About a week ago Sundial Brands, the company that owns beloved Black beauty brands such as Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage, announced their new partnership with Bain Capital in an effort to accommodate the continued growth of their company.
Social media has been buzzing about this new partnership, not so much because it will mean more growth for the company but rather because Bain Capital is a company founded by former presidential candidate and notorious republican Mitt Romney.
That statement in itself could cause you to clutch your pearls at the thought of Mitt Romney having a hand in your beloved “Curl Milk” and “Black Soap”, but is this new partnership really a cause for concern?
In their announcement, Sundial describes Bain Capital as “ a minority, non-control investor in our company.” Essentially the idea is for Bain to help provide additional infrastructure and otherwise on the business end, but what it also means isSundial is most likely looking to expand their demographic and reach beyond the Black community, the brand’s most loyal consumer brand.
Sundial’s co-founder and CEO Richelieu Dennis prided himself on ensuring the company remained Black-owned and on the company website explained the brand turned down numerous offers to be brought out by larger companies. In a post on the company’s blog, Dennis explains why they felt this partnership would be best for their customer base and growth, and honestly reading through it, it makes a lot of sense.
Black-owned businesses are a sensitive topic. For years, we tried to pride ourselves on the idea of putting Black money back into Black pockets and building our own economic dependence, but pride and missed opportunity have been crippling factors in the success of Black business economics.
The reality is, the companies with the infrastructure abilities to help us grow are not quite yet Black owned. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work on building relationships with them to expand our resources and abilities.
Take Essence magazine’s acquisition by Time Inc, and BET’s with Viacom. These major media conglomerate, who owns dozens of major media titles, offered Essence and BET the operational infrastructure and financial prowess they needed to survive these rough years with the rise of digital. Arguably without the backing, these iconic Black media brands could be in the same shape as less competitive titles like Ebony and Black Enterprise.
So don’t gear up to boycott your “Manuka Honey Moisturizer” just yet. Read for yourself what Shea Moisture has to say and ask yourself it’s worth boycotting a Black business before you’ve had the chance to see how this new partnership will affect your favorite products.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Mike Carlson