Ceata Lash is a Black Female Founder of PuffCuff. Following the tradition of pioneering Black women entrepreneurs in the beauty industry, such as Annie Malone and Madam C.J. Walker, Ceata has made her presence known in the natural hair and beauty industry with her one-of-a-kind product.
The PuffCuff hair clamp is a unisex tool that makes it easy to achieve stylish looks without stressing curly hair or causing pain from pulling and tension. While a simple idea in theory, most hair accessories on the market are created for straight hair, making the PuffCuff a first of its kind. Curls come in a spectrum that ranges from loose waves to tightly curled coils. The PuffCuff is designed to work with a variety of hair types from 2c to 4c, allowing “curlfriends” to create many beautiful styles without headache-causing cinching, pulling, ripping, or tearing of their hair.
After her own natural hair journey, Ceata became a champion for self-love and self-acceptance for everyone- male or female- with thick, curly, or textured hair.
“When I decided to change my lifestyle and make the transition from relaxed to natural hair, I discovered that it was impossible to find accessories to accommodate the thickness and texture of my hair,” said the PuffCuff Founder. “Searching in stores and online, I realized that most accessories on the market are designed for straight, thin hair – NOT for my naturally thick, coarse hair! Existing products cinched my hair to its smallest point of resistance, creating “bunny tail hair” (not a good look for a grown woman), hair breakage, damage to the accessory and pure frustration for me!”
Ceata soon became determined to find a solution for her problem and found that what she was looking for just did not exist. As she became more aware of other women like her looking for the same hair care products, it became clear to Ceata that what they needed was an easy-to-use styling tool that would help them achieve stylish looks without stressing their hair. The product would also need to be sanitary, durable, and affordable.
“A little more research revealed that there were others — men and women with curly hair, locs and braids — who were experiencing the same styling woes. It was then that the concept of the PuffCuff was born, but I wouldn’t let myself imagine that I could be the one to invent, manufacture and retail it myself. And, then, inspiration moved in,” Ceata recounted.
In the fall of 2011, Ceata was blessed to have her 99-year-old grandmother come to live with her and her family. She had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and was close to death. Her grandmother ended up giving her the final push she needed to pursue her PuffCuff venture and make her dream a reality.
“My grandmother was my heart and I loved her dearly. In our quiet moments together; I often wondered, ‘Did she do everything she wanted to in her long life? Did she pursue all her dreams?’ The answer was a resounding and confident, ‘YES.’ She was at total peace in knowing her time was at hand. So I thought, ‘Would I be at peace with how my life turned out if the Lord blessed me to live to her age?’” said Ceata.
Knowing she might regret shelving her idea and might not have the same peace as her grandmother felt at the end of her life, Ceata decided to at least try to pursue her dream
“If I failed, it wouldn’t be for a lack of trying. So here I am! PuffCuff LLC was launched in August of 2013. The first PuffCuff was available for purchase on Amazon.com in February of 2014.”
As the only Black woman to hold four patents for a natural hair accessory, Ceata is now a game-changer and groundbreaker making a difference in her field. The PuffCuff, the first unisex curly hair clamp that is gentle on curly locks from 2C to 4C, is her creation and has positioned her as a voice in the natural hair movement.
- Currently, the brand is collaborating with Cocoa Kids and Healthy Roots Dolls to celebrate the beauty of diversity
- Ceata is a Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses National Cohort alumna
- She is an excellent speaker who travels the country, lending her voice to causes in the industry and sharing her wealth of knowledge and guidance for future entrepreneurs.
- Ceata is part of the Black Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Babson College.
- She is a Growth Coach for the Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women Program.
Like Ceata, every aspiring entrepreneur has the potential to find success with their dreams.
“Don’t give up,” she says in a PuffCuff blog post. “Keep running when you’re tired. And don’t stop until the Lord tells you to… and He hasn’t told us to.”