The organic aroma of natural butters derived from Ghana, Africa, saturates Tyler Anderson’s basement, as she uses all her strength to slice the thick, creamy yellow blocks of cocoa butter to place in the blender.
The mixture she is concocting is part of the line of products she launched in 2019 called TheTeeAffect (TTA), comprised of all-natural hair products and body shimmers for all different textures of hair and skin. Anderson is also a junior at Montclair State University majoring in business administration.
Anderson’s mission statement is to “uplift and enhance fellow kings and queens in the most natural aspect,” a vision that came about from her own hair insecurities growing up.
As a child, she was antsy and had thick, tight curly hair that made it difficult for her mother, Lisa, to manage and style. As her mother began to perm her hair, the chemicals loosened up the hair follicles to make it easier to comb through without getting stuck on a single knot. In the beginning, Anderson loved her hair, but once it began to thin and fall out she became worried.
Anderson decided to make a hair transition and rid herself of the biweekly perms, but there was one issue: her hair insecurities.
“At the time of my transition to natural hair I was feeling really low,” Anderson said. “My confidence wasn’t there.”
During her transition, Anderson cut off a few inches of her hair and began to wear natural styles such as hair coils. At first, she did not like the style but after a while the natural look grew on Anderson’s 5-foot-6-inch-tall coffee bean complexion with square glasses covering a portion of her face, and she began to walk in her natural truth. Now, she wants other women and men whose hair she styles and sells her products to to do the same.
Cantu was one of the main products Anderson used to clean and style her hair. She realized the product was not compatible to her hair and decided to review the ingredients she could not pronounce.
It was important for Anderson to create products she trusted on her own hair. She took the time to study and learn compatible elements that can mix and create soft, healthy and rejuvenating hair.
“When making my products I try to be very simple by adding ingredients that people are aware of,” Anderson said.
Anderson has her own vendors, one in Ghana, from whom she purchases an array of butters. The other is in New York, and grows herbs and produces natural oils.
Anderson’s mother was initially shocked about her daughter wanting to make natural products and thought it was a phase. Now, she has her own personal favorite, Butta Affect.
“After my shower I rub the Butta on my body when it’s still warm,” Lisa Anderson said. “The ingredients then melt on my skin and give my body a silky-smooth feeling. It’s all about natural skin care and Tyler has nailed it.”
The Butta Affect and TTA’s Hair Stimulator are the highest-selling products.
Guillermo Estrada, a junior public health major at Montclair State and Anderson’s boyfriend, is also a daily user of TTA products. For Estrada, applying TTA products turns a bad day into a good one.
“I’ll wake up in the morning not feeling like myself and I will apply TTA’s beard oil and Butta Affect in my hair and on my body,” Estrada said. “I will have a great day because her products make me feel good.”
Estrada frequently gets his dreads retwisted by Anderson and anticipates the application of hair oils on his scalp.
“Once I get a fresh retwist because I have dreads, I use her hair oil and I automatically get that cold, sensational feeling and it feels good. I see the hair growth right away,” Estrada said.
Earlier this year, TTA branched out into skin care. Anderson began making products to remove dark marks and blemishes on the skin and oils to leave a long-lasting glimmer on all skin complexions.
To create Roses n’ Chamomile, a dark mark remover product, Anderson places two bowls on the table, a measuring cup and the oils and herbs. She first begins by mixing roses and chamomile herbs together in one bowl. Then, she uses a measuring cup to measure the perfect amount of oil she wants to use to ensure it combats with the herbs for the product to be effective.
With the second bowl, Anderson mixes all the oil and herbs together. She then uses a dispenser and watches the oil fill up the two-ounce bottle she first sterilized and air-dried.
Packaging is the hardest part for Anderson. For each order she includes a printout of the packing slip which identifies the items in the package, a TTA business card and a thank-you card and information regarding her website.
Then, she ships the products to the buyer. To eliminate being overwhelmed while packaging and managing the business by herself, she plays reggae tunes as she encompasses the feelings of musicians like Bob Marley, who convey their life through the music.
She comes from two spiritual, nature-loving countries that influence her company: Jamaica and Barbados. The music relates to her products and produces a conducive atmosphere for her to complete the different processes TTA requires.
Anderson says to make each product, the price ranges from $7-$13 and the selling price for her oils, butters, apparel and bundle deals range from $5-$70.
Support for Black-owned businesses and support from her family and peers helps increase her clientele. TTA’s biggest sales platform is Instagram, which generates traffic to her business website. Anderson is preparing for a relaunch of new products as her two busiest seasons approach: summer and fall.
Anderson’s mother explained they come from a family of entrepreneurs and Tyler is walking in the family’s footsteps.
“She is strong, eager and independent; with this she will go far,” Lisa Anderson said.
Anderson’s products can be found on her website, https://www.theteeaffect.com/.