Earning a doctorate in chemistry is not the typical first step to becoming an entrepreneur, but it worked well for Tashni-Ann Dubroy.
While studying organic chemistry at North Carolina State in the early 2000s, she met future business partner Tiffani Bailey Lash. The two chemists bonded over their frustration at the lack of natural, good-quality hair-care products tailored to women of color. Together they came up with the idea to develop their own line. Nearly a decade later, in December 2009, while Dubroy was still enrolled at Rutgers Business School, their idea became a reality with the launch of Tea and Honey Blends.
“This was the first time either one of us would go down this path of starting a business,” Dubroy says. “The mentors we had at Rutgers were instrumental, and everything I learned was something I could implement.”
The company is in Raleigh, N.C., and currently has 10 employees. —Sommer Saadi, posted Dec. 14, 2011