The Evolving, Cultured, and Upbeat Headwraps and Boutique.
Taisha Jolliffe is the Owner and Founder of Frotégé, an online Headwraps and Boutique based in Brooklyn, NY. We first discovered the evolving, cultured, and upbeat boutique on Instagram in 2020. The gorgeous headwraps caught our eyes. We were excited to shop and show support to a Black-owned business. After browsing the site, we were hooked on the hoodies, tote bags, and jackets.
Frotégé officially launched on January 15, 2020, two months before the states were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many businesses were shutting their doors and closing permanently, Frotégé was one of many new online boutiques that evolved during the crisis. Starting a business in 2020 was a bold move for entrepreneurs. The boldness is what we admire. We believe it was the perfect season to shift and start something new.
Frotégé offered a product that was and still is beneficial to Black women and girls everywhere-the head wrap. A head wrap is more than just a head accessory, it’s a unique hairstyle and a solution for a bad hair day. Women who routinely go to a hair salon, had no choice but to stay home and do their own hair during the pandemic. Whether Black women had natural or relaxed hair, or wore protective styles, many will probably agree that a head wrap is the most convenient and stylish hairstyle next to a sleek bun. Plus, it looks gorgeous on everybody.
We believe Frotégé will continue to bloom and be successful because Taisha provides a solution, and is extremely dedicated to her business and customers. She’s approachable, authentic, and included in every package is a personalized note. Not to mention, the head wraps smell amazing! We wanted to know more about the mother of three, Queen of Frotégé, and how she managed to balance motherhood.
Continue reading the Q&A:
MM: Why did you start Frotégé?
TJ: I had this idea to start the company years ago, but it never developed. I kept pushing it off, making excuses as to why it wouldn’t work. After working pointless hour after hour at my main job, I finally decided to embark upon something that was for me, and made me happy.
MM: The meaning of the name?
TJ: It was developed as a play on the word protégé. The meaning behind it was basically falling in love and looking up to yourself. Embracing all aspects of you, especially your hair- which brought us to headwraps being the focus.
MM: Are you the sole owner? Do you have a team or business partner?
TJ: I am the owner. I complete all aspects of the business: Marketing, Purchasing, Sales, Social Media, etc. I have a silent partner, Tori Kendall. Her role can be classified as a Consultant.
MM: Describe how your life is as a mother and business owner. How do you manage and balance it all?
TJ: I am a mom of three, two boys and a girl. Ages 11, 3 and 1. I have a full-time 9-5 job, and I have Frotégé. So, in all I have 4 children because my business is also my baby! Honestly, I do not have the balance figured out, and I don't always feel like I'm doing it right. But, I'm a big believer in getting the task in front of me completed. Plus, bowling is a hobby that I enjoy sharing with my partner and children. It’s a family activity we take seriously, and it’s a way for us to bond and unwind.
MM: What motivates you to keep going?
TJ: My children are my motivation! I really don't believe that I am doing any of this to "pass down" to them, but I do want to show them that believing in yourself is all the motivation that is needed to do anything they want.
MM: Any advice/encouragement you want to give to other women about business and life?
TJ: I often struggle with balancing my business, my main job and my household. My advice would be to find time to completely unplug from being on the go and enjoy the down time with your family. Those moments are irreplaceable.
MM: How is social media helping you build your brand?
TJ: Social media brought awareness to my brand but that is only a piece of the puzzle. I feel like word of mouth is the best marketing tool any small business can have.
MM: What is your favorite platform?
TJ: Instagram is my favorite platform. But with so many changes, it’s becoming more difficult for businesses to be visible and grow. I feel like the goal for having social media platforms is for small businesses to get people to pay for ads, which is why it is harder to be discoverable. If you are not partaking in the paid marketing tool, you lose out on reaching a broader audience.
MM: Describe your style? And any style or beauty tips?
TJ: My style is the style I hope to show through my site-comfy, casual and cute. As for style or beauty tips, a bad hair day can be a better hair day with any headwrap of choice.
For head wrap tutorials, follow @frotege, and shop at the website at www.frotege.com.