Fortitude Founder

Adams County
Founder Profile




New Village Braid


November 2019

$500 Grant Date

July 2020


To elevate the hair braiding experience for all women.

Highlighting elements of skill, beauty, and culture captured through the timeless art of hair braiding.

In a survey of over 6,000 African American women, 48% reported hair loss due to years of constant manipulation of the hair (styling, braiding, pulling, relaxing and sewing in weaves). 80% of the surveyed women said they have never gone to see a doctor about their hair loss.

When Nkonye Mwalilu began conceptualizing her business, she set out to provide the first hair salon dedicated to braiding hair and providing hair health services in Northeast Indiana.

Now, New Village Braid specializes in protection. Nkonye believes in promoting protective hairstyling AND advocating hair health for a range of people who are not currently being professionally serviced in the Northeast Indiana community.

Protective hair styling is beneficial for all types of hair textures, relaxed, and natural. A protective style is a style that tucks the ends of your hair away from being over-exposed to damaging agents such as sun, heat, and constant manipulation.

Aside from helping women and men learn about protecting their natural hair, Nkonye also wants to create jobs and bring professionalism into the braiding industry.

Ultimately, she wants to see standardize operations at New Village Braid and expand the business into multiple locations nationwide.

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Business Updates

Contact Nkonye Mwalilu