Entrepreneur makes history with license to sell Disney apparel

Founder Britney Sade is the first Black female business owner to sell authorized Disney merch

ORLANDO, Fla. – The CurlCap company made history last April as the first Black woman-owned apparel company to sell original authorized Disney merchandise.

Founder Britney Sade’s amazing journey all started just six years ago with a common hair issue.

Growing up the daughter of a hair salon owner, Britney Sade understands the diversity and complexities of hair.  Her own natural hair journey to heal her scalp and use less chemicals on her tresses is how CurlCap was born.

“I wanted to have a hat that supported low manipulation hair styles, you could really put on effortlessly and go. And the satin lining was the piece that tied it all together.

She found success through social media, selling her patented, satin-lined, backless baseball caps on Etsy and Amazon.

“When we first came out, we sold out four or five times back-to-back,” she explained. “People with hair that want to make sure their hair can breathe freely, we have a lot of runners who wear our hats, people who find the convenience of not needing a scrunchie.”

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Ironically, long before the Disney CurlCaps were licensed and created, a photo of her wearing her original design at a Disney park went viral online.  And the door with Disney would eventually open after a special order and inquiry about her product came in.

“(They said) we saw you were ranking very high on Amazon; we saw all of your reviews, we see you satisfy a niche market. We want to see how far you could go. When we met up with the licensor, they said you have something here,” she explained.

Currently, there are more than 15 designs including Mickey, Minnie, Princess Tiana, Black Panther and more to come.

CurlCap Mickey Mouse cap (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

She says having a successful business has to be a team effort and a labor of love

“You represent yourself in the best light. You have to be authentic; people feel that. When we first started, we steamed every single hat, there was not a hat that was not touched by my fiance and I, and that was a lot of work,” she said.

She says as a business, CurlCap prides itself on being hands-on and helping other small business owners by sharing knowledge and expertise.

“I know ours is patenting and IP and I think not being afraid to share those resources is something that will expedite the growth needed for Black businesses at this time,” Sade said.

You can learn more about CurlCap here.

While Curlcap was the first Black woman-owned apparel company to sell original authorized Disney merchandise, it joins a long list of diverse businesses in partnership with Disney, including everything from food items to hair care.

In addition to CurlCap, a representative for The Walt Disney Company shared with News 6 a summary of other Black-owned licensees with the company:

“These collaborations have helped bring Disney-inspired apparel, beauty, food and beverage, hair care, and toys to fans’ homes from an inclusive and diverse perspective, in addition to impacting each business in a positive way.

Actively Black is a Black-owned entity created by former professional basketball player Lanny Smith, who was inspired to create his company after watching Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. Daymond John (Founder of FUBU and Investor on Shark Tank) mentored Lanny Smith through the Marvel X Actively Black collaboration. This collaboration helped Lanny obtain his dream of becoming a licensee with Marvel, with products inspired by Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Actively Black is a sports-fashion brand where sizes range from XS-4XL. It is a community-first company committed to advancing representation of Black creatives, designers, and brands in sports-fashion, and investing in the health and wellness of Black communities worldwide. A portion of the proceeds from Actively Black sales are put towards educational programs and resources that promote physical, mental, and emotional health, HBCU athletics, social justice initiatives and DE&I advocacy.

A Dozen Cousins is a Black-owned brand offering ready-to-eat products inspired by traditional Creole, Caribbean, and Latin American recipes. In honor of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, A Dozen Cousins created a new Jollof Rice Seasoning Sauce. When a customer purchases the Flavors of Wakanda variety pack (which comes with six items), they will receive a spoon fit for a warrior, inspired by Wakanda’s Vibranium. This will be included free for a limited time.

BLK & Bold is the first Black-owned, nationally distributed coffee brand. They are also the number one selling coffee brand on Amazon and a top seller at Target. Founders, Pernell Cezar & Rod Johnson, created BLK & Bold with purpose. They welcome the obligation to equip young people with tools to live their best lives and overcome familiar unfortunate circumstances by turning a daily ritual, enjoying a cup of coffee & tea, into a means of giving back. BLK & Bold pledges 5% of its profits to initiatives aligned to sustaining youth programming, enhancing workforce development, and eradicating youth homelessness.

Pear Nova is a product at the intersection of fashion + beauty showcases founder Rachel James’s love for art and passion for elegance. The brand draws inspiration from world wonders, runway designers, and remarkable women. Since its incorporation, Pear Nova has expanded + diversified while remaining true to its mission: to celebrate all skin tones while creating healthy, luxury nail products. Pear Nova now offers self-care products in addition to nail care, and Pear Nova Studio opened its doors in 2019 creating a physical space for women to feel safe, pampered, and beautiful.

World of EPI by Dr. Lisa Williams collaborated with Marvel to bring the strong, powerful, and brilliant warrior characters Shuri, Okoye, and Nakia to life. The Fresh Dolls Fierce Collection celebrates these iconic women and feature striking character likenesses, custom-blended skin tones, beautifully intricate costume designs, and first-of-its-kind innovative hairstyles. World of EPI is the first to mass produce the natural locs hairstyle, worn by Nakia in the film. World of EPI won the prestigious award, 2022 Doll of the Year, from the Toy Federation’s Toy of the Year Awards. World of EPI has also created dolls for The Proud Family, and there are plans for future collaborations in the works.

Young King Hair Care was created by first-time parents who were surprised to discover that there were no clean, natural hair care products specifically designed for curly-headed young men. They realized there was an unfulfilled need and opportunity to reshape the beauty industry, which has traditionally focused on women and girls, by creating unique offerings for their son and young men who looked like him. They are redefining male grooming for the next generation of multicultural men, giving them confidence needed to be their best selves 24/7/365. And more importantly, they’re here to change the narrative of how the world sees young men of color, young kings represented as unapologetic, dynamic, and expressive with confidence and swag.

CreativeSoul Photography believes that everyone deserves to truly be seen. They create thought-provoking imagery showcasing kids across the African Diaspora by bringing to life past, present, and future visions of black culture to create a society where all kids are created equally and feel empowered to move in the world as their true authentic self. CreativeSoul collaborated on a special edition Disney Princess doll series that completely reimagines what a classic princess could look like through a diverse new lens."

The Walt Disney Company

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