Diane Da Costa, a celebrity stylist and the CEO and founder of SimpleeBEAUTIFUL, an eco-friendly, all-natural salon and brand based in Harlem, New York, was awarded $5,000 last month after being named one of the winners of the first Carver Federal Savings Bank and The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce 2022 Minority Women-Owned Business Pitch Competition.
Da Costa, who is author of the book, Textured Tresses: The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining and Styling Natural Hair, won the competition by pitching biodegradable packaging for her new line of SimpleeBEAUTIFUL CBD wellness products, a new energy-efficient HVAC system, new LED lighting, and a new low-flow toilet system. Her new CBD line, BTW, is not just another business idea: it’s personal. After being in the beauty industry for more than 35 years, she’s developed long-standing injuries. Implementing CBD into her products is a way for hers and many of her clients to relieve the pain.
As President and CEO of Carver Bancorp, Michael Pugh, told The Root, “We knew we needed to do something that would send a strong message highlighting the importance of supporting women entrepreneurs, and black women specifically. We also wanted to encourage small businesses to be thinking of ways they can reduce their carbon footprint.”
Diane Da Costa emphasized the importance of this prize money because, as a Black business owner, she is constantly looking for financial support. “We don’t get enough funding, specifically women of color business owners who make up the majority of the new businesses opening up every year,” she said. “So I’m constantly applying for grants and loans and different things.
She continued, “It’s just wonderful to have this opportunity, just to be able to win something specifically for women of color and especially for the safety and cleanliness of the environment, which is my motto anyway.”