Nancy Twine’s Hair-Care Brand, Briogeo, Is a Nod to Her Ethnicity and Her Mother

September 16, 2020
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
nancy twine of briogeo
Nancy Twine founded the clean hair-care brand Briogeo as a nod to her ethnicity, background and her late mother, a chemist and doctor whom she lost in a tragic accident. In our interview below, Twine explains how she grew her brand as Black female entrepreneur, how her hair care works for a variety of textures and types, and what her personal wash-day routine looks like. Plus, she inspires us with how passionate she is about her career and what’s next for the hair-care brand.

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in the beauty industry?

I started my career in finance after graduating from the University of Virginia. Almost halfway through my finance career, I lost my mom suddenly in a car accident. That profound loss changed my world and inspired me to find new meaning and purpose in life. A soul-searching journey led me to reconnect with several experiences that brought me the most joy. Some of those meaningful experiences were my childhood memories spent with my mom — a doctor and chemist —  in our home kitchen concocting and mixing our own beauty products and treatments from scratch. So while working a demanding full-time finance job, I spent my nights and weekends researching ingredients and chemistry, conceptualizing packaging designs and drafting a business plan to start my own hair-care brand.

What was the concept behind Briogeo?

From day one, I wanted Briogeo to be a clean, natural brand that offered solutions for every hair type, texture, need, ethnicity, background and person. I struggled with my hair growing up because the products on the market were just not right for my hair texture. At a young age, I learned that it was possible to take simple, pure, clean, fruit- and plant-based ingredients and turn them into something truly transformational for my hair, skin and body. I want Briogeo to inspire, foster passion and spread positive energy. The brand name Briogeo is derived from Brio, meaning "full of life," and Geo, representing "earth and nature.”

What changes would you like to see in the beauty landscape with respect to diversity?

Briogeo was founded with diversity and inclusivity at the core. I never wanted Briogeo to be about me. I want Briogeo to be about everyone. As a Black female entrepreneur, I have a proud responsibility to do my part to support racial justice and social equity. I hope more brands take ownership and leadership and join in listening, learning, supporting and serving the Black community as a vibrant contributor to the larger beauty industry. I am grateful to be part of the advisory group that is supporting Sephora's 15% Percent Pledge, and I encourage other Black women in beauty to follow the great work being done by Ella T. Gorgla and Cara Sabin of 25 Black Women in Beauty.

What are some of your other favorite Black-owned beauty brands?

Some of my favorite Black-owned beauty brands include Lauren Napier BeautyKNC Beauty, Hyper Skin, The Honey Pot, Unsun Cosmetics, Mented Cosmetics and Uoma Beauty. In February 2020, for Black History Month, I hosted a panel discussion on The Future of Beauty with KJ Miller, CEO and co-founder of Mented Cosmetics, and Desiree Verdejo, CEO and founder of Hyper Skin. We had a thought-provoking conversation about the achievements and hurdles they've had to overcome in starting their own Black-owned beauty brand.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am currently working on East Coast time while being on the West Coast, so I am up very early. I’m a huge tea drinker and always start my day by making myself a large glass of tea and am constantly refilling it throughout the day. One of my go-tos is Yogi’s Peach DeTox tea. I have a daily touch-base with my executive leadership team and move onto meetings with my marketing, creative, product development, sales and operations teams. These meetings are filled with brainstorming ideas, new product concepts and planning for the future. I thrive on face-to-face interactions and am so thankful to have a team that is so collaborative and willing to be nimble and flexible while we’ve been fully remote these past few months. Additionally, I always try to get a workout and meditation in to help keep me grounded. Something else I’ve been working on is unplugging on the weekends and truly taking the time to disconnect.

What does your personal hair-care routine consist of?

My hair-care routine differs day-to-day depending on wash days. An example of my wash-day routine includes shampooing with our Don't Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo and masking with either Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask or our Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfood Mask, depending on whether my hair needs a dose of moisture or protein. I style my hair with our Curl Charisma Leave-In Defining Creme and Frizz Control Gel. On non-wash days, I refresh my hair with our Scalp Revival Dry Shampoo and smooth flyaways with our Don't Despair, Repair! Strengthening Treatment Oil. In between my normal hair-care routine, I am constantly testing out new formulations.

What's your advice for an aspiring beauty entrepreneur?

Challenges don't mean you should stop doing what you're doing. It just means you need to get creative and figure out another way. I’ve always been convinced that it was possible to create a meaningful career rooted in passion and inspiration. I keep a daily gratitude list and every night before I go to bed, I jot down four things I’m grateful for so I can end each day on an uplifting note.

 

One of the hardest choices you will make as an entrepreneur is deciding to take action to pursue your dreams. I wouldn't be where I am without embracing and accepting failure, learning to be resilient and leaning on my network. Seek out mentors and create your own personal board of directors. And make sure to pay it forward!

And finally, what does beauty mean to you?

Beauty is something different for everyone. Beauty is confidence. Beauty is learning to love yourself. It’s acceptance. It’s embracing your differences, uniqueness and what makes you, you. I think beauty is an ongoing process. It’s personal. Everyone is on their own path and timeline to discovering their own beauty.
Photo: Courtesy of Nancy Twine of Briogeo

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