Cosmetic Chemist. Beauty Industry Expert. Educator. Entrepreneur.
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
MBA, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
Most women have some hair horror stories. Erica Douglas can definitely share a few. As a young girl, Erica experienced the trials and tribulations of caring for her kinky hair and battled with the social implications of having “Black hair” in a predominantly Caucasian world. Memories of five hour visits to the salon, burn marks from hot combs and holding chunks of burnt hair are just a few of many troubling hair stories that Erica often shares. However, Erica uses these stories as motivation to help the next generation of women bypass some of her experiences.
Erica earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. She then advanced to Northwestern University as a National Institute of Health Research Fellow where she conducted research in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology. Erica left academia to find something more tangible that would allow her to combine her science background with her natural creativity and passion to help people. She found her way to Namasté Laboratories makers of Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) where she worked her way up the ranks to become the Director of Research & Development. In this role, her primary responsibility was to develop innovative hair and skin care products.
Erica prides herself on her ability to use her personal experiences, vast knowledge of textured hair and warmer skin tones with her formal education in chemistry to formulate hair and skin care products catered to women of color. She credits her many successful formulations to being a woman that passionately identifies with hair and skin care struggles.
A Champion for Women in STEM
Sister Scientist has traveled the world searching for untapped scientific research and natural ingredients to be used on kinky/curly hair textures and works closely with a number of scientific experts as an advocate for expanding research efforts in multicultural hair and skin. She uses Sister Scientist as a fun and creative platform for consumers who are looking for a trusted source for scientific/technical information about their beauty and grooming products. She also uses this medium to encourage young ladies to pursue careers in science/engineering by breaking stereotypes to show them that being “a nerd” can be pretty cool.
The Making of a Naturalista
While at ORS, Erica was the scientific mind behind the development of a number of new brands that have created a major buzz in the multicultural hair world, including ORS Olive Oil, HAIRepair™ and Curls Unleashed™. During the development of Curls Unleashed™, Erica was so obsessed with formulating the perfect products for Naturalistas of all hair textures and curl types, that she transitioned herself into being a curly girl during the project, and still remains a Naturalista to this day. It was during the launch and promotion of Curls Unleashed when the blogger community affectionately deemed her as “Sister Scientist.” Her hard work on Curls Unleashed™ also earned her a Best in Black Beauty Award from Essence Magazine for her Curl Boosting Jelly formula.
“It's hard to find a woman, let alone and African-American woman, on my side of the lab bench.”
– Erica Douglas
Erica’s passion for developing quality and innovative beauty brands expanded into other areas of the industry, outside of the laboratory, which led to her earning her MBA in Marketing Management, Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Motivated by her experiences in the beauty industry, Erica decided that she wanted to use her expertise and experience to help startup brands succeed in the beauty space. She is currently the Founder & CEO of the mSEED group – a product development, manufacturing and brand/business development group focused on providing strategic growth solutions to aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses in beauty and personal care. mSEED’s mission is to grow a new generation of successful entrepreneurs and drive innovation and creativity in the beauty space.