Marion Hermans is the founder of natural hair care and lifestyle brand Marley Grey. Sporting a beautifully rich crown of hair, she unpacked what motivated her.
Who is the person/people behind Marley Grey?
My name is Marion Hermans and I am the founder of Marley Grey, a natural hair care and lifestyle brand. I am a 38-year-old mother of 2 boys and an amazingly supportive husband. I have a keen interest in natural hair and all things wrapped in creativity.
What inspired you to start Marley Grey?
Marley Grey was inspired by my own natural hair journey. It allowed me to explore organic ingredients for my hair, and to use my creativity in a way that I could share what I’ve found with other natural-haired brothers and sisters. It pushed me to start the brand and encourage others to take a deeper look at how to understand their natural hair. There was a shortage of natural hair information at that time and being in a teaching environment in my career, motivated me to do so in my personal journey as well.
Tell us more about your business:
Marley Grey is any nattie’s dream shop. Not only do we provide hair care products, but we provide tools and accessories to assist you through your wash day and the rest of your natural journey. We also provide consultations for those starting their journeys or for those who are a bit stuck and need help understanding their hair better. We provide a personalised routine which is always a saving grace on the pocket. We always have our customer’s best interests at heart.
Lastly, we also offer curly cuts in our studio for the naturals who need a quick trim or shaping.
When did you start the business and how long has it been operating?
We started the business in 2017 and this year will be our 5th year running.
What kind of products do you offer?
We offer satin-lined accessories for the hair. The satin is what protects the hair during a normal day out or at night while sleeping. Our products range from cute hair bows to hair shears and even awesome satin-lined peak caps with a bigger opening to cater for our bigger hair. Most of our products are made with the intent to improve the overall health of one’s hair. This even includes our hair dyes.
How did you fund the business?
My business was completed self-funded. I started the business while still working a full-time job. I packed away some money and as I could afford, I would top up stock for the business.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
I believe our personal interactions with our customers is what sets us apart. Some of them start their journey with us from the beginning. This is where we consult and set a routine for them. The rest of their journey, we walk alongside them, advise them and provide them with great accessories to maintain the healthy hair care practises. We also teach them how to work with their own hair during styling and make ourselves available for curly cuts when they need it.
Where are you based and how many people do you employ?
We are based in Cape town and only have 2 employees at present.
How have you been received by consumers and the industry in which you operate?
Since we were one of the first natural hair brands in South Africa, our clients have been extremely ecstatic when purchasing from us. It has allowed us to grow and provide more of what our clientele are looking for.
What are your hopes for Marley Grey?
Growth. I would love to renovate and improve on the salon. We also wish to offer training in the future.
Where can people find you?
You can find us on our website – http://marleygrey.co.za
Instagram: Marley Grey
Facebook: Marley Grey Haircare Accessories
We have 1 collection point in Cape Town, Bellville.
What is the one thing you’d say to young people out there who may be sitting on brilliant ideas?
Go for it… if it doesn’t work out, at least you gave it a shot!