New start-up SLAPS away competition

SLAPS, slang for satin-lined caps, was launched in early 2014 by Grace Eleyae and her siblings Emmanuel and Angel.


Satin-lined cap in blue by Grace Eleyae.
Courtesy of SLAPS

Created and founded by Grace and Angel Eleyae, a SLAP is not only a stylish beanie, but it protects hair too. The idea sprouted when Grace Eleyae wanted a satin cap she could wear all the time, not just at night.

“What I wanted most out of it was to be able to have something that I could wear to bed, wake up and go out of the house in without looking or feeling like I had just forgotten to get ready that morning,” said Grace Eleyae.

SLAPS differ from other beanies because they have protective satin on the inside and differ from satin bonnets because they have a cotton beanie on the outside for style.

An elastic band is sewn into the inside to keep SLAPS from falling off the head.

“As a woman of color with kinky-curly hair, I normally wear something like a satin scarf to bed every night to protect my strands,” Grace Eleyae said.

According to senior journalism major Angel Eleyae, Grace Eleyae’s sister, most satin bonnets that are made to protect curly or fragile hair overnight aren’t cute or appealing.

Gray satin-lined cap

Gray satin-lined cap by Grace Eleyae from fall lookbook.
Courtesy of SLAPS.

“The satin lining makes them pretty unique,” said senior biochemistry major Mary Bassey, a customer. “I also like the slouching shape of them that’s different from some beanies that are more bowl-shaped.”

Satin is more gentle on hair and leaves it feeling silky by keeping the hair from rubbing on cotton or other materials that dry it out.

Bassey, who received her SLAP in April, explained that regular beanies made of cotton caused her hair to break off due to their roughness.

“I love the fact that it’s satin-lined. Afro-textured hair strands are fragile, and so they need extra TLC,” Bassey said.

Grace Eleyae and Angel Eleyae initially pitched the idea of SLAPS to their brother and mom, who loved it. They then became a family affair. Their mom came up with the shortened term SLAP for satin-lined cap.

The prototype was created in March by Grace Eleyae with the satin lining and soft cotton exterior. It had a minimalist style for versatility.

“We handmade them at first, but then we realized we needed a supplier who could do a lot more because we’re both busy with school,” Angel Eleyae said.

The website launched in mid-September. The six months prior to that went to prepare the website and find a supplier for the materials to produce SLAPS at a more efficient rate.

“Everything used to make satin-lined caps is here in LA and it’s American-made,” Angel Eleyae said.

Spreading word about SLAPS has mainly been through social media, including Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Emmanuel Eleyae, the brother, has been going to hair salons and trying to get the product adopted by the influential.

“Recently we got on a YouTube blogger’s page. Her name is CloudyApples and she promoted our SLAP and that has been really good for revenue,” said Angel Eleyae.

Since being featured on CloudyApples at the beginning of October, the SLAP team has been reaching out to other YouTube bloggers in fashion and beauty.

SLAPS come in five colors: black, gray, brown, blue and red. Only one style is available now but Grace Eleyae has big plans for the future of satin-lined caps.

“I would love to incorporate really fun patterns into the current style. I also want to introduce a line of baby SLAPS and active-wear slaps for adults. Stay tuned!” said Grace Eleyae.