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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Tate

Roaming in Style: Jennifer Sinigal Bell Cornelius' Hat Revolution

Bridging the Gap in Hat Design for Women of Color

born to roam
Designer Jennifer Sinigal Bell Cornelius

Step into the world of Born To Roam, where fashion meets inclusivity in the most stylish of ways. Founded by Jennifer Sinigal Bell Cornelius, this brand was born out of a personal necessity and a vision to revolutionize hat design for women of color. Recognizing the lack of options that catered to diverse hairstyles and volumes, Jennifer embarked on an entrepreneurial journey to fill this gap in the market. Born To Roam offers more than just hats; they're a celebration of heritage and individuality, embracing the beauty found in every woman's unique identity. Endorsed by celebrities such as Brandy Norwood, Tai Beauchamp, and Zoe Saldana, Born To Roam is not merely making waves but setting a new standard in fashion inclusivity. Join us as we delve into Jennifer's inspiring journey and the brand's commitment to celebrating diversity and empowering women everywhere.

"What inspired you to start 'Born To Roam', and how did your personal need contribute to identifying the gap in the market for hats designed for diverse hair styles?"

JENNIFER SINIGAL BELL CORNELIUS: I founded Born To Roam to fill a distinct void I observed in the market. As someone who often sports protective hairstyles, I found it challenging to find hats that were both comfortable and stylish. My desire for a statement-making accessory inspired me to establish a brand that caters to practical requirements while also embracing unique personal style.

"Can you describe the journey from identifying the need to actually launching Born To Roam? What were some of the challenges you faced along the way?"

Hair revolution

JENNIFER: During the development phase of Born To Roam, my interactions with a diverse group of women illuminated a widespread challenge: the scarcity of satin-lined hats that offer both comfort and effective hair protection. This revelation was pivotal,

underscoring a shared need for accessories that don't compromise on style or hair health. Consequently, I was inspired to develop a line of hats that seamlessly blends functionality with fashion, ensuring that each individual can find a hat that not only fits their head but also their unique style, while offering optimal protection for their


Embarking on the journey to establish Born To Roam, I encountered a series of

significant obstacles. Securing adequate funding was a primary concern, essential

for transforming the concept into reality. Another critical aspect was sourcing the

right materials that met our standards for quality and sustainability, a fundamental

step in delivering a product that aligns with our brand's values. Additionally, refining Born To Roam's brand identity was a meticulous process, vital for resonating with our target audience and establishing a strong market presence. Each of these challenges was a stepping stone, integral to the brand's development and success.

"Born To Roam seems to go beyond just providing hats; it's about embracing diversity and celebrating individuality. How do you ensure that this message is reflected in your brand's products and ethos?"

JENNIFER: My design philosophy centers on creating eye-catching hat designs featuring vivid colors, all designed to empower wearers to celebrate their individuality and feel self-assured. Every hat is an ode to uniqueness, providing a distinctive accessory that fosters self-expression and makes a standout impression. I am driven by the mission to foster empowerment through fashion, reinforcing the idea that everyone's uniqueness is their most valuable trait.

"Your brand offers hats that accommodate various hairstyles like braids, twists, and weaves. How do you approach the design process to ensure both style and comfort for your customers?"

JENNIFER: In my hat design philosophy, comfort is paramount. I emphasize inclusive sizing, making sure there's a perfect fit for everyone. Satin lining is a key feature, offering vital protection for various hair types. My designs are deliberately bold and vibrant, crafted to not only enhance style but also empower individuals to make a statement in any setting. With Born To Roam, my aim is to blend comfort, hair protection, and distinctive style, creating an accessory that celebrates and elevates individuality.

"Being endorsed by celebrities like Brandy Norwood, Tai Beauchamp, and Zoe Saldana must have been a significant milestone for Born To Roam. How did these endorsements come about, and how have they impacted your brand's visibility and growth?"

JENNIFER: I place immense emphasis on nurturing the relationships I've established, fully acknowledging the critical role of support in my journey. When individuals admire my designs, I'm forthright in asking for their support, whether they're close friends or extended connections. My approach is proactive: I actively engage with stylists and industry experts, seizing every opportunity to introduce and integrate Born To Roam into various fashion spheres.

Additionally, I am a vibrant ambassador for my brand. My hats go beyond mere

accessories; they are engaging conversation starters that captivate and spark interest. By donning my designs, I transform into a dynamic showcase for Born To Roam, allowing me to passionately and genuinely convey the brand's narrative. This strategy extends beyond mere promotion; it's about embedding Born To Roam's story within the broader context of fashion and personal expression.

"In what ways do you envision Born To Roam evolving in the future? Are there any new product lines or initiatives in the works?"

JENNIFER: This year, my main objective is to amplify our distribution networks and broaden our collection's reach. With a brand name like Born To Roam, my vision extends to venturing into the travel design realm, with the goal of evolving into a comprehensive lifestyle brand. This expansion signifies not just growth, but a bold step towards redefining how we integrate style, functionality, and travel.

"Can you share a particularly memorable moment or experience you've had since starting Born To Roam that reaffirmed your commitment to your brand's mission?"

JENNIFER: One of the most rewarding and affirming experiences I've had since

launching Born To Roam is the simple, yet profound, joy of seeing someone out

in the world wearing one of our hats. There's an indescribable feeling of

fulfillment and connection each time I witness a person "roaming" in their Born

To Roam gear. It's a vivid reminder of the brand's reach and impact, and it

consistently rejuvenates my dedication to our mission.

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