These Target Takeoff Program Grads Are Paving the Way for Natural Protective Haircare

December 31, 2018 - Article reads in
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Camille and Emerald stand in Target's beauty aisles testing a product on the back of their hands

Hair is personal—it’s a part of your identity, and a certain hairstyle can define who you want to be that day, that year or for a lifetime. One question we hear from our guests: Which natural products are best to use on natural hair with protective hairstyles? Because it can often be difficult to find great products on the market that actually work to maintain and grow hair in a variety of styles.

The topic was on our teams’ minds as we kicked off our second Target Takeoff accelerator program back in 2018. The intense five-week retail boot camp at our Minneapolis headquarters is designed to empower and advise entrepreneurs on how to take their brands to the next level. Each year, the program covers different categories, and this round was focused on natural beauty.After reviewing more than 200 applicants, the Target Takeoff team selected 10 brands to join the program.

One of those brands was Girl + Hair, a natural protective haircare line all about empowering women to embrace their natural hair, naturally. It was created by husband-and-wife team Camille and Josef Verovic, and inspired by Camille’s own journey to find the right products for her haircare needs.

“I wanted something that made it really easy to take care of my hair while in a protective style, and something made with really great ingredients,” Camille says. “I just wasn’t happy with what I was finding.”

Inspired by the clear need in the market, they created Girl + Hair, an under-the-hair care system meant to work under protective styles. The venture was a team effort: While Camille was immersed in her medical residency program, Josef stepped up to help run their business. But they needed support to take their brand to the next level, so when they heard about Target Takeoff, they applied right away. When they got word they were in, Josef packed his bags and headed to Minneapolis.Josef stands at the head of a classroom presenting to other Target Takeoff members in front of a big screen that reads Girl + HairAs they took part in one-on-one mentoring sessions with experts from across Target’s team, Josef and Camille gained insights to help bring their product to the masses.Josef and buyer Emerald sit at a table reviewing products on a laptop with bottles in front of it“Through Target Takeoff I received access to mentors, including buyers like Emerald Woodberry (pictured above), who we couldn't have possibly talked to otherwise,” Josef says. “To be able to sit down and talk to them about our products was just an incredible opportunity for us.”

Once the onsite program wrapped, Josef and Camille returned home to put what they learned into action. They worked on a pitch for weeks, collaborating from afar and fine-tuning with the Target Takeoff team and eventually presenting it to leaders across Target.

Today, Girl + Hair is available on Target.com, and on the shelves at the Target they shop in Brooklyn. All because of their drive to make their dream happen.

“I think for both of us it's a dream come true. We worked so hard and always wanted to be on the shelves at Target,” Josef says.Josef and Camille, who is holding daughter Mila, stand in a Target beauty aisle smiling and looking at their products on a display“We’ll probably be stopping near the beauty aisle to watch people pick up our products from the shelf,” adds Camille. “It’ll be amazing to see another woman experience the same things I did … that ‘aha moment’ of finding products that worked for my hair.”

In the end, all of their efforts are for the future of their family, and to inspire their daughter, Mila, by proving that your passions are possible.

“My hope for Mila is to never be afraid to be brave. There isn’t a mountain that she can't conquer,” says Camille. “I think it's important for her to realize that her natural beauty doesn't have to reflect someone else's beauty—that her natural beauty is her own—and that’s what makes her unique.”

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