AMITYVILLE, N.Y., April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- For 25 years, Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, and his family have built their business based on one premise: that the beauty industry should fully serve all women. Today, SheaMoisture, manufactured by Sundial and one of the industry's fastest-growing brands, launched its first-ever national awareness platform, #BreakTheWalls – a transformative and revolutionary multimedia effort to highlight the divisive constructs of beauty and move towards the inclusive shopping experience that all women deserve. The first phase includes a 60-second short film, a 30-second spot, #BreakTheWalls digital and social assets and behind-the-scenes footage that highlight everyday women and beauty vloggers raising their voices to ask one simple question: "Why is our beauty not reflected in the beauty aisle?"
"I have often said over the last 20 years that the beauty aisle is the last place in America where segregation is still legal, and separating 'beauty' from 'ethnic' has only served to further perpetuate narrow standards of what is considered beautiful in our industry and our society – which is why we began leading the efforts to break down those walls," said Dennis. "This movement is about so much more than selling shampoo, or lotion, or cosmetics. We're advancing a mission and vision to change the social dialogue about how we're looking at beauty as a society and how those archaic structures and views are debilitating to the establishment of new and more inclusive ways of viewing beauty – whether in the images we see or in the aisles that divide."
SheaMoisture's call to "break the walls" is the first-of-its-kind in the beauty industry, but has been an imperative for the brand since its inception – even taking 16 years for the brand to come to retail shelves because of Dennis' refusal to conform to traditional merchandising segmentation and his efforts to ensure that women who had been underserved by the beauty industry had ample access to an assortment of products to meet their lifestyle needs. Creating an enhanced and more inclusive beauty experience has been a charge that SheaMoisture has led directly through engagement with its retail partners and with its diverse community of women around their needs and desired experiences – particularly wanting an experience which didn't ignore or devalue the needs of women with textured hair, whether wavy, curly, kinky or coily.
Aligned with its community engagement approach, the brand issued an open casting call for the film on its social media channels to its community members – affectionately referred to as SheaFam – who shared their personal hair stories and journeys to self-love and empowerment. The brand also enlisted influential beauty vloggers Naptural85, SunKissAlba, and MahoganyCurls to share their own powerful and inspirational stories in the film.
"With SheaMoisture, we have built a successful brand by recognizing that beauty comes in every hair type, skin tone, shade, and feature and by honoring the natural beauty of every woman with natural products that address her individual needs and empower her to celebrate her unique journey," said Dennis. "It is so exciting for us to partner with all of these women who are each, in their own way, leading the conversation with their different stories and common truths about their beauty experiences."
#BreakTheWalls is an extension of SheaMoisture's focus on what it has coined as the New General Market and ensuring that all consumers, especially those who have been traditionally underserved, have an enhanced product and shopping experience based on being served according to their needs, not traditional segmentation. This problem-solution approach, defined by inclusion and commonalities via need states, is shifting the way CPG, retail and other consumer companies approach product development, marketing and merchandising to serve all consumers in a much more elevated way. As a result, many retailers have increased efforts to enhance their assortments and merchandising to reflect more inclusion in the near-term, while working with consumers to gain insights and learnings that will help them determine the next level of changes that are ultimately needed to meet their customers' needs.
"It is also important to recognize our retail partners who – in embracing SheaMoisture, our message of inclusion and our efforts to elevate how all consumers are served in their stores – are indeed embracing the New General Market approach to beauty that is bringing down these arbitrary walls," said Dennis. "#BreaktheWalls is starting with the beauty industry, but will continue to spur dialogue and action around other societal walls that exist and that serve to divide rather than unite, and this film is only the first of more in exploring these topics."
SheaMoisture partnered with award-winning creative agency Droga5 to develop the #BreakTheWalls platform and the "Break The Walls" film because of the firm's ability to understand complicated social issues and constructs and transform them into compelling, engaging and disruptive calls to action. The effort is both a celebration of the positive changes women are experiencing in the beauty industry and a rallying cry to join together to continue to reshape the beauty landscape – from a dated model of "standardized ideals" to one of inclusive representation at shelf and beyond.
Join SheaMoisture on its journey to #BreakTheWalls and discover how #EveryBodyGetsLove. For more information and to view the film, please visit www.breakthewalls.com.
