It’s no secret that finding the right wig with the right price tag to match can be a real hassle. And like many black women, entrepreneur Mary Imevbore had a similar experience of knowing exactly what she wanted, but not always being able to find it.
Instead of waiting for a solution to be created, Imevbore and friends Tiiso McGinty and Susana Hawken took matters into their own hands and formed WAEVE— a company that specializes in creating a better, more personalized way of buying hair for black women.
In an interview Glossy, Imevbore detailed how her personal shopping woes became a mission to alleviate the pain of shopping for quality wigs for all young, black women:
“We just realized that there was no good place to buy wigs. It just really jumped out that it was a really painful shopping experience. [We had] no idea who to trust and the prices were varying wildly.”
If you ever scoured YouTube or Instagram looking for trustworthy reviews to help you safely navigate wig shopping on sites like AliExpress and other shopping platforms based in foreign countries then you know that statement is truer than true.
That struggle was enough for Mary and her co-founders to seek a wig purchasing solution that would also make them some serious money in the process:
“Here’s this product that is really growing in demand. It’s a huge $6 billion market. It’s [also] an expensive product, one that people are spending hundreds of dollars on frequently,” said Imevbore. “Black women are the primary consumers of this product, and there’s no real brand speaking to us and making it fun and easy to shop from.”
With a concept and a plan in mind, the three founders were ready to start a wig buying business of their own, and wow, did it pay off. The three friends and entrepreneurs were able to secure a $2 million seed funding led by Pillar VC with participation from Maveron.
Other investors include former Glossier executives Henry Davis and Bryan Mahoney, and TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen—the co-founders of Pillpack, where Imevbore worked as a software developer before launching the new wig platform.
“When I met Mary and her co-founders and heard their vision for the Black hair care industry, it was clear that they were creating a company that would be transformative,” said Sarah Hodges, a partner at Pillar VC.
The Genius Concept Behind Buying Wigs With WAEVE
WAEVE is different from other wig brands because instead of offering an unlimited amount of options for whatever price they can come up with, they’ve developed a “Days of the Week” concept under a DTC (direct-to-consumer) business model.
In other words, they plan to launch a set of 6 different wigs—four times a year—with each wig being assigned a day of the week. The concept is based in the idea that wigs give us an opportunity to be stylishly versatile on demand, so the wig you want to wear on Monday will look absolutely different (but equally fabulous!) to the one that belongs to Thursday.
Not to mention that there’s also versatility in pricing and quality, as well. WAEVE will over three synthetic wigs along with three human-hair options, all ranging from $78 to $398. This gives the customer the opportunity to really find something suitable for them.
“With this drop model, we’re able to offer a regular cadence of different hairstyles,” Imebvore said. “We realized that people are wearing wigs like they’re wearing clothes. They’re switching them up every day; they’re changing their styles.”
WAEVE is currently offering 6 different style options for Monday through Saturday, leaving Sunday empty as a way to pay homage to letting your natural hair rest on the 7th day.
Monday is a wavy bob with bangs; Tuesday is long, flowing dark brown tresses; Wednesday is a flirty flip bob; Thursday is a gorgeous curly middle part; Friday is an electric blonde, blunt bob cut; and Saturday is a long crimped wave in warm-toned blonde.
If you’re interested in any of these selections, check them out at WAEVE.com. You can also be apart of the community efforts by tapping into their blog over at WaeveWorld.com