Let's be real. Sometimes the maintenance of natural hair becomes the prevention of shrinkage. This has been seen by many as an underlying hatred for natural hair in it's "natural state". So the story goes, you become natural, then the obsession to control the curls begins and you are back to self hate because you are still manipulating nature. But there is an aspect of this that many don't understand and that is the fact that stretching the hair/protective styles do reduce breakage, increases health and helps it grow.
Like anything there are pros and cons to shrinkage. Doing protective styles in the hair or applying non-heating tools which stretch the hair helps to keep the hair from bunching and becoming matted not because this is considered unattractive, but simply because the percentage of hair tangling and snapping/breaking will increase with more bunching.
But while learning to maintain our hair we have also discovered that once you stick to a regimen that incorporates hair products with no harsh chemicals, protein treatments and constant moisturization, the negative effects of shrinkage reduces significantly. We have been able to wear our shrinkage and our hands and comb can slide through our hair without breakage. What it comes down to is finding that balance of regimen, protective style and shrinkage. Where you can have those glorious moments of enjoying your curls in the shrunken non-manipulated state without worry of damage.
Check out some of our new products, from our Larger 16oz bottles with easy to use pump dispenser to our Gelatin Protein Treatment.
Flower Child Curls Protein Treatment Gelatin is hydrolyzed collagen protein, it is a great source of protein for the hair. In order for proteins to be the right small size, they have to be hydrolyzed. This means that, with the use of water the proteins have been broken down into smaller proteins. So even though the word may sound scary, the process is not. This is typically done by cosmetic chemists, and is not easily done at home. The result is tiny proteins that can easily fill the gaps left from cuticle and cortex damage. Read more about our Protein Treatment and the full recipe for Flower Child Curls Protein Treatment Mixture Procedure HERE. Also make sure you take advantage of our 16% OFF SALE, sale ends on cyber monday.
We get a lot of emails from you guys and we thought it would be fun to answer some of your questions in this blog post. Although many of the emails usually focus on natural hair, today we will be focusing on 5 questions from random emails regarding entrepreneurial advice, branding e.tc. So let's get to it.
Okay, where to start. Many people don't know this but Catherine Marion was once a clothing line, which we started in college but later closed down because it was just too difficult to keep up. We reopened Catherine Marion a couple of years ago as a wig company after going natural and discovering we had a talent of creating protective style wigs that people actually wanted to buy. But to be honest we were never satisfied with Catherine Marion as a wig company because quite frankly it just wasn't where our passion lied. Pause! Depending on which part of the story you are reading, "WE" doesn't always represent both of us (Abby and Ivie) but we will refer to we to keep this simple. Back to the story... so where did our passion lie? Well at that time we definitely had no idea but we knew we wanted a company that just represented things we liked. When we went natural it honestly was more of just a fun hobby at first, but we got to a point where we wanted to see some real progress with our natural hair. In order to see some drastic progress you have to put in a little research. Through research we discovered that we have a passion for natural hair and having an overall healthy organic lifestyle. That eventually led us to see that there was still a need for organic products especially ones that cater to kinkier girls like us. Eventually Ivie's background in Biology and Abby's background in business lead us to where we are today. So the one advice we have for you (based on our experience), when opening a new company is to try and focus on things you are actually passionate about. When you do so you will find that you don't have to look too hard for a product or service to offer. It almost begins to come to you organically through your passion for it. Whether you passion lies in technology, art, fashion, finance, etc. focus on that and go from there. Also, it is completely normal to have interests in many things, so don't feel like you have to pick one particular interest. Just because your last venture was a bust, doesn't mean your next one will be. Keep at it, stay consistent and look to things that interest you for ideas on where to start.
This is a tricky one. Honestly it all depends on your financial situation. If you are at a place where you are financially comfortable enough to keep up whatever lifestyle you are accustomed to, where do not need a job then you should definitely QUIT. You do not need a job consuming precious time that you can spend on your company. But if you are NOT there financially then you should definitely keep your day job. The one thing about owning your own business is that there are ups and downs through out the year no matter what industry you are in. We started Catherine Marion with a small investment from our family but we worked while running Catherine Marion for many years. So it pretty much depends on how much of a risk taker you are and your financial situation.
In this day and age of social media marketing, branding was and still is very important. Branding basically helps you project the image you would like to represent your company. It shows your customers "hey THIS is who we are, THIS is what we like, if YOU like stuff like THIS then you have come to the right place". "Your Brand" should show the personality of your company, so when potential customers find you, they pretty much should be able to immediately get the feel of what your company is about. We discovered our brand's personality through living a more natural lifestyle in all aspects of our life. There are some things that we are naturally drawn to visually but we also did some research on what sort of personality already existed within our industry (not that this matters but it is nice to know), what sort of personalities our "Target Market" has and what we wanted our brand to project. Luckily for us our ideal brand personality (which was honestly based on our interest) naturally aligned with our customer’s personality. But if you find yourself in a situation where your natural interest doesn’t align with your “target market” then it’s up to you to do more research and think about what identity you would like your company to have. In cases like this we would advise that you cater to your customers but stay true to yourself. As we speak we are still learning as we go and through that always evolving as a brand.
The funny thing about this question is we asked something similar to Vanessa De Luca, the editor of Essence Magazine, when we spoke at the “SHE LEADS AFRICA” NYC event. We asked this because we go through phases sometimes when we get so overwhelmed with creating social media content that we feel like stepping into the background and just quietly running Catherine Marion for a while. There is nothing wrong with wanting to step back but social media is definitely important. If you do not want to be present on social media then you certainly do NOT have to make yourself the face of your brand. Try using spokes models, bloggers, and brand ambassadors instead. Also you do not have to present on all platforms of social media, for example we have a larger audience on youtube and snapchat but a small but growing audience on facebook instagram and twitter. Focus on whatever platform your customers are finding you on and go from there. Finally, being relevant on social media is important but being present in real life is just as important if not more. Make sure you are doing collaborations, trade shows, pop-ups and events in which you get to directly interact with your customers building a stronger relationship and possibly opening new doors.
Ivie “Abby is a little obsessed with dancing and knows all the current instagram dance challenges but won't let me record her.
Abby – “Ivie is forever deciding whether she should go Vegan or not, but the Nigerian in her loves pepper soup and goat meat.