Joe & Eunice Dudley Sr.
Updated: Feb 4
Joe Dudley Sr., along with his wife Eunice built a cosmetic empire. The company, Dudley Beauty Corp., is a manufacturer and distributor of hair and skin care products made for and marketed to the Black American community.
Joe Dudley was born May 9, 1937 in Aurora, North Carolina. School was difficult for Joe because of a speech impediment, it caused him to be mistakenly labeled as mentally disabled and held back twice. Despite those setbacks he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the HBCU North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina.
After college, Dudley moved to Brooklyn, New York where he invested $10 in a Fuller Products sales kit. Fuller Products was a Black owned cosmetics company, started by Samuel B. Fuller, who became a mentor to many Black entrepreneurs that started their own cosmetic empires. Dudley began selling Fuller products door to door in Black communities all over Brooklyn. In 1960, he met the person who would become his wife and business partner, Eunice Mosley.
Eunice Mosely was born in Selma, Alabama, the seventh of nine children. At a young age she displayed a “creative spirit” and an insatiable desire to learn. Her work ethic lead her to start her career while a student at the HBCU Talladega College. Mosely sold Fuller Products in New York during the summer to earn money for her college tuition. Joe Dudley and Eunice Mosely married in 1961 and settled in Greensboro, North Carolina.
After settling in Greensboro, they opened a Fuller distributorship. The decision to branch out on their own was made when a shortage of Fuller Products occurred in 1969. They began manufacturing and selling their own line of products under the Dudley Products brand name. The Dudley’s chose to market directly to consumers and hair salons rather than to retailers, unlike their competitors.
In 1976, Samuel B. Fuller asked the Dudley’s, who were once two of his top sellers to move to Chicago and take over Fuller products. They ran Fuller for four years, until 1980 when they consolidated the company under the Dudley Products brand name and moved the headquarters back to Greensboro, North Carolina.
Annual revenues of Dudley Products have topped $30 million in sales with a line of over 400 hair and skin products. They expanded the Dudley brand with the Dudley Cosmetology University, which has three locations. One in North Carolina and two schools in Zimbabwe.
Dr. Eunice Dudley is one of the worlds most influential African American female business leaders. She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Dudley Beauty School System. In 2009, Joe and Eunice Dudley were featured in the Chris Rock documentary, Good Hair. The Dudley’s sit on various boards and give back to the community through volunteer work and scholarships.
The Dudley conglomerate is now ran by their daughter Ursula Dudley, and can be found at retailers and online. It is one of the few remaining Black American owned cosmetic companies still in operation today. Joe and Eunice Dudley are a power couple. Married for 58 years and built a successful empire together. They are an amazing example of Black love and Black Excellence.
“Dudley Products Inc. – Hair Today,” U.S. Industry Today, Vol.5, Issue 1 Archived December 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
Carolyn J. Deckard (2013). Blow Dryer Impartial Advice. blowdry. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
Schuker, Lauren A. E. (January 23, 2009). "A Comic's 'Good Hair' Day", The Wall Street Journal.