Gorilla grip bonnets: The story of the non-slip bonnet

By: Alexis Wray
Published: Aug 08, 2022

Photo Description and Credit: MNJ Sales owner, James Nix the creator of the viral bonnet video. (Alexis Wray)

Imagine you wake up at 3 a.m. in the morning and your nightcap is on the other side of your pillow. You touch your hair in disbelief and mean-mug your bonnet or durag for sabotaging the twist out you spent three hours on or crashing your waves that have been causing tsunamis for weeks.

MNJSales, a Black-owned bonnet and durag company that has gone viral for their non-slip bonnet videos, says protective caps that fall off don’t have to be your reality.

"A lot of people are now calling them gorilla grip bonnets," said James Nix, MNJ Sales' owner.

Nix started his business four years ago with his younger brother, Matthew after he hurt his back in the construction field. He and his brother came up with the name MNJ Sales to represent them both: M stands for Matthew while J stands for James.

Now Nix is the sole owner of the business, but he continues to depend on family, including his brother, Matthew, his fiancé and friends for support.

"You have to build a team because you can’t do it by yourself," explains Nix.

And teamwork is what has fueled the viral success of MNJ Sales. As a way to reach Black folks and market their bonnets as proof that they won’t fall off while sleeping, Nix creates hilarious videos proving his bonnets are the best.

"The first video to go viral was when my friend dragged me by the bonnet through the grass. It went viral on TikTok and after that we started to make more viral videos," says Nix.

After their first viral video, every video after that started to get more than 1 million views.

"So then we said, ‘Let’s test the bonnet against gravity on a roof. Now, what can we do to beat the roof? Let’s pull a car, a boat, and let’s get a dog to pull it’ - to show the craziness of how this bonnet won’t come off."

Nix says MNJ Sales have had more sales in a week than they have had in the past few years.

Making a non-slip bonnet became a profitable idea for Nix when he saw a problem in his community.

"Bonnets come off every night, especially my fiance's. One day she was complaining about her bonnet falling off every night. I wanted to think of something that wouldn’t come off every night, and I did."