By Grace Austin
Wendi Levy and Kim Etheredge are the original “mixed chicks.” Their diverse ethnic background led them to create the growing brand of hair care products, Mixed Chicks. Offering shampoos, conditioners, products, soaps and tools for women, men, and children, Mixed Chicks has become a multi-million dollar company.
“There were no products for my hair type. Growing up, I had ‘combination hair’ so we had to go to a beauty supply store and had to use multiple products. It came out of personal need,” said Etheredge.
Multicultural people often have to try numerous products and frequent many stores to find hair products that solve their follicle woes. Levy, of African-American and Jewish background, and Etheredge, of African-American and Irish background, originally founded the product for themselves. The name “mixed chicks” is a reference to their background. Over time, friends and family encouraged the two to sell their products, soon finding themselves homegrown entrepreneurs with business headquarters in Wendi’s garage.
Etheredge found it hard to find products for her slightly curly, slightly straight hair. She noticed the segregation between the white hair care and black hair care aisles, seeing the need for products that worked for multiple ethnicities and multiracial women.
“The beauty industry is segregated. There is no middle aisle. In using the term of mixed chicks, everyone is a blend of many, and that’s an ever-growing market. Whether you’re white, black, Mediterranean, or Asian, hair is hair. You shouldn’t be defined by race.”
So far, the organization has received good feedback and praise from customers and the press. Business looks good—and for these “mixed chicks,” showing diversity, especially multiracial diversity, is another benefit of their business.
“We’re happy to create a product that women and children can embrace and lets them embrace their curls,” said Etheredge. “The world is a melting pot, and it’s ok to be you and to not look like everyone else. Mixed Chicks is happy to make these products and help underrepresented cultures feel accepted.”