announced the launch of a new licensing-based initiative for their global entertainment property, “Karma’s World.” It is designed to support Black-owned businesses and increase representation on-shelf for meaningful change within the licensing industry.
The first licensees to participate in the program are hair care companies CurlyKids Mixed Texture HairCare and Firstline Brands. Secured by 9 Story Brands, 9 Story’s dedicated consumer products and brand management division, the new partners join more than 40 on the brand’s roster across multiple categories, including global partnerships with Mattel, Scholastic and Universal Music Group.
“Diversity and inclusion are in the DNA of the “Karma’s World” brand,” says Kyra Halperin, co-vice president, 9 Story Brands. “Black-owned businesses have been historically underrepresented within the licensing industry and it’s critical that we work with partners that align with the DNA of the brand and
Related:The Nine Lives of 9 Story
The “Karma’s World” Black-owned business initiative provides CurlyKids Mixed Texture HairCare and Firstline Brands with special marketing support and networking opportunities at this year’s Licensing Expo, the world’s largest licensing trade show. As part of the program, 9 Story has partnered with The Gathering Spot, which specializes in developing Black businesses and offers tools for entrepreneurs to scale and grow. The Gathering Spot is a private membership club that serves as a hub for collaboration, connections and experiences with locations in Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. As participants in the “Karma’s World” Black-owned business initiative, both CurlyKids Mixed Texture HairCare and Firstline Brands will receive combined offerings, customized memberships and more.
“Black television, Black media, Black art, Black hair products – these things all strive, thrive and arrive together,” says Sandy Williams Bordenave, co-founder, CurlyKids HairCare. “We at CurlyKids HairCare appreciate Mr. Bridges and his team’s diligence to find and select Black-owned hair care companies like ours, that speak to representation and engagement. Collaborating to help grow the ‘Karma’s World’ brand alongside CurlyKids HairCare synchronizes with our own family experience. As parents of a beautiful young Black woman, we see our little girl in Karma, a viewpoint we wish more of the world would adopt.”
Three “Karma’s World” CurlyKids Mixed Texture HairCare products – Super Detangling Shampoo, Super Detangling Conditioner and Super Detangling Spray alongside Firstline’s three
“Karma’s World” silk bonnets and pillowcases
– are now available at 469 Walmart locations throughout the year.
"This is our first foray into the world of licensing, and we could not have chosen better partners than 9 Story and ‘Karma's World’ for our Camryn’s BFF line,” says Joni Odum, chief executive officer, Firstline Brands. “At Firstline, our focus for nearly 37 years has been prioritizing and elevating textured haircare needs. With the support and resources of 9 Story’s Black-owned Business initiative, we’ll achieve our mission on a much larger scale while introducing ‘Karma's World’ fans to our innovative Camryn’s BFF product assortment.”
“Karma’s World,” which premiered globally on Netflix in 2021, follows 10-year-old Karma Grant, an aspiring musical artist and rapper with big talent and an even bigger heart. The fourth season launched Sept. 22.
“Creating a program that supports Black-owned businesses speaks to the themes of representation and community that live throughout ‘Karma’s World’,” says Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, executive producer, “Karma’s World.” “This unique opportunity supports the power of entrepreneurship in inclusive spaces and puts Black excellence on display.”
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