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In The News: honoring Marjorie Stewart Joyner & Mielle Organics acquired by P&G

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

💈💡Professional Beauty Pioneer

This month, the National Inventors Hall of Fame announced its 50th class of inductees, among them, Marjorie Stewart Joyner who imagined, prototyped, and patented the Permanent Wave Machine in 1928.

The Permanent Wave Machine was a heated multi-rod, table-top appliance that was used to both curl and straighten hair in salons. Stewart Joyner also patented a Scalp Protector to be worn by clients while the Permanent Wave Machine was being used.

📸 photo of Marjorie Stewart Joyner courtesy of the National Inventors Hall of Fame

Stewart Joyner was born in 1896; and in 1916 graduated from Chicago’s A.B. Molar Beauty School and opened a salon. She took on the role of National Supervisor for the Madame C.J. Walker Beauty Colleges, shortly after Walker herself passed away. And Stewart Joyner’s patent for the wave machine was assigned to that company.

Stewart Joyner studied psychology in her 70s and earned her bachelor's degree from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida. She passed away at the age of 98 in 1994.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) got its start in the early 1970s in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Today, the nonprofit serves to “[recognize] inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship,” according to a media release announcing the 2023 inductees. And in October, the organization will host ceremonies celebrating this year’s living and historical honorees.

💈💰Textured Hair Transaction

“Expanding our impact in Black and Brown communities will become an even greater focus in the years ahead,” said Melvin Rodriguez, Co-Founder and COO of Mielle Organics, in remarks he shared upon news of hair care brand’s acquisition by P&G this week.

Melvin along with Monique Rodriguez, the brand’s CEO, founded Mielle Organics in 2014; and it has since “become a leading brand for consumers with textured hair through innovative, technology-driven products, natural ingredients, and inspirational and educational content,” according to the press release P&G circulated on Wednesday.

“From the moment we stepped into P&G, we saw a diverse team of leaders who share our values and vision for innovation, education and community empowerment, including several Black leaders who play a key role in the hair care and beauty businesses,” Monique Rodriguez, remarked. “This partnership,” she says, “gives Mielle an opportunity to serve more textured hair consumers with the great products and formulas that our community loves.”

“Today is a remarkable moment for our brand and for the climb of Black entrepreneurs everywhere as we collectively continue to break barriers and accelerate the opportunities for growth. I am thrilled that we will make an even greater impact in how we give back to the community,” added Monique Rodriguez.

Lela Coffey, VP of P&G’s multicultural hair care business, emphasized in her comments to the press that, “P&G Beauty’s role will be to support the Mielle Organics team with what they need to achieve their vision – including increased access in Black and Brown communities and investing in research and innovation – while enabling the core tenets of their success to continue as they are today.”

And that opening quote from COO Melvin Rodriguez references the work of Mielle Cares (a non-profit that picked up $10m from each P&G and the Mielle brand as part of the acquisition deal). The Mielle Cares organization “[provides] resources and support to advance education and economic opportunities in Black and Brown communities,” according to the release.

The acquisition deal is dependent upon regulatory approval.


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