“Everything we do is to help women unlock their most confident selves,” states Tiffini Gatlin, the founder and CEO of Atlanta-based beauty brand Latched & Hooked. “As a female founder, I’ve discovered there’s nothing more empowering than working towards this goal and helping other Black women feel supported through the products I create.”
Gatlin first founded Latched & Hooked Beauty in 2016 to provide a stress-free, non-toxic, and affordable line of high-quality hair extensions that could help Black women achieve the hairstyles they wanted, without needing to spend hours at the hair salon.
Tiffini Gatlin, Founder and CEO, Latched & Hooked
“I was inspired to start my business because of all the stories I had heard over the years from other Black women who were exhausted from trying to style their hair with limited options,” says Gatlin. “From the start, our goal has been to make it easier and safer for women to achieve the look they want, across every stage of their protective style journey.”
Over the past six years, the 100% female owned-and-operated brand has expanded their product line to offer customers a wide selection of synthetic hair extensions, wigs, and hair care products, giving women the chance to choose from a range of different colors, textures, and styles.
“Our mission as a brand is to make beauty simple, accessible, and fun,” says Gatlin. “All of our products are rooted in this goal and are designed to empower Black women of all ages to embrace their creativity through their hair.”
Throughout the growth process, Gatlin has partnered with PayPal to help manage cashflow and streamline operations. “The financing we received from PayPal Working Capital1 in our early stages helped us secure inventory, expand our product line, grow our team and cover operating costs as we expanded our footprint as a brand,”2 recalls Gatlin. “We also continue to use PayPal not only as an easy, secure checkout option online, but to manage our invoices and make payments to our vendors around the world.”
Latched & Hooked Scalp Soothie Product
As a beauty brand, Latched & Hooked is focused on staying on top of changing trends and reflecting the looks that are top-of-mind for customers. “The beauty industry is never static – styles move in and out of fashion, and things move quickly,” says Gatlin. “We’re constantly using our social channels to talk directly with our customers about what they want to see, and to closely track what’s trending with our audience. I’m also always on the lookout when travelling to get inspired in new ways.”
For Latched & Hooked, social media has also played a key part in their strategy for new customer acquisition. “Social media is one of the most effective ways to get in front of new audiences and build community around a brand,” Gatlin advises. “We focus not only on building connections via our social content, but on driving our followers to our email channels where we can strengthen our relationship with them through longer-form storytelling about our products and our brand.”
Gatlin is now focused on taking Latched & Hooked to the next level. “We recently made our debut on QVC and are in an exciting stage of growth right now,” says Gatlin. “Every day, we’re focused on keeping our momentum by finding the best new designs for products, building new marketing strategies, and navigating ad-hoc issues like supply chain slowdowns.”
Tiffini Gatlin on QVC selling Latched & Hooked
Gatlin’s dedicated and incremental approach to solving for scale informs the advice that she regularly gives to the other female founders and business leaders she connects with. “Being a female founder has, for me, meant having to prove myself repeatedly despite having built my success without any investors,” says Gatlin. “By building community with other female founders and by taking each challenge one step and day at a time, we can close the gap between the impact we know that we’re creating and the adversities we face that try to slow us down.”
By continuing to share her experiences as an entrepreneur, Gatlin hopes to inspire other women who are building their own brands. “I understand the challenge of nurturing a family, building a business, and also trying to figure out your own self-care routine, because I’m also experiencing it every day,” says Gatlin. “By sharing my story, I hope I can encourage other women to stay passionate about the business problems they are trying to solve, and to remember that it’s okay to not have all the answers at all times. Sometimes, in business, just making the decision to keep going is enough.”
1The lender for PayPal Working Capital in the United States is WebBank. Applicants must satisfy certain requirements to be eligible, see Terms and Conditions
2Results and experience may vary.