By Kevin Keenan, communication intern in the Office of University Relations
Carolyn-Eboni Carson and her mother, LaTrina Thornton, have helped one another truly embrace their natural hair throughout the years.
Now, the two have started a company to help other people of color with natural hair not just accept but love their hair and make natural hair commonplace in the professional workplace.
Carson, who is in her third and final year as a law student at Marquette University Law School, won the 2022 Brewed Ideas Challenge for her and her mother’s company Nubian’s Way. The company, Carson says, “creates and sells a high-quality, organic, all-natural Growth Serum and Butter Blend designed for coily, kinky hair.”
Brewed Ideas is an annual Shark Tank-style pitch competition hosted by Marquette University’s Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiative in partnership with Brady Corporation.
As the winner, Carson received $7,500 in seed money to help advance Nubian’s Way.
“The good thing is that it (Brewed Ideas) helped us to get exposure,” Carson says. “I was able to present this idea to a lot of classmates, a lot of people in the Law School, a lot of friends, and a lot of family. All of that really helped people to kind of peek into my life and learn more about the product and the mission.”
Their hair products have answered the question: how can we celebrate coily, kinky hair? In the legal world, nationwide efforts to address these issues include C.R.O.W.N. ACT (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) legislation that prohibits employers from refusing to hire or fire employees because of the protective hairstyles they choose to wear. The C.R.O.W.N. ACT was first enacted in California in 2019; about a dozen states have enacted similar laws while federal legislation is pending.
It’s a purpose Carson and her mother are extremely passionate about.
Carson says her mom, Latrina, has for the last five years conducted research and development processes for the company’s formulas – working to determine what ingredients to use, how the product will work in one’s hair and more.
Her mother’s efforts and expertise are what inspired the company’s name.
LaTrina was often called “Nubian,” which means “Black Beauty.” It was a nickname given to her by friends.
“This project is really being done Nubian’s Way – LaTrina’s Way – and I think it has a deeper connection with my mother because she has a very creative mind,” Carolyn says. “So, this is something that can be done her way to where we’re producing this high-quality product to be marketed.”
For more information about Nubian’s Way and its products, call (414) 324-4213 or direct message the company on Instagram.