Leila Noelliste has innovated in the beauty space for more than a decade. Her award winning hair and beauty site, Black Girl with Long Hair www.blackgirllonghair.com, became top-ranked for women and beauty, receiving more than 5 million page views monthly before closing in February 2018.
She followed this with the creation of BGLH Marketplace, a whipped shea, cocoa and mango butter boutique that operates online and out of a storefront in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. The beauty startup currently generates $300,000 in annual revenue from a 14,000-person customer base, and is projected to generate $400,000 in revenue in 2019.
After launching Black Girl with Long Hair, a top‐ranked natural hair and beauty site, she noticed two things: that shea, mango and cocoa butter are miracle ingredients with an endless list of health and beauty benefits for hair and skin, and that her readers had repeated complaints about lack of consistent access to them.
Black girl with long hair products collection
In November 2014 she launched BGLH Marketplace and began selling raw shea butter from her blog, mostly to her readers.
In January 2015 she got the idea to evolve her store into an ‘ice cream shop for the body’, where customers could pick from a variety of all‐natural whipped and scented mango, shea and cocoa butters to incorporate into their skin and hair routine. Her goal was to make the butters as fragrant, rich and absorbent as possible.
Studying pastry techniques, she learned how to use commercial grade mixers to whip the butters to a soft and fluffy consistency that sinks right into hair and skin.
Noelliste now whips about one metric ton of shea, mango and cocoa butter a year with the help of two assistants.