One of the nation’s most acclaimed beauty experts and physicians, Zakiya Antoine, DO, MPH, is a board-certified family medicine physician, a nationally recognized author, speaker, health and wellness expert, and beauty brand CEO. Her mission is simple: real medical advice simplified.
As a child, Dr. Zakiya’s dream was to become a doctor. She obtained a master of public health degree with a focus in epidemiology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, earned her doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Ohio University, completed her internship at University Hospitals of Cleveland System, and finished her family medicine residency at Michigan State University.
She travels the country instructing and providing healthcare to those in need, discussing actionable ideas and real-world strategies to help her followers take control of their health.
We took a moment to speak to Dr. Zakiya to chat about her Strandtasic haircare brand.
What is the unique value proposition your brand or product brings to the category?
My unique value proposition is that my hair products are all physician formulated and physician tested. I created Strandtastic to satisfy the need to serve and empower women by educating them about the ingredients that are used to create the hair products that are used by women with thick, curly hair to achieve a desired look or to just have healthier hair.
My brand is one of the first physician-created brands geared specifically toward natural hair and curly hair. I got my first inspiration to launch my brand when challenged by my business coach and good friend from medical school. He pointed out to me that I was already educating women how to use hair products that were already in the market when out in the public or even in the previous urgent care centers where I have worked. Shortly after this realization, it was confirmation from the universe for me when a female patient of mine came in with a sinus infection and left my office with a prescription for her hair regimen in addition to her prescription for antibiotics.
What is the formulation philosophy behind your product?
My formulation philosophy is rooted in the belief that healthy hair starts from within. My doctor-formulated, vegan Hair Elixir along with my Liquid Hair Vitamin addresses haircare from the inside out. Together, these high-nutrient products are transformative for the hair and body to support your overall health and retain length, moisture, and luster for natural curls.
I have several other styling and conditioning products rooted in this same philosophy that I am testing and formulating as we speak. These products will be released later this year as my core line of signature hair products inspired by the regimen I have been following for the last two years.
What is your distribution strategy for the brand?
Currently, my distribution strategy is direct-to-consumer via my e-commerce website, and products are shipped from my fulfillment center in CA. I am currently looking for opportunities for wholesale distribution and eventually retail.
Would you share how you’ve funded the business to date?
I have funded the business 100% by myself by paying for things as I go with the money I earn as a physician. I look at my brand as an investment in myself, my gifts, and my passions. This brand is connected to my purpose in life.
What has been the best piece of advice you have received during your journey of building your brand?
The best piece of advice that I have received is to be fearless when taking imperfect action. Even if I fail or have an undesired or unexpected outcome, I am still closer to achieving my ultimate goal for my brand than I would be if I had taken no action.
What’s your vision for the future of the brand?
My vision is for my business to become a respected influence in the beauty industry that will expand from the virtual social media world to the real world with a global reach.
What excites you about the future of the beauty/wellness industry?
I am most excited about the limitless potential for acquiring wealth and serving humanity in a big way. The beauty industry is one that inspires and uplifts the masses. It is humbling to think that consumers feel my products solve problems dealing with their hair.
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