By Kadi

Black. Woman.

The intersection of being Black, female and an immigrant is not always the easiest place to be. But for me, it represents strength, regality, and determination. Even when facing the daunting reality that VC funding for women is less than 2%, and for Black women, that number is an abysmal 0.34%.



As many of you know, for years we’ve been working diligently on the next iteration of Highbrow Hippie: our long awaited (and dare I say, GAME CHANGING) product line. Being a black, female, immigrant without generational wealth (along with being a massive introvert who battles anxiety), I often found myself in meetings with potential investors, feeling I couldn’t advocate for myself properly. Even though I know my capabilities, I was tired of being seen, and perceived, as only the hair colorist and not a brain.

So, at the beginning of the new year, I applied to join an accelerator group, comprised of 25 female entrepreneurs and founders of all stages. From how to manage a cap table, to the difference between a safe and convertible note, to whether to raise an angel or venture round, no stone was left unturned. The program culminated on Tuesday in NYC, with the top 5 companies pitching in person to a group of venture capitalists and investors.

I’m still shocked to say, that out of 25 incredible businesses, I won the entire thing! What?! When my name was called, my jaw literally hit the ground. I know the win is just a small step - but when you’ve been fighting for your ideas for so long, and have felt pigeonholed and/or erased from the room so often, you just need a sign that things are going in the right direction.

And, I didn’t do it alone. I had so much help and encouragement from my business partner, Myka, Lizzy, who runs our operations, and so many dear friends.

Today, on International Women’s Day, I’m so thankful for programs like Dream Ventures, and hopeful that Highbrow Hippie will continue to defy odds, despite the roadblocks that exist. I’ll also continue to keep my eyes wide open to the reality that Black women (and women everywhere) face when chasing - and funding - their dreams and big ideas.

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