That’s right, BGLH just made its Shade Room debut. But not for the messy celeb/‘net famous hijinks you claim to hate but secret­ly fol­low on your phone. Our line of whipped shea, cocoa and man­go but­ters, sold at bglh-marketplace.com, made their mar­ket­ing debut on The Shade Room’s Insta­gram account, check it out.

Here’s some his­to­ry. Back in 2010 I opened a bou­tique called BGLH Mar­ket­place and fash­ioned it after NaturallyCurly’s Curl­Mart. I basi­cal­ly want­ed to use BGLH as a por­tal to sell top qual­i­ty nat­ur­al hair prod­ucts and acces­sories to read­ers who had a hard time find­ing them in-store. 

I did it for a year and worked with black woman boss­es who owned incred­i­ble brands and were sweet enough to let me car­ry them in my mod­est e-shop. Writ­ing for BGLH and run­ning the shop got to be a lot, though. So I con­sid­ered it a learn­ing expe­ri­ence and shut BGLH Mar­ket­place down about a year lat­er.

Back in 2014 I start­ed miss­ing hav­ing an online store and decid­ed to open BGLH Mar­ket­place back up again. I reached out to the same brands but most had grown expo­nen­tial­ly since my first go-round, and my lit­tle online store wasn’t the best venue for their whole­sale. While I wait­ed to round up enough orders for my first whole­sale ship­ment I fig­ured I’d sell raw shea but­ter since I knew that find­ing a con­sis­tent and reli­able source of high qual­i­ty but­ter can be dif­fi­cult for nat­u­rals. I did some research, found a great sup­pli­er and start­ed sell­ing raw shea but­ter at BGLH Mar­ket­place. But after sev­er­al months of try­ing and fail­ing to get a large enough whole­sale ship­ment from nat­ur­al hair com­pa­nies, raw shea but­ter was the only thing I was sell­ing.

I knew from expe­ri­ence that whipped is the best form for usage, so I fig­ured I’d start whip­ping the shea but­ter to give two options for sale. What tran­spired was sev­er­al months of obses­sive exper­i­men­ta­tion until I came up with a but­ter for­mu­la that had my tri­fec­ta: deeply mois­tur­iz­ing but not heavy, rich but not greasy and, above all, soft and pow­dery. And *that’s* when things blew the f*ck up.

Our whipped man­go but­ter

I ordered man­go and cocoa but­ter and start­ed whip­ping those too. My fam­i­ly became a but­ter fam­i­ly. We threw out all our lotions and most of our hair styling and mois­tur­iz­ing prod­ucts, because the whipped shea served so many dif­fer­ent pur­pos­es. One whipped but­ter scent became two, became five, became six­teen (my Dad is addict­ed to the lemon­grass whipped shea but­ter.)

Now, in between writ­ing for BGLH I whip and sell about 150 pounds of shea, cocoa and man­go but­ter every month, with the help of two shop assis­tants. It’s a side hus­tle that is devel­op­ing ‘main hus­tle’ sta­tus (although BGLH will always be my first love, and is NOT going any­where.)

Our mint choco­late body but­ter; cocoa but­ter whipped with pep­per­mint essen­tial oil

BGLH read­ers were the first to give my whipped but­ters a try (and let’s be hon­est, those first few batch­es I made back in late 2014 were… not great) so I want to thank you all so so very much. The BGLH Mar­ket­place brand is grow­ing (we have a kids’ line and lotions com­ing soon) and it’s kind of sur­re­al. Over the years I’ve writ­ten a lot about oth­er black woman entre­pre­neurs who had this hap­pen — devel­oped prod­ucts in their kitchen they then sold com­mer­cial­ly with great suc­cess. Now it’s hap­pen­ing to me. I’m awk­ward about stuff like this and I’m not great at being in the spot­light, so it feels kind of weird. But I can’t deny that the shit I whip is damn good ;)

Our black soap that we fash­ion into heart shapes

Any­way, in a nut­shell, that’s how BGLH made it to The Shade Room. And shout out to The Shade Room’s team as well. They have some incred­i­ble peo­ple work­ing behind the scenes.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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7 Comments on "So, BGLH Made it to The Shade Room"

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Antonia

Big con­grats Leila! Keep up the good work!

TWA4now

Excel­lent!

Guest Writer

Con­grat­u­la­tions! I look for­ward to plac­ing an order.

Kcfaith Eagle

Wow :) Con­grats!

del

This is awe­some, Leila! Con­grat­u­la­tions!

Unaltered

Con­grats! Are there any brick and mor­tar stores that car­ry your whipped shea in NY?

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