Co- Founders Bharat Wood and Alex Aaron, have been working on ile the company and brand for a little over 18 months. Both Howard Alum, Wood presented his idea to current partner Alex Aaron in summer of 2014, and a month ago they soft launched the ile app. Ile the app proposes to be the end all be all for purchasing anything hair related. Units, wigs, natural hair products, and hair extensions, can all be purchased on the centralized one stop shop. Geared towards African American Women, Both Bharat and Alex saw the need to foster a space in the beauty industry, a 684 million dollar market.
Aaron says, “We didn’t want to create any new brands, it wasn’t like we were trying to enter the market and come up with a new hairline or new product, we were saying hey there’s a lot of existing brands out there and what if we create this online market place…”
Growing day by day, ile has the potential to take the market by storm. Where there are so few African American distributors in the beauty market, both Wood and Aaron saw the need to shake things up. Noting that the hardest part of getting ile off the ground, was getting their foot in the door. “one thing we struggled with, is kind of proving yourself. Any time your new in an industry it’s like “Who the hell are you guys and why the hell should I listen to you?”
Bharat notes that another drawback was that when dealing with hair companies, they’re usually segmented by regions and coasts. “Popular brands on the east coast are almost virtually unknown on the west coast, and are almost virtually unknown in Texas or Chicago” Wood states that getting people to trust the different brands is a goal of theirs.
With Aaron on the Pitching side of ile, Wood focused his energy on the coding and overall layout of the app. Making sure it was a seamless process, and user friendly. The app launched a little over a month ago, and the guys are extremely excited about it.
Though the brainchild is theirs, the gentlemen hope to have the company grow to a point where they can pass the torch off to a female executive board. Aaron says that there are “endless possibilities in the matter.”
With 15 product brands and 2 hair extension brands featured on the app, the goal is to bring smaller brands to the Black owned products to the forefront. “I really want to go back to partnering with the brands that were created by African Americans in the hair Industry. At the end of the day African Americans know their hair best. A lot of the hair care brands that women may use by default just because they’re in Target or in Wal-Mart probably are good for what they’re trying to do but they’re not the best, because they are not made for them specifically.” Says Bahrat. “Our next big push is partnering with these Mom and Pop brands that are really tailored, made by African Americans for African Americans.”
With the app, users are able to see in depth and detailed descriptions of the products, as well as YouTube tutorials and reviews.
To download the ile app, please follow the links below,
“Use coupon code ‘HBCU‘ to receive 10% off all hair care products. Also, FREE shipping on all hair extension and wig orders shipped within the United States!”