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Profiling Liberia’s Richelieu Dennis: Family, Business, and Net Worth



Richelieu Dennis, a successful entrepreneur, was born in Liberia on February 25, 1969, the son of Mary Dennis. Dennis grew up in Liberia during the civil wars, a time of chaos and violence. He was able to attend elementary and high school in Liberia and Sierra Leone, where his family fled for safety from the violence in Liberia on occasion. He attended Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts, in the 1980s, a small college known for mentoring entrepreneurs. He graduated from Babson College in 1991 with a degree in Finance, Investment, and Entrepreneurial Studies.

Dennis was unable to return to Liberia after graduation due to the Liberian civil war. He collaborated with his friend and mother, Nyema Tubman, to develop natural bath and hair care products for Black women. Many of the products they developed were inspired by recipes passed down from his grandmother in Liberia. Sofi Tucker, his grandmother, died when he was 19 years old. She started making homemade beauty products and selling them at the local market to help support her family. Richelieu, Nyema, and Mrs.

Dennis used these recipes to create Sundial Brands. Initially, they sold their wares on Harlem’s streets. Most beauty products for women of color at the time were designed for chemical relaxation. Customers wanting natural beauty products were ignored by large multinational corporations.

Sundial Brands’ products quickly gained popularity. Sundial began distributing to wholesale beauty stores and local shops, and in 1992, Sundial relocated to a larger warehouse to accommodate the company’s growth. By the early 2000s, the products were in high demand, and they included Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage, and Madam A.J. Walker Beauty Culture (only available at Sephora).


Sundial Products (Wall Street Journal)


Sundial was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States in 2015. Unilever paid $1.6 billion for Sundial in 2018. Richelieu Dennis would remain CEO of Sundial as a condition of the sale. As of February 2022, his net worth is estimated to be around $400 million. As one of Unilever’s CEOs, he now receives a salary, which increases his net worth year after year.

Dennis has four daughters with his wife, Martha.

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