When we think of the word “legacy”, we think of heritage, power, and the richness of family stories. The story of Angela and Saraa Green is one of triumph, faith, and focus that would open the door to transform the braiding world.
It all started in 1992 when mother of three and teacher Angela Green created a tool to help her take down her daughters’ braids. After creating the prototype for her family, she considered taking the tool to mass market. But unfortunately, innovation in the early 90s wasn’t supported by the business resources and funding that are available now and so she had to shelf her idea.
That is until…
25+ years later, Angela’s daughter Saraa Green took the prototype and built a business plan for it as part of her MBA
graduation project. Discovering how much of a market there was for TheBraidReleaser proved that nearly 3 decades later,
beauty tool innovation for women of color was still an afterthought.
Despite protective styles growing in popularity, the technology, though improved slightly, hasn't changed much. Rat tail combs and tired arms are still the “tools” most women use to take down their braids and twists.
Saraa expected that there would be challenges bringing the tool to mass market when she started the company. However, COVID 19 was an experience that no one was prepared for. Right before the pandemic shutdown the United States, Saraa had launched a Kickstarter campaign, which eventually turned into a devastating $8,000 loss when we ran out of time to meet our $25,000 funding goal.
In spite of this, her resilience and commitment to making sure that women of color finally had something that catered to them when removing protective styles led her to relaunch the startup campaign on Renee King’s FundBlackFounders where she was able to crowdsource funding for the business, attract more media support, and win a pitch competition by Create Cultivate.
Honoring the creativity and original vision her mother started, Saraa kept the name TheBraidReleaser given to the prototype back in 1992, and used her background as an engineer and developer at adidas to launch a second generation version of the tool.
TheBraidReleaser is more than just a tool for protective styles; it’s a statement to the world that Black women are no longer content with just “making do” anymore. Our needs are just as important as everyone else’s.