Mary Imevbore bought her first wig online in 2017 when she was attending Williams College.

Like many Black women, she had decided to “go natural” years ago, forgoing damaging hair straightening treatments. But she had trouble finding a Black hair stylist in the rural Berkshires, and as a double major in political science and computer science, didn’t have much time to style her hair in a dorm room.

“I wanted something quick and easy, so I discovered wigs, but the shopping experience was terrible,” Imevbore said.

It struck Imevbore that a better buying option didn’t exist “because the consumer is a Black woman.” So she teamed up with two Williams classmates, Tiiso McGinty and Susana Hawken, to create the kind of brand they would patronize. After three years of work, the cofounders have officially launched beauty startup Waeve — pronounced “wave” — dropping a product line of six trendy, beginner-friendly wigs on a website designed with bold colors and a Gen Z aesthetic.

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