When CCUK's Communications Manager, Maria, interviewed Winnie Awa, Carra.
CCUK were keen to find out more about one of our new members and a recent project they've powered, the Texture Gap Report.
Award-winning entrepreneur and textured hair expert, Winnie is known for founding Carra and Carra Labs, an AI-driven hair health platform disrupting the status quo in the £90bn hair care industry. Winnie has 15 years experience of leading innovative consumer-tech platforms for world-renowned companies like Net-a-Porter, ASOS, LVMH and EY. After seeing first hand how the textured hair customer wasn’t being served, she was determined to make a change. She initially launched cult platform Antidote Street (as seen on Vogue, Dazed, Refinery29, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, etc). In running this, she had the front row seat to the biggest challenges facing customers with textured hair and thus Carra and Carra Labs was born.
Winnie was awarded the ‘Women in Innovation UK’ in 2022 and shortlisted for the Sunday Times Beauty Disruptor award in 2022. She is also a regular Glamour Beauty Power List and Women’s Health Beauty Awards judge.
Carra is an AI-driven hair care personalisation platform for Textured Hair. We combine the power of experts, data and community to provide truly relevant routines, guidance and product recommendations.
The Texture Gap report presents a data-driven profile of Type 4 textured hair consumers using Carra Textured Hair Engine™. Through machine learning analysis and domain expertise, Carra have identified common concerns and themes related to textured hair.
This bottom-up approach reveals unknown trends and authentic consumer conversations, providing valuable insights into their needs and preferences.
Read on to find out what Winnie had to say about her journey in the hair industry and the fascinating Texture Gap Report.
Tell us about Carra and how you began your journey in interacting with consumers with textured hair
CARRA is an AI-driven hair care platform providing personalised hair care routines and product recommendations for Textured Hair. As a black woman, I often struggled with my beauty and haircare. I first created Antidote Street, an e-commerce platform for textured hair and built a community of 20,000. This experience provided with front row seats to the biggest challenges faced by individuals with textured hair and ultimately led to the creation of Carra.
What sort of information have you collected from your community?
Utilising our Carra Textured Hair Engine™, we analysed over 10 million data points, specifically looking at hair profile data (spanning across different hair textures) through to real consumer behavioural and concern data collected globally over five years.
What were the most interesting and unexpected findings from the Texture Gap study?
We saw a staggering 62% year-on-year growth in social conversations by consumers with Type 4 hair. This growth rate is eight times higher than that of all other hair textures combined, demonstrating a growing chasm between current market solutions and the concerns of individuals with Type 4 hair. To effectively close the Texture Gap, we must start from the very beginning. Achieving comprehensive change demands a critical examination of every aspect, from the laboratory and supply chain to the distribution and shelf. We can no longer rely on one-size-fits-all solutions. We must integrate the needs of the Type 4 consumer into every stage of product development. This is an exciting opportunity to invest in research, test products across all hair types, and establish a new standard of care and inclusivity in the hair care industry. The consumer has long been vocal and now is the time to start listening.
Who should be reading the report?
The Texture Gap report has been created for beauty industry leaders and brand decision makers - arming them with deep insights to support better products that helps people with Type 4 coils feel seen and catered for. I hope this report shines a big torchlight on the oft-forgotten consumer with very tight coils, helping drive better understanding of their beautifully diverse texture, their behaviours and most important their deepest pain points. I really hope it whips up an innovation frenzy which leads to better culturally-relevant solutions that are not only deserved, but expected.
Access the report here: THETEXTUREGAP.COM