Podcast: TGIN’s Chris-Tia Donaldson on the ‘Crawl, Walk, Run’ Philosophy She Applies to Life and Business

Podcast: TGIN’s Chris-Tia Donaldson on the ‘Crawl, Walk, Run’ Philosophy She Applies to Life and Business

Chris-Tia Donaldson
Chris-Tia Donaldson (@TGINCEO) is the founder and CEO of Thank God It’s Natural (TGIN), a company that manufactures all natural hair and skin care products that she launched in 2013.

A few years before she launched the company, she wrote her first book called ‘Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Natural Hair,’ which would go on to become an Amazon bestseller and a resource Essence magazine called the ultimate hair bible.

Like so many entrepreneurs and authors before her, Chris-Tia wrote the book and started TGIN to address her own needs.

Feeling empowered after graduating from Harvard Law and joining the fast paced world of corporate America, Chris-Tia still wrestled with the idea that in that environment, straight hair would be viewed as more appropriate and professional and so she started wearing a wig to work.

Over time, she realized that the notion that Black women should have to cover the kinky or curly hair that naturally grows out of our head in order to be accepted in the workplace just didn’t make any sense. Thus began her journey of reconciliation, first with herself and then through sharing her experience in the book she’s been able to ensure that thousands of other women never feel the need to compromise their own natural beauty based on society’s definition of it.

After the success of the book and the successful launch of ‘Thank God It’s Natural,’ the brand, Chris-Tia continued to work her full time job as corporate counsel at a Fortune 100 company until literally 2 and a half months ago.

On this episode, I talked with Chris-Tia about her incredible career and entrepreneurial journey so far, how being diagnosed with and surviving breast cancer has influenced and changed her business philosophy and outlook on life, what’s it’s been like working a high-powered job while also running a business that seems to keep growing by the day and so much more. 

Insights+Takeaways:

  • How being told that she wasn’t a ‘good fit’ at her first job out of law school after she’d tried so hard to conform to meet their standards was an eye-opener for her.
  • She wrote her first book when there were few resources for women with natural hair.
  • ‘Thank God It’s Natural’ the brand grew out of women on her book tour requesting actual products.
  • She doesn’t regret staying at her job for four years while growing TGIN, but she wishes she would have created a consulting or client relationship instead of staying on full-time.
  • Why it’s important that we get out of our own way in order to accomplish our dreams.
  • How she approached being diagnosed with breast cancer as if it was just another problem that needed to be solved.
  • The myth behind resilience and strength in Black woman and why we need to start being honest about how we feel.
  • Why the death of two colleagues (one from breast cancer) was the catalyst she needed to finally quit her job for good.
  • A reminder that in many ways our struggles are universal.

Listen to Episode 39:

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