The Story Behind Ahmed Helmy, CEO of RUSHBRUSH® and Stylish Eve
RUSHBRUSH® is a successful American brand of hairstyling products that achieved wide market recognition in a short time. Its beginnings date back to 2016 when it launched its first product, the Rush Brush straightening brush. What many do not know is that behind this innovative product was Ahmed Helmy, a young entrepreneur with a broad business vision.
Ahmed Helmy began his career as an entrepreneur in May 2009, when he was still an engineering student. He started his journey with Stylish Eve, an online magazine that primarily targets women worldwide and provides them with ideas and advice on the latest trends in fashion, brands, designers, architecture, and home design.
In September 2014, Stylish Eve announced that the website had reached the heady heights of being ranked at 15k by Alexa, meaning it was averaging over 110,000 new visits daily. Not only that, but working with Google AdSense, Helmy made a 6-figure profit.
Stylish Eve is now one of the top online magazines with a social media presence of over 24 million fans, and the number continues to multiply. The CEO has magically managed to surpass 100,000 likes for every Facebook post he publishes in 24 hours.
Ahmed Helmy and the success of RUSHBRUSH®.
Ahmed Helmy, the owner of Stylish Eve, an e-commerce company, has been able to expand in recent years in the Middle East, the Gulf countries, the United States, and South Africa, carrying his flagship product Rush Brush.
In 2016, Rush Brush went from being a product to becoming a solid trademark in the hairdressing products sector. Today it has a Research and Development department that employs proprietary technologies to create innovative items and position them in global markets.
The Rush Brush family includes the RUSH BRUSH® STEAM STRAIGHTENER, RUSH BRUSH® SPLIT-END. These products bring together the best design, materials, and technology, making them best sellers in the domestic and international markets.
On Ahmed Helmy Instagram account @bighelmy, where he accumulates more than 120 thousand followers, he shares the achievements of his successful brand as well as his hobbies and personal life.
Millennial Daria Dana Taps into Jewelry Industry with Zigleys
Within African American communities, hair is not—and will never be—just hair.
Black hair has several identities. It is pride, identity, and culture. It’s beauty standards, professionalism, and institutional discrimination. It’s mental health, self-esteem, and history. It’s wearing the label of “good” or “bad” hair upon birth and the impact it will have throughout your life.
But if you were to ask millennial businesswoman Daria Dana, she would tell you that Black hair is a crown. And she knows very well that every crown needs jewels.
This ingenious idea went from a mindset to a lifestyle as it became the key concept behind Zigleys, the most recent ode to natural hair! With an evocative tagline, this pioneering entrepreneurship aims to provide “Jewelry for Your Crown, Fit For Royalty” in the shape of 18-karat gold ornaments for locks, braids, twists, and other protective styles.
Tapping into uncharted and underserved territory, Zigleys has awed media outlets across the Internet. Among many others, the brand has been featured in Forbes One, MadameNoire, LA Weekly, Yahoo! Finance, The Source, Swagger, and more—each of them denoting the originality and high quality of the jewelry.
But Dana is not dazzling her path in the business world with just jewelry. Each item is more than hair pieces turned luxurious—they are a statement that aims to break stereotypes and showcase the sophistication and graceful aesthetics of Black hair.
“For so long, we have heard that black hairstyles are unprofessional,” says the beauty founder Dana to This is 50. “Truly, we don’t need hair jewelry to tell us that’s not true. But I argue that black hair is compatible with luxury and professionalism.”
And her argument is sound, as Zigley provides professionalism and lots, lots of luxury. Black luxury.
The Premier collection features ten striking statement pieces with timeless beauty, ranging from minimalistic gold cuffs to eye-catching ones with embedded diamonds. Likewise, the pieces come with a screw attachment to safely secure them to locs, braids, or twists.
Each cuff is expertly handcrafted and made to order in 18-karat solid gold, and the diamonds used in some of the pieces are natural and average .37 carats. Of course, all items are sustainable and ethically sourced, created in New York for the rest of the country.
With prices ranging from $990 to $4,250, Zigleys’ artistry is undoubtedly an investment that may seem opulent. However, Dana challenges that notion by highlighting the importance of hair decorations for African-American culture, derived from Black ancestry.
“Our ancestors wore real gold in their hair, among other things,” says Dana to MadameNoir, “but somewhere along the line, something got lost.”
And so, Zigleys is set to reclaim it, creating heirloom pieces that are undoubtedly and unapologetically Black.
Zigleys is a Black-owned and woman-owned business, but also a love letter to the unmatched beauty of African-American hair and culture, made by a POC team with the mindset of elevating protective hairstyles to the next level of luxury.
