Twenty-six-year-old Philomina Kane created a natural hair hoodie as part of her clothing line, KIN Apparel, specializing in satin-lined hoodies for people with kinky and coily natural hair, and recently landed a deal on ABC’s Shark Tank.
“At a young age, my hair was always permanently straight,” Kane told Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV. “And that’s been the case for a lot of Black women.”
“I joined a rugby team, and my hair was just falling out because I wasn’t taking care of it,” she said.
Kane was accustomed to straightening her hair with chemical relaxers throughout her whole life. Still, once she got to college as a student-athlete at Princeton University, she decided she wanted to go all-natural.
In 2014, she decided to big chop her hair and shared a video of the process to her YouTube channel, “NaturallyPhilo.”
Following her social media success, she launched her clothing line, KIN Apparel. The title is an acronym for “Keeping it Naturally” and is a double-entendre as it also has a meaning related to her family roots.
“I was raised in Ghana by my grandmother for the first five years of my life,” said Kane. “She taught me about my Ghanian culture, which I’ve grown to love so much.”
KIN Apparel has grown in popularity after exposure on social media, which led Kane to obtain an opportunity to appear on Shark Tank. Kane pitched her business to multi-millionaire investors on the season premiere of the show and landed a deal.
“Traditional hoodies which are made with cotton and cotton absorbs the moisture in your hair, leaving it dry, frizzy,” said Kane. “So, what we do is we line the hoods with satin. That does not strip your hair of moisture.”
After appearing on the show, Kane posted to her Instagram, sharing the exciting news.
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Her caption read, “One thing about me, I’m gonna dance and cry! Took a dive into the shark tank and came out triumphant. Thanks, KINfolk, for tuning in and rooting for @kinapparel_! Excited for this new journey with my investors @lorigreinershark and @emmagrede. Always pursue your passion. It’s worth it! Thank you, God!”