Natural Hair and Beauty Influencers Speak on #BreakTheWalls:
Carolina Contreras, Miss Rizos – Owner of Miss Rizos Salon, Blogger & Activist
At its core, the natural hair movement is a women's empowerment movement. I see hair as a vehicle to other really important conversations about race, inequality, financial freedom, health and other important issues, which are sometimes too difficult to tackle alone. The natural hair movement has allowed a Dominican woman like me to connect with women from Peru, Haiti, Jamaica, and women of all different backgrounds who share much in common. It's also been amazing to see how the aisles at many national retailers have become more inclusive, and I can't help but to feel so proud of seeing the SheaMoisture family literally inundate not just the haircare aisles, but the natural living/socially conscious beauty aisles and beyond. SheaMoisture has also played a major role in validating both the quality of multicultural haircare and beauty products, and the importance of assuming social responsibility to make the world a better place.
Jessica Lewis, Mahogany Curls - Natural Hair & Beauty Vlogger
The natural hair movement is beautiful. Everyone is able to wear their gorgeous crown with pride. I feel that the divide between the beauty and ethnic aisle is outdated, and we all should have access to great products located in one area that reflects different representations of beauty equally. SheaMoisture's involvement in this movement is progressive and moving.
Bianca Alexa, Simply Bianca Alexa - Model & Lifestyle Vlogger
I love that so many people are embracing their natural hair! It's a powerful movement when you feel connected to a complete stranger because of it. The connection runs so much deeper than the outward appearance, though — it's like you each know the struggle you go through with your hair and yet you wouldn't change it for the world. When I first made the transition to natural hair, I felt lost whenever I needed to buy hair products. The aisles are full of hundreds of products for straight hair, and hardly any products with natural ingredients that cater to curly hair. This is why I love SheaMoisture so much. They were the only products available at my local supermarket that not only had amazing ingredients, but also catered to different curly textures. That was life changing for me because I was able to learn what worked for my hair and how to keep it healthy. The commitment that SheaMoisture has to the natural hair movement is so powerful, and now every time I visit my local supermarket, I see the textured hair section in the beauty aisle getting bigger and bigger, and I love it. The natural hair movement is here to stay, and it's wonderful that we can now have so many options!
Alba Garcia, SunKissAlba - Natural Beauty Vlogger
Natural hair products and where they live in the beauty aisle can unite us more than we think. It's about time we view the beauty aisle as accessible and suitable for everyone, without the divide. It's been such a pleasure to partner with SheaMoisture on #BreakTheWalls — a mission we all feel so passionate about in the beauty aisle and beyond.
Vaughn Moore, Ms. Vaughn - Natural Hair & Beauty Vlogger
The new wave of beauty influencers of the West are coming in all different shades and are bringing big personalities and even bigger hair. The natural hair explosion was a mixture of education and inspiration that came at a time when Black women were ready to begin expressing themselves much louder and with fewer inhibitions than ever before. What makes this movement powerful is that people all over the world are reevaluating what it means to be beautiful and are understanding that beauty of all types should be celebrated, which is causing companies and the media to not only take notice, but to respond and diversify. Brands like SheaMoisture are helping elevate kinky-curly beyond a trend to a beauty that deserves to be embraced from the beauty aisles to our hearts.
Whitney White, Naptural 85 - Natural Hair Vlogger
I'm proud to be a part of the new film from SheaMoisture! It addresses issues that all of us natural hair consumers have discussed behind closed doors as well as with family and friends — and puts it on a bigger stage to start a public conversation! The hope is that we continue to question and investigate what we've accepted as normal, and begin to break down those walls that affect us whether we've realized it or not.
Since 1912, SheaMoisture has made its award-winning, shea butter-based skin and haircare products using family recipes handed down from founder and CEO, Richelieu Dennis' grandmother Sofi Tucker, who as a young mother, sold her shea butter creations to support her family in Sierra Leone. "EveryBody Gets Love" at SheaMoisture, and products are made with natural and certified organic ingredients. Shea butter is ethically-sourced from 13 co-ops in Northern Ghana, as part of the brand's purpose-driven Community Commerce efforts.
About Sundial Brands
Sundial Brands, a leading skincare and haircare manufacturer renowned for its innovative use of high-quality and culturally authentic natural ingredients, is the maker of SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage and Madam C.J. Walker. A certified B Corp company with a Fair for Life social and fair trade certification, Sundial engages in ethical and cruelty-free business practices and manufactures its products at its state-of-the-art facilities in Long Island, NY. Through its Community Commerce purpose-driven business model, the company creates opportunities for sustainable social and economic empowerment throughout its supply chain and communities in the United States and Africa, focusing on entrepreneurship, women's empowerment, education and wellness. In 2015, Sundial was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States and received the WWD/Beauty Inc. award for "Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year." Widely credited with introducing the "New General Market" inclusion concept to the beauty and retail industries, Sundial Brands founder and CEO Richelieu Dennis began the company in 1991 with his college roommate, Nyema Tubman, and mother, Mary Dennis.
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