This is the final installment of Centric Magazine’s exclusive digital series about small businesses that have flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to stay home, a major concern was how people could stay productive while quarantined. Sarah Royer, a junior environmental studies major, decided to use that time to launch her own hair care company, Ro’s Organics. The first part of the title is derived from her surname while “organics” refers to the natural ingredients used in her products.
Royer said she decided to pursue hair care because she has always been very passionate about it and because of the many compliments she has received for her own hair. However, she shared that starting this business was no easy journey. In fact, Royer said that completing the necessary research for her products was a long but rewarding process.
“I was doing research for a couple of years,” Royer said. “I watched YouTube videos, I read articles, I even looked at articles on UCF Library.”
Through this extensive research, Royer discovered that organic products are better for hair than chemical-based products which often do more harm. Royer said this is one reason why she has specifically designed her products for black people because most of the products catered toward black hair contain damaging chemicals. The other reason is because as a black woman, she already had some prior knowledge about black hair.
When Royer started researching the effects of organic ingredients on hair, she concluded that those ingredients were the key to proper hair nourishment because they stimulate hair growth, retain moisture, reduce shedding and more.
“It’s almost like your diet,” Royer said. “If you feed yourself hot fries and hot sausages, your body is going to reflect that. If you start eating different fruits like apples, cherries, things like that, then your body is going to reflect that as well.”
Royer said that she had never expected to become an entrepreneur because of how taxing business can be. However, with the help of her mother and Ro’s Organics’ CFO who gave her the idea to start a hair care line, Royer decided to pursue this new venture and said that the response has been great. In fact, the day after she launched the site, Royer said she already had about seven orders.
“I was literally in tears,” Royer said. “I barely marketed anything. Everybody was just ready.”
Royer attributes this success to word of mouth due to the outpouring of support she received from friends and family who posted about her new business online. Despite having aspirations outside of Ro’s Organics which include becoming an environmental lawyer and land-use planner, Royer said that she hopes her business will continue to grow so that she can hopefully pass it down to her future children and create generational wealth. Regardless, Royer said that she is very proud to be a black woman running a successful business.
“It’s definitely a big responsibility being a black business owner,” Royer said. “I feel as if I’m held to a different standard and must maintain professionalism at all times. Nonetheless, it’s an amazing feeling.”