Heim, who is now based in Melbourne, Australia, grew up braiding hair at her mother’s salon in Perth. It was there that she developed her passion for beauty and began to take notice of the kinds of products available for people with Afro-textured hair. “We would import a lot of hair-care products from the U.S. that were designed for textured hair and sell them in the salon.”
Like many Black women, Heim spent years relaxing her hair. When she finally decided to ditch the creamy crack and grow out her natural texture, she began to realize how involved the process of taking care of and styling her 4C kinks was — and that it was out of line with her own beauty philosophy. “I couldn’t find any brands on the market catering to my hair type that I could relate to,” she laments. “They all seemed to speak in the same way, look the exact same, and the product selection was incredibly confusing. I was extremely overwhelmed. I just wanted to know how to wash my hair and felt like brands weren’t providing that guidance in a super simple, time-efficient way.”
Take it from another Black girl who’s transitioned — when you start growing your natural hair, the internet will make you believe that you need a whole Beauty Supply shop worth of product in your arsenal in order to properly maintain it. There are pre-poos, rinses, shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, gels, butters, jams, jellies, oil sheens, and more to consider. It’s complicated for many people, and it was too much for Heim. So, she set out on a mission to bring the simplicity she craved to the market — and to Sephora.
In recent months, there has been a very public push for retailers to add more Black-owned brands to their rosters, and Sephora is among several that have been called out for issues with representation. In June 2020, the retailer agreed to the 15 percent pledge, an initiative started by Brother Vellies founder Aurora James, that calls for big-name stores to dedicate 15 percent of their shelf space to businesses that are Black-owned. Bread Beauty Supply will be sold at Sephora, but its partnership predates James’s project.
Heim had her sights set on Sephora when she came up with the idea for Bread over two years ago. “From the get-go, before even putting pen to paper, I knew that I wanted the woman I was speaking to, who was already shopping for her skin care and makeup in Sephora, to be able to have Bread as her hair-care offering and buy it in the same place,” she says.