Courage. It’s what drives us to step outside our comfort zones.
For Ranay Orton, founder and CEO of Glow by Daye, "every step of the way has been a courage moment," from having an idea to evolving it into a successful small business selling in Amazon’s store.
As a busy mom of two boys, Orton first found the courage to get started after becoming frustrated with the lack of high-quality and intentionally designed sleeping caps that she needed to maintain her natural hair.
She found herself experiencing so many pain points, such as the sleep caps causing irritation, hairline breakage, and the caps not staying on throughout the night—not to mention finding the time to keep up with her hair maintenance—that she created her first product, the Reversible Satin Bonnet. It quickly became a success.
"I didn't realize at the time that so many others had the same problem," said Orton.
Hair has always played an important role in the cultural and historical challenges faced by Black women. For years, many Black women, especially those in professional environments, have worn straight styles because natural hair was deemed "unprofessional" or not on par with beauty standards. This practice dates back to the days of slavery, and it wasn’t until the 1960s that the natural hair movement picked up steam. It saw a revival in the 2000s that continues into today.
Leaders like Orton are helping foster this movement. By providing thoughtfully designed satin bonnets, shower caps, thermal heat caps, scarves, and other products, Glow by Daye helps anyone with textured hair meet their hair goals, whether it’s length or moisture retention, prolonging hairstyles, or overall hair health.
"On this journey of reimagining and designing everyday accessories for those with textured hair in mind, I have come to know that there are so many others like myself on their own unique journey to healthier hair. They, too, are looking for simple solutions. Being able to bring value to their hair journey has become my 'why,'" said Orton.
Joining the Black Business Accelerator and selling with Amazon have been pivotal to the success of her Black-owned small business.
"Selling in Amazon’s stores has been a huge part of Glow by Daye's brand story and was a pivotal part of its genesis," said Orton. "Utilizing Amazon's discoverability, advertising, and support systems, we could offer Glow by Daye globally from day one to reach so many customers who are looking for products to solve their hair struggles."
“We’ve seen a 50% year-over-year sales growth in our first three years in business, even while I worked full-time as a medical rep for two of those years.”
When asked what advice she would offer to other Black-owned brands and any aspiring entrepreneurs, Orton shared:
“As best as you can and as early as you can, map out what you would like your business to look like in six months, a year, and so on. From there, strategize around what it will take to get you there, whether it be capital, partnerships, or a solid team, so that you can begin to frame most of your decisions around those things.
“The gap in access to funding and other resources for Black-owned brands compared to our counterparts is real, but it’s beginning to get the attention it needs to begin narrowing. The sooner you can identify your needs, the better prepared you will be when the opportunities come.”
This year, Orton is looking forward to launching new products using Amazon resources, such as the Black-Owned Business badge, in addition to different product listing tools that effectively educate customers about new products with videos, demos and advertising. She also plans to use Amazon Vine, a program that invites trusted reviewers to post opinions about new products to help customers make informed purchases.
Long-term, her goal is for Glow by Daye to become a household name, synonymous with the joy, excitement, and pleasure associated with one’s at-home hair routine. She is also optimistic about what’s next and the future of representation in the broader beauty space.
“I believe Glow by Daye’s impact is felt in many ways within the Black community. With products created by a Black woman for Black customers, it creates a sense of relatability and trust. Beyond that, I think by seeing the beautifully diverse representation in our marketing and models, many different ethnicities can see themselves and their unique hair or hairstyles reflected in our store.
“I have felt true pride to be able to give back to the communities we serve, specifically young women of color. As we continue to build and have more success, we will be able to have a deeper financial and overall impact on the communities we serve.”
To shop Glow by Daye and browse more Black-owned small businesses, visit Amazon’s Buy Black store during Black History Month and Amazon’s storefront all year long, and look for the Black-Owned Business badge.
Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator (BBA) is dedicated to helping build sustainable growth for Black-owned businesses, backed by a $150 million commitment over four years.