black history business

Sharmadean Reid

Sharmadean Reid is a British Jamaican entrepreneur who founded Beautystack and WAH Nails. Her mission is to use technology to empower women, economically, socially and culturally.

Reid started WAH (We Ain’t Hoes) while studying Fashion Communication and Promotion at  Central Saint Martins. It began life as a hip hop zine focusing on the new wave of street smart feminism, before evolving into the WAHappenings blog and WAH Power Lunches – opportunities for women to get together and discuss careers and ideas.

In 2008, while working as a stylist for Nike, Reid had a terrible experience having her nails done and decided to set up WAH Nails, where women like her could “hang out, form friendships and build communities” while being able to have “whatever you wanted on your nails”. Reid opened WAH Nails in 2009 and completely changed the beauty landscape with her feminist attitude and innovative salon space. Since then, she has written two books, delivered global pop up nail salons for 100s of brands, created a product line with Walgreen Boots Alliance and been awarded an MBE for services to Beauty.

Reid also continued to support other women, and organised business events for young female entrepreneurs culminating in the founding of FutureGirlCorp, which she said is ‘a way for me to share my experience of building a business as young girl. No one helped me with WAH and I made a ton of mistakes’ — like not having a proper hiring process or employee contracts.”

In 2016 she opened a dreamy salon in Soho, London, showcasing a Virtual Reality Nail Design app in collaboration with DVTK. She has recently founded Beautystack, “a platform to help specialist beauty professionals publish their content and manage their bookings.”

Sources here, here and here

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