Shante Frazier is the cofounder of WellCapped. This data-driven beauty company allows customers to discover emerging long-tail brands through a Netflix-Esque suggestion list from their select inventory. The company’s primary target market is hyper-consumers who purchase and rent high-quality lace-front wigs.
After joining Gener8tor’s Nmotion accelerator studio to build a company in 2020 and brainstorming ideas for a business, WellCapped was born. Shante then realized she needed a cofounder to join her along this new tech startup journey, Arie Warren.
Within six months, both women put WellCapped on the map. Since its launch, WellCapped was selected as one of twenty semifinalists out of over 500 applicants to compete in the Atlanta Startup Battle. They are also a part of the cast for a black pitch competition show called ‘Bet on Black’ on Revolt TV.
However, this is just the beginning of the journey. Check out how Shante sets a new tone for how we view the beauty industry.
Tell me about yourself. How would you describe yourself?
I’m Shante Frazier, and I like to describe myself as a true Go Getter.
Growing up, did you ever think you would be a business owner? What was your relationship with entrepreneurship?
I always knew I would be an entrepreneur. My father owned a nightclub in Atlanta when I was a teenager, so I grew up watching him run his business and saw the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
Now that you are an entrepreneur, how do you stay motivated? How have your entrepreneurial motivations changed since you first started?
I’m always learning. I’m learning from our members, industry experts, and other companies that have done a great job building communities.
It’s one thing to stay motivated by yourself, but who would you say is your greatest support when facing hardships in business?
I’m a member of Goodie Nation, based out of Atlanta, an organization dedicated to helping founders of color. When facing hardships, it’s great to have a network of founders to vent to and brainstorm solutions.
How important is having a sense of community in your day-to-day?
It’s vital. I would have quit long ago if I didn’t have this community of other founders, supportive friends and family, and loyal members.
Briefly tell me about your career background and journey.
I graduated from Spelman College, majoring in Economics and serving in the Georgia Army National Guard. After graduating from Spelman, I worked as a Progressive Insurance analyst and served as a Military Intelligence Officer in the National Guard. After getting my MBA from NYU Stern, I worked as a Senior Consultant for PwC before starting WellCapped.
What idea inspired you to start your business?
My journey to entrepreneurship was a little different in comparison to other founders. I went through a venture studio, an accelerator with a unique model. Instead of investing in ideas, they invest in entrepreneurs and work with them to develop an idea. WellCapped came from a conversation with my aunt while participating in the accelerator. She had the genius idea to create a company like Rent the Runway, except for wigs so that women could save money and the environment. I knew that I eventually wanted to create a company like Netflix for beauty products; this felt like a natural entry point.
How did you come up with the name of your company?
It actually came to me in a dream. As soon as it popped up in my mind, I knew it was the one. I once read an article that explained that made-up words that started with a G, H, K, Q, or W were the best for company names because they were cheap to brand and easy to remember.
Does your career background directly impact your business?
I felt like my career choices never made sense for a long time. I
went from being in the military to a pricing analyst. Then I became a Competitive Intelligence Analyst who eventually went to business school. After business school, I became a consultant in the sourcing and procurement space; then finally became a merchandising manager. I always thought all of it was so mix-matched. In hindsight, I can see how intentional God was when planning all of this out. I’ve had to pull from each of those experiences on this journey. It’s been great to find a role that makes everything make sense. I’ve learned that you have to be faithful and obedient and trust the process even when it doesn’t make sense at the time.
What are the main roadblocks or challenges you experience when starting your business? If any, what are your current challenges?
We are building a new category which means we have to put a lot of effort and energy into educating our target market about what it means to rent a wig; and why they should do it instead of buying. Everyone is curious about the sanitization process, so we must ensure that information is upfront and centered.
What are the next steps for your business? What do the next five years look like?
I am focusing on building the next leg, the Netflix business model. There are so many beauty brands available right now. Yet, it is hard for those brands to find their ideal consumers and also difficult for those consumers to find their right brands. We want to use our members’ preferences and demographic data to recommend the right products to them.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to lead authentically. When I started WellCapped, I tried to fit the mold of what I thought was a good leader but found it easier to lead when I leaned into my strengths and personality.