When a friend told April Showers she was a unicorn, she never anticipated the mythical horse-like creature with its spiraled horn would inspire a wildly successful business empire and a powerful movement that celebrates and empowers women and children.
She created Afro Unicorn®, a symbol of Brown girls who hustle and make things happen for themselves.
Afro Unicorn fuses her passions with her life’s purpose to create ground-breaking lifestyle brands. You can now find the fun and distinctive avatar on everything from t-shirts to party decorations to hair accessories. With each Afro Unicorn product, Showers wants to remind women and children how unique, divine and magical they are.
“It started with me finding my tribe,” says Showers. “I wanted to let other women know they’re unicorns.”
Showers is the first Black woman to helm a fully licensed character brand. Only a year after entering retail, she has built a significant presence at the world’s top retail stores in 25-plus categories and 500 SKUs across the United States and Canada.
The latest addition to the Afro Unicorn family is Magical Tresses, a line of kid-friendly hair care products for all curl types. With fun vibrant colored packaging and a fruity fresh scent infused with rich exotic fruit extracts a focus on moisturizing strengthening and preventing hair damage. The six products in the line:
- Never a Knot Detangling Shampoo
- 1-2-3 Wishes Silky Conditioner
- Sparkle Bright Edges & More
- Swirls & Twirls Curl Cream
- Bye Bye Dry Scalp Oil Serum
- Frizzle Free & Shine Curl Refresher
Like everything in the Afro Unicorn world, the haircare brand reflects Showers’ personality.
“Everything we do has to be over the top,” she says. “The Edge Control (Sparkle Bright Edges & More) has sparkle, and the conditioner has layers of color.”
Image Source: @afrounicorn_official
And the scent? She calls the unique scent Afronia – a fruity mix aroma infused with papaya, watermelon, and strawberries.
“It smells like a unicorn.”
Tell us a little more about the initial spark that inspired Afro Unicorn:
At the time, I was a single mother of two boys and an insurance broker. A friend kept referring to me as an unicorn – someone working hard, doing all these things.
Unicorns are unique and mystical. I started asking myself why unicorns are all white. They are always associated with straight blonde hair. I wanted to create one that looked like me. My cousin was a graphic artist and designed one for me. When I saw it, I thought, “I need to find all these other unicorns – hard-working women like me. I need to let them know they’re unicorns.”
When did you officially launch Afro Unicorn?
When I saw how people responded in 2019, I knew Afro Unicorn would be a worldwide brand. – a global brand. But I thought selling it was the only way to get it in mass distribution.
The universe figured out how to keep me in this position and have it go everywhere.
Now I’m the first black woman to have a licensed brand character in retail. My competitors are Disney, Marvel, and Nickelodeon. My products are next to Batman and Disney Princesses.
It can be a very overwhelming business. I’m competing against giants.
Afro Unicorn is everywhere now! How did that happen?
The Walmart buyer who discovered Jojo Siwa (Dance Moms) made it her mission to bring Afro Unicorn into this light. That was followed by apparel, holidays, cakes, and beauty. From Day 1 she (Betty) told me “Whatever you do, you need to get to haircare.”
I remember when Walmart reached out to carry Afro Unicorn. I didn’t know what they were talking about. I thought maybe they’ll put me in a few hundred doors, They put me in 3K stores! That was pretty magical and overwhelming.
How have you harnessed that Afro Unicorn vibe into Magical Tresses?
When people use Afro Unicorn Magical Tresses, I want them to feel like they’re putting the power on their unicorn mane, and you can’t say anything about my hair because it smells good, it looks good and I look good. I’m a unicorn!
It isn’t just a hair care brand. It celebrates individuality, conceived out of love and respect for every unique hair texture.
Can you share some detangling and styling tips?
- When detangling, work in smaller sections to reduce friction and tears. The Afro Unicorn Magical Tresses Swirls & Twirls Curl Cream works great as a detangler and melts knots away to prep the hair for styling.
- Next, you’ll need to get yourself a good detangling brush. Wet hair is much more susceptible to breakage, so brushing gently and carefully working through any knots is important. Try the Afro Unicorn Paddle Brush and remember, when it comes to styling hair, less is definitely more. Try not to overdo it with tight, stressful styles, as this can cause damage over time.
- Finally, don’t forget about the finishing touches! A good hair & scalp oil, like the Afro Unicorn Magical Tresses Bye Bye Dry Scalp Oil Serum can help to keep hair looking healthy and shiny. Many moms opt for protective styles such as braids and twists and will need to keep the hair soft and moisturized in between wash days.
- Also, you should never forget to use the Afro Unicorn Magical Tresses Edges & More to keep styles in place.
- Add a final touch of sparkle and magic with our Afro Unicorn hair snap clips or Multicolor bows.
You’ve talked about how you hope to be an inspiration for other Black female entrepreneurs. Tell me about the Afro Unicorn Foundation?
Showers: I saw a need to have more social impact with the Afro Unicorn movement.
I started it for female entrepreneurs. But kids like unicorns too. I thought we needed to do more for them. I was going to a lot of high schools and career days. When I asked them what they were going to do when they graduate, they just gave me blank stares.
Image Source: @afrounicorn_official
I realized that to get mini-mes, I had to empower girls when they were young. The Afro Unicorn Foundation builds self-confidence and empowers and teaches them about manifestation and entrepreneurship. It’s about helping them discover their unique potential and how to become the confident leaders of tomorrow.
Unique, Divine & Magical is a transformative program for ages 7-17 that focuses on building self-confidence and embracing individuality. The 8-week program equips them with the skills and values to navigate life’s challenges and opportunities.
The goal is to take this nationwide. We will be bigger than the Girl Scouts.
Are you having fun?
I love what I do. I have one of the best positions in the world. Even on bad days, I can go to my DMs and tagged posts and see how this brand affects people’s lives. Once you have the right people in place, I can be the creative force on the outside. I get all kinds of ideas in the middle of the night. I don’t want them to stop.
You’ve accomplished so much over the past four years! What’s ahead?
If I can see it with my mind’s eye, I will realize it. There’s no stopping it. If someone can’t make it happen for me, they’re not the right partner.
I want people to feel the level of confidence that I’ve always felt. I always had this in me. I’ve always thought that we as a people are beautiful. I want the magic in my products to help people feel confident as they navigate the world.
I want to be in the books. I want people to know that this person from South Central Los Angeles created a movement!
Have you tried the Afro Unicorn products? Let us know in the comments!