To know more about the brand, visit the official website at www.zigleys.com. Likewise, you can follow Zigleys on social media by checking their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Kate raises $7.6 million for its electric micro-cars
French startup Kate has raised a $7.6 million (€7 million) funding round from a bunch of business angels. As I wrote in my previous article on Kate, the company has ambitious goals when it comes to everyday mobility. It plans to use the funding to develop an alternative to regular cars (electric or not) by making something smaller, cheaper and easier to maintain.
Investors in the startup include Julien Lemoine (co-founder and CTO of Algolia), Emmanuelle Brizay (AC8 INVEST), Christophe Maurissen (Managing Director at Alcogroup), Romain Afflelou (CEO of Cosmo Connected), Benoît Charles-Lavauzelle (CEO of Theodo) and Antoine Leconte (founder of Cheerz).
And Kate isn’t starting from scratch. The company acquired NoSmoke, a small manufacturer of electric vehicles inspired by the Mini Moke. This way, Kate can reuse some parts and borrow some manufacturing processes that have been used to produce the leisure cars.
But Kate’s next car, which is currently called the K1, will be designed to be used every single day and not just for your vacation house. In Europe, people moving from A to B use a large vehicle — like a regular car — for 84% of their trips. It represents 11% of the CO2 emissions. And yet, 98% of trips are shorter than 80 kilometers (that’s 50 miles).
A rendering of the upcoming Kate K1
Image Credits: Kate
The Kate K1 is going to be a lightweight car that can reach a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph). It isn’t designed for your long-distance trips. In that case, you’re better off renting a normal car. It isn’t designed for big cities either as public transportation, bikes and shared vehicles work better in this environment.
But the Kate K1 would work well for people living in the suburbs or the countryside. It would work fine to drop off your kid at school, head to work and swing by the supermarket. It will have four seats and the entry level should offer a battery range of 200 kilometers (124 miles).
Kate has an aggressive timeline as it wants to unveil the K1 in the third quarter of 2023. In addition to the mysterious renderings, here’s what the Original, the leisure car that is currently available, looks like:
Capital crunch shines a light on the importance of founders’ mental health, investors say
Mental wellness goes hand-in-hand with innovation and success. For investors then, this needs to be a focus of investment, as risk exposure is also in the wellness of the founder.
n recent years, calling oneself a startup founder was certainly seen as a flex. For those who wielded that role or the coveted CEO position, you were likely to be placed on a pedestal or be viewed as a visionary, aided by a venture capital market that experienced an overextended bull run in the background.
Yet, behind the glamor and front-page interviews and features, the life of a founder can often cause severe issues such as depression, burnout, panic attacks and imposter syndrome that take a toll on one’s mental health — and, if not treated, their startups and the productivity of those within it — employees, operators and executives alike — can suffer.
In 2019, a report showed that 72% of surveyed entrepreneurs self-reported mental health issues, according to Forbes. It’s unclear what these numbers are now; however, it is very likely that they would’ve increased significantly in light of the pandemic, the uncertainty caused by the SVB and FTX collapse, and the widespread impact of the economic downturn that has resulted in a severe cash crunch and massive layoffs.
As this TechCrunch article points out, what drives the mental health epidemic among entrepreneurs is their propensity to accept risk. It also highlights ways to address these issues: prevention and awareness, methods that seem to be growing on a global and Western front whose markets are filled with millions of therapists and apps like Calm; in emerging markets such as Africa, not so much. In addition to having fewer outlets to address mental health issues, founders on the continent are facing a new kind of pressure, the type that comes off the back of a record venture capital year (2021) bolstered by large U.S. and global funds: chasing projections and trying to fit into inflated valuations.
There are other subtler impacts. For instance, the sudden collapse of SVB, despite affecting just a few startups, sent many African founders into panic mode as they scrambled to review banking options to avoid such circumstances creating more uncertainty for them. With never-ending problems, especially in the current bear market, these events highlight the need for founders to prioritize their mental health and for investors and boards to help them seek support when needed.
To explore the issue further, TechCrunch had a chat with Ameya Upadhyay and Lisa Mikkelsen of Flourish Ventures, an evergreen global VC firm that claims to operate a “founder well-being” approach to investing, to discuss why investors need to invest in African founders’ mental wellness. Upadhyay is a venture partner at the firm. At the same time, Mikkelsen is the head of Global Human Capital, an arm of the firm that helps portfolio companies align business and HR strategies, including well-being conversations.
TechCrunch: Why is the discussion around African founders’ mental health critical right now? Did the SVB debacle underscore its importance, or is it a theme waiting to be touched on for years?
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