Editors
For sisters Tonya Thompson and Sharie Wilson, Co-Founders of the natural hair care line DreamGirls, hair styling was always a part of daily life. We spoke to Tonya and Sharie to hear from them firsthand about their journey to founding the natural hair care brand and turning their dreams into reality.
Growing up, the Tonya and Sharie were known as experts when it came to hair styling for school dances and continued to style hair on the side throughout their early careers. When Sharie came to Tonya with the idea of selling hair extensions as a business venture in 2006, the sister duo hit the ground running and opened up their first DreamGirls hair salon in the heart of their hometown of Los Angeles.
Fast forward to two successful salon locations and thousands of women empowered through their hair styling techniques, Tonya and Sharie knew it was time to expand their brand. They then launched DreamGirls’ signature product line to offer their techniques to individuals across the nation.
Although DreamGirls was launched six months ago, it has been nothing short of a success. The product line, which features the signature Healthy Hair Care System ($125) that promotes natural hair growth, immediately became a favorite of women across the country who raved about their newfound confidence due to their incredible results. “Through our unique techniques, we offer DreamGirls’ Healthy Hair Program that promotes natural growth for all hair textures. Our system consists of wearing a protective style of a weave that results in hair growth, not loss,” Tonya and Sharie explained.
The line continues to disrupt the beauty industry and break down stigmas surrounding natural hair. Although black shoppers contributed $473 million to the $4.2 trillion haircare and beauty industry in 2018, not all hair care brands are made with them specifically in mind according to a 2018 Nielsen report. “The goals of DreamGirls is to break the stereotype that black women can’t have long, natural hair, and to help build their confidence in knowing that they can do anything,” shared Sharie and Tonya.
The two always had a strong desire to help women, especially fellow black women with their hair confidence. “We’d see our clients’ confidence skyrocket after styling their hair and it was an incredible feeling,” they explained. “We use our salon chairs as tools to uplift, motivate, inspire and praise women for their natural beauty, both inside and out.”
As African American and female entrepreneurs, Tonya and Sharie faced many hardships along the way. They rose above the challenges and never stopped striving towards their goals. “We’ve been overlooked and have had to be ten times more successful than otherwise needed just to stand in a room next to a male entrepreneur,” the sisters shared. “Being a minority entrepreneur means that we have to go above and beyond, but that doesn’t stop us from believing in ourselves and achieving our goals.”
Tonya and Sharie continue to empower women and encourage others to take initiative in both life and in business. The sisters previously held women’s empowerment speaking events to share their journey and key lessons they’ve encountered along the way. “It’s very rewarding to empower fellow women, and is the foundation of what our business was built upon,” they explained. “We want to see women succeed and help them by setting them up with the confidence that they can accomplish anything. We are an example of what is possible for women, and are a true testament to the fact that everyone has the ability to rewrite their story!”
Tonya and Sharie continue to expand their business and achieve their goals of helping women across the nation feel more confident. “As Los Angeles girls who came from a middle working class family, we didn’t always see a lot of wealth or even the possibility of what can be. As a result, we’ve always felt that we needed to see and do more. We want to bring our community with us and pour back into others to help them achieve their goals.”