MEET THE CURLY CONNECT
Updated: Mar 23
It brings me so much joy to publish yet another interview on my blog. I haven’t done one in a while, because I have been focusing on other content, but since I ‘re-launched’ my #WOMENHAVEAVOICETOO Movement (which you should definitely check out) if you haven’t already… I thought it would be great to interview a young, amazing and talented female.
I will say this over and over again, it is so important to empower other women, whether it be by congratulating them, liking their work or in this case writing a blog post about them. It is honestly the best thing ever to see women thriving in their work, slaying in their own lane and just having a voice.
I decided to interview someone who worked with natural hair, I was inspired after watching a video from GlamourUK sent to me by one of my friends where they were celebrating Black History Month by talking about the ‘Politics of Black Hair.’ I knew after watching this video that I had to write something about it on my blog, when it comes to beauty I have always written the obvious such as make-up, not once about hair.
Hair is such a talked about topic, especially within the black community and it is about time I lent my voice to it.
Around the time I started to think about this topic, The Curly Connect had just launched their first product, the ‘oil in one.’
I was looking to buy a new product for my hair regime since I had finally begun to take care of my hair and there The Curly Connect was. I then realised the Founder was Kemi Adeeko, an amazing and talented creative who had decided to branch out and take on entrepreneurship.
It immediately dawned on me that I had to interview this QUEEN for my blog.
I asked her a total of eight questions, I really hope you enjoy reading this blog-post and please pay extra attention to the photos Kemi took as part of her campaign:
1. What does The Curly Connect mean?
“When I wanted to start a hair brand, I wanted it to be an inclusive place where people who wanted to have a community could find the products they needed and for it to be accessible to them.”
“This is where the word ‘Connect’ came from. Obviously, the brand is for people with curly hair, so put together it made ‘The Curly Connect.’”
Kemi didn’t want her business to be a place where people could just get products, she wanted them to receive information on the best way to treat their hair, get an education and also have an online community.
2. What made you want to start a natural hair business?
“For the longest time I have been making my own hair products, I have very dry hair naturally and it breaks often. I have been making my own products since I was probably about 10, just mixing oils and so on.”
“People started asking me especially recently when my hair started to grow rapidly, they would ask what I use and I can’t direct them to a product because it is a mix of my own oils.”
After receiving such a large response, people would pose the idea of starting a business to our now CEO.
“I’ve always wanted to start a business in something, then the moment came about two years ago that told me hair products was the one and it made so much sense. I am knowledgeable in it, I’ve spent years researching it before I even wanted to do a business,” said Kemi.
3. As a photographer and poet, what made you decide to venture out as an entrepreneur?
“You know being creative, doing photography, styling, poetry, drumming and creative direction they are all so amazing, but they require a great amount of input from me.”
“I know that going into my future, and me wanting to have a home hopefully and a family, I want other streams of income that don’t require my input as much.”
“Right now The Curly Connect needs a lot of input from me, because I am the manufacturer, advertiser, creative and graphic designer. I am everything, but it will hopefully get to a point when the business grows that I will just be the creative director and founder.”
“I will be able to employ people, provide jobs and let it be a little more passive than it currently is.”
4. Tell me more about the debut product of The Curly Connect, ‘the ‘oil in one’
“My debut product, the ‘oil in one’ (my baby) is super important to me. I knew I wanted to have an oil as my first product because moisture is my priority and finding natural oils can be difficult, also finding everything that you need in the form of one product is difficult.”
“The Curly Connect’s aim is to make haircare as easy as possible, because people believe taking care of their natural hair is too long and too much of a hassle.”
Kemi wanted to make her product accessible by mixing all the oils you ever need for moisture, thickness, growth into one product.
I knew that when I started to go natural, which was about two years ago my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to take care of it. I have always had the misconception that natural hair was hard and it wasn’t worth the effort because at the end of the day I believed I looked better with a hairstyle like braids.
However, I now know that my natural hair is beautiful, it is actually one of the most beautiful part of me because it is REAL. With people like Kemi teaching us how to take of our hair and giving us easy to use products, we can now get to a place where we are proud and love our hair.
5. Why is natural hair so important to you?
“Natural hair is important to me because it is mine, it is something I have and something that holds a lot of power.”
“My hair has the ability to defy gravity, my hair has the ability to be dead straight. My hair has the ability to be an afro, I can do anything!”
“It is something that belongs to me and it is something that nobody can take away from me. That is why it is super important to take care of what I have, my hair, my skin and my body, basically everything that God has given to me.”
I love how Kemi said it is important to take care of everything God has given to her, this is such a beautiful statement. I believe that too often we are quick to judge and find flaws in what God has given us when in reality it is the most beautiful thing we have, and remember God doesn’t make mistakes.
She then went onto say: “My hair is a form of beauty that I don’t have to add anything to.”
6. Do you think our hair as black women is constantly see as a political statement, if so, why?
Day in and day out we black women hear things like: ‘Can I touch your hair?’ ‘Is your hair real’ or ‘Why did you decide to change your hair?’
Questions like this do frustrate me from time to time because my hair is my business and sometimes it should just stay that way. I know that some questions are purely innocent, however sometimes it can be a sign of ignorance.
Here is what Kemi had to say on the topic:
“Yes of course black hair is always seen as a political statement. In many instances it is, you know with the Black Panther movement and so on, but there are some cases where it is literally just my hair and still some people see it as a statement.”
“I think things are stretched too much especially by people who don’t have our kind of hair (you know white people), because I think a lot of the time people want to see things as extra.”
“I can be seen as more aggressive when I have my hair out, compared to putting on a straight wig. It’s just micro-aggressions and stereotypes they may have unconsciously, sometimes it is too much.”
7. What made you want with fellow entrepreneur Courtney Daniella?
Courtney Daniella is black Christian entrepreneur and YouTuber. She has her own successful hair salon, when Kemi started thinking about beginning her business she approached Courtney and here is what she had to say about the experience:
“So, when I had the idea for a business, I had done a lot of research, starting making the product, and I had a shoot for it, I had basically done a lot. I was thinking who could I get advice from. I approached Courtney purely for advice.”
“She made sense, because she is a Christian and this was very important for me, she loves God, she has a successful hair business and she is someone I have looked up to for a long time from her YouTube channel.”
“She gave me advice and then proposed we work together which was sick. God bless Courtney!”
8. Lastly, what is next for The Curly Connect?
“Whatever God says. Whatever He says is next is next!”
“There are definitely going to be some new products, I can’t say for sure when they will launch but formulations are happening. There will also be some new campaigns, by God’s grace some magnificent things are coming.”
What Kemi said is key, she is giving all control over to God. Of course she can begin to make new products and put them out, but she is not going to do anything without God’s say so.
I feel like because society is all about grinding and image gang, we rush to put anything out there. For example, with my blog and my movement (#womenhaveavoicetoo) I have so many ideas but unless my plans match what God has planned for me I will not do anything.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post! More interviews will be coming your way (there is already another one in the works).
Please follow Kemi and her brand on Instagram:
Kemi’s social- @kemianna_
The Curly Connect social- @thecurlyconnect
To purchase her debut product, click on the link below:
A colourful eye look (I know it is Fall, but colours are my best friends soz)- will be coming out very soon on my personal page @esther_okusaga.