BrownStyle Magazine’s Small Business Spotlight: Sunny In Denbigh

BrownStyle Magazine’s Small Business Spotlight: Sunny In Denbigh
Photo courtesy of Sunny In Denbigh

BrownStyle Magazine is proud to introduce our new initiative that shines the spotlight on small businesses owned by Women of Color (WOC) and People of Color (POC)— a community that often has limited resources to promote their businesses in today’s highly competitive industries. 

Join us every Saturday to meet the founders who are building their up-and-coming brands in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries one sale at a time. Experience their unique backstory, the inspiration behind their startup, and even find out the brand’s bestselling item that you can shop today! 

This Week’s Small Business Spotlight 

Sunny In Denbigh

Location: Frederick, MD

Gillian Nelson of Sunny In Denbigh
Photo courtesy of Sunny In Denbigh

The Brand Story

Gillian Nelson’s journey to becoming a hair and skin care guru began when she noticed her two daughters struggling with dry and damaged hair. Dissatisfied with the existing in-store hair products, she decided to create something better for them.

Utilizing the family’s credit card, Nelson began ordering cold-pressed oils, herbs, and natural kinds of butter from Amazon. Though the initial attempts were not perfect, she eventually formulated a hair butter.

The impact of her concoction was immediate. Nelson quickly began to notice her daughters’ hair showing visible improvement—no more brittle ends, healthier type 4 strands, and increased length retention. 

With the support of her husband Jonathan, Nelson took six years to craft a natural hair and skincare line in her kitchen. “Unknowingly, I had developed a complete line of hair care products, including black soap shampoo, leave-in conditioner & detangler, deep conditioner, herbal growth oil, and hair butter,” Nelson (aka Sunny) tells BrownStyle Magazine. “I even created a body butter that successfully addressed my husband’s eczema.” 

Elated by the results, the budding entrepreneur began to share her products with friends and family members, although she had no idea the impact it would soon have on people across the world. “I would always downplay it and tell them I made my products, not seeing the value,” the mother-of-three reveals. 

It wasn’t until 2019 when Nelson posted a video making her best-selling hair butter on Facebook by accident that Sunny In Denbigh was debuted to the world. To the college professor’s surprise, her friends started placing orders that day.

“With the $500 I borrowed from my mom, I purchased containers and started filling orders,” she tells us before sharing the inspiration behind the brand’s name. “The inspiration for Sunny In Denbigh stemmed from my desire to pay homage to Denbigh and the nostalgic days spent basking in the sun. I share fond memories of our childhood on the island of Jamaica.”

Sunny In Denbigh’s Bestselling Item

Intensive Scalp Oil


This powerful hair growth oil is potent and super effective for growing hair back from conditions such as alopecia, balding, thinning hair, male pattern baldness, and chemotherapy treatments. Eight carefully selected herbs in this blend work in harmony to stimulate and amplify hair growth. When used as instructed, this oil increases circulation and blood supply to the hair bulbs, resulting in fast healthy new growth, even for people who could not otherwise grow hair.

Sunny In Denbigh Intensive Scalp Oil

What Makes Sunny In Denbigh A Small Business To Watch

Each product from the brand was created to solve a specific problem. “We are very intentional with the products we add to our line, it must solve a problem or concern for our customers,” Nelson explains. “Our formulations are free from harsh chemicals, utilizing sustainable ingredients and top-quality raw materials.”

The Showstopper

Sunny In Denbigh is a family-owned and run business, spanning three generations. “Our moms and kids work along with us in our business,” says Nelson.  

Through their presence on social media, Sunny In Denbigh strives to educate and empower their community— affectionately known as Sunflowers— on hair and skincare.

“Our mission is to instill confidence, encouraging individuals to express themselves authentically in the world,” Nelson explains. “More than just a product retailer, we actively address real-life challenges. Whether it’s supporting a new mom dealing with postpartum shedding, guiding someone through a significant hair transformation like a big chop, or providing advice on hair coloring, our community engages in open dialogue. Members share personal stories and offer mutual encouragement.”

What’s Next For Sunny In Denbigh

According to the Nelsons, their vision for the future is to create a luxury brand in the haircare and skincare space. “We would love to create unique Sunny In Denbigh experiences where customers can feel our products in person, try samples, meet other members of the community, and have other wellness resources.” 

How To Support

To be a part of Nelson’s family story and help them continue to grow, check out their website at Remember, one purchase from a small business could change someone’s life! Also, give them a follow on Instagram.

Janell Johnson is a mom, award-winning entrepreneur, and the visionary behind The Suite by J. Nicole & Co. located in Aston, PA. Using her expertise in retail merchandising, Janell built a space geared towards the self-care experience where people love to discover new brands and shop again and again. She is also the Owner of Suite 828 Co. Home Decor and Accents.