Most people don’t become the CEO of a company they started working at in high school. But Aris Singleton was primed to lead. Her company, TGIN, a natural hair products brand for women, was created by her late aunt, Chris-Tia Donaldson, who ensured her niece was prepared to continue their family legacy. “I have literally done every role in the company,” says the CEO. “Doing the rotational program. Being in different meetings. From the start she (Chris-Tia) was building me to lead this.”

Singleton’s thorough training helped her transition to CEO with confidence and relative ease. Today, thanks to her efforts TGIN has continued its success. EBONY, in collaboration with Walmart, is proud to present SheEO, an ongoing series that highlights the inspirational and dynamic stories of Walmart’s Black women business partners. Hosted by actress/producer/entrepreneur Marsai Martin, each episode of SheEO is centered around an honest conversation of what it really takes to be a trailblazer. From grappling with loss to building systems, SheEO unpacks the journeys of Black women who are CEOs.

Singleton’s quick rise to the C-suite was due to necessity. After a long battle with cancer, her aunt passed away. There was little time to simply grieve. “A team of 40 people were counting on me. Stakeholders were counting on me. I had to keep going,” she tells EBONY. Inspired by her aunt’s vision to continue their burgeoning family legacy, Singleton brought on her mother as COO to help as the company grew.
“We have a great mom and daughter relationship, we’re best friends, but at work it’s business,” she says. “We have those tough conversations. What happened in the conference room today, that’s not personal. But at home, that’s mom.”

From mourning the loss of a family pillar to expanding a multi-million-dollar brand, Singleton is an inspiring CEO. Her goal is simple: keep growing. “We’re in 12,000 stores. Whenever I walk into a store, I go to the beauty section and I’m like, that’s me.”

Listen to Aris Singleton's episode of SheEO.