Striking + Strong: The Hair Care Brand for Active Women with Curly Hair
If you are a woman with textured — curly, wavy, kinky, and coily — hair and you love to work out, you know how hard it is to find hair care products that cleanse your scalp while nourishing your hair. Tanja Collins knows what it’s like to have curly hair, an active lifestyle, and not have suitable hair care options. That’s why she launched Striking + Strong, a brand of clean shampoos and conditioners for women with kinky, curly, coily, and wavy hair, as well as locs, who need haircare solutions that keep up and encourage their active lifestyle.
A need without a quality solution, Tanja recognized a market opportunity based on the lack of effective hair care products that cater to the needs of women living active lifestyles. With a passion for clean ingredients and a commitment to serving her community, Tanja embarked on a journey to create a brand that would empower women to care for and embrace their natural hair while also enjoying an active and vibrant lifestyle.
After a 20-plus-year marketing and sales career with Fortune 100 and 500 CPG companies, Tanja recognized and seized an opportunity to formulate and market clean, effective hair care solutions to women with textured hair types. She used her skills and knowledge to launch Striking + Strong in October 2022, after 10 months of preparation and development. Tanja self-funded her venture, and she runs every aspect of the business herself, with some support from a marketing agency for brand design and digital marketing.
To achieve her vision, Tanja embarked on a learning journey about hair care, connecting with industry experts, seeking insights from cosmetologists, and immersing herself in the fundamentals of hair care. She also read a lot of books and articles on the science of hair care and the best ingredients for her formulas. She learned how to formulate her products without compromising performance or quality. Tanja’s goal was to create a line of hair care products that would be both clean and functional, meeting the needs of active women with textured hair.
Living in Dallas is an advantage as it’s a strong market with access to all the resources and connections she needed to build her brand and business. By joining DFW CPG, Tanja has been able to share her corporate CPG experience, while also learning from other like-minded entrepreneurs and bouncing ideas around. This collaborative approach has allowed her to gain valuable insights, expand her network, and contribute to the growth of others in the local CPG industry.
In addition to the DFW CPG community, Tanja gathers input from three primary trusted sources to build momentum for Striking + Strong. The first group is other company founders who have crossed the 10-year in-business mark and check in with Tanja to offer guidance, encouragement, and access to their networks. The second group is experts in the hair care industry who provide insights into technical and research parts of the business. The third group is SKU, which through DFW CPG, has provided access to business resources and networks.
Starting a business from scratch presented its own set of challenges for Tanja. Obtaining a trademarkable name proved to be a significant obstacle, as the beauty industry is saturated with trademarked brands. Despite this, Tanja’s perseverance and dedication paid off, and Striking + Strong emerged with a distinctive identity that speaks to what some women want in hair care and lifestyle.
Building collaborative partnerships and relationships that are purposeful and authentic helps to create social trust with consumers and suppliers. Striking + Strong emphasizes building trust and fostering authentic relationships with its consumers and partners. Tanja understands that trust is earned over time and aims to create sustainable loyalty by consistently delivering on the brand promise. Knowing that building trust in a virtual world is not easy, she has to deliver on her brand promise with every online order. Striking + Strong seeks to establish a strong online presence and cultivate a loyal customer base before expanding into retail markets, prioritizing purposeful and authentic relationships over transactional ones.
Risks and challenges come with running any business but having the mental toughness and the perspective that comes from working in the corporate CPG world, Tanja knows how to deal with the highs and lows of the industry, and how to adapt and improve in the face of change.
Resilience, adaptability, and understanding are necessary to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. By fostering trust, building a vibrant community, and prioritizing authenticity, Striking + Strong is poised to make a lasting impact on the hair care industry and empower women to embrace their natural beauty while living active lifestyles.
With passion and purpose, Tanja is not only providing women with products that can support their needs, but she is also making a difference in her community and in the world.