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Black Women in business: Klerissa McDonald – Curly by Nature

Black Women in business: Klerissa McDonald – Curly by Nature

We caught up with the beauty behind the brand Curly by Nature, Klerissa McDonald who launch their curly/kinky hair products at pre-launch of the WITJ Natural Hair & Beauty Show back in August 2013. We questioned her on business & beauty, here’s what she had to say…

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WITJ – What is the history behind Curly By Nature, let us know how it all started.

KM – Whilst I was gaining experience as a hairstylist working in several salons across London, I recognised the sad and shocking stories of chemical and heat damage that was plaguing the industry and community. Before I entered the professional industry I was so passionate about the versatility of what I call ‘genetically curly’ hair. I knew that it was were my real talents and passion lied, it was my speciality as I had built a regular clientele whose hair I would regularly style and this started from the tender age of 8 years old. After experiencing work life in London salons, I decided to become a freelance stylist specialising in Natural haircare and adopted and developed alternative effective natural haircare and hairstyle solutions. Whilst I was on maternity leave with my baby girl, I developed a love of the science of creating amazing concoctions that the hair absolutely adores so I went on to become a certified advanced haircare product developer. Curly By Nature was born from the need to have all natural, honest haircare products that has been clinically proven to be truly effective for the hair. I thought that it was about time that the people of the UK were offered high quality, all natural, british haircare products.

WITJ – What’s been your biggest obstacle whilst developing your natural haircare business? 

KM – Challenges will always come, but for me work-life balance has been a real ongoing struggle. In reality there never seems to be enough time in the day. Between doing the school run, to visiting a supplier, to food shopping, to meeting a stakeholder on Skype, to responding to emails and enquiries and posting orders to customers there is an awful lot of juggling. Knowing my purpose and staying committed to my personal and business mission to see the realisation of my vision is what helps me to overcome any obstacle.

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Exhibition at the 2013 WITJ Natural Hair & Beauty Show (24/08/2013)

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Photo source – www.lotionspotionsandme.com

WITJ – What would be your best bit of advice career wise to our WITJ readers? 

KM – Although it sounds really simple and cliche this is so true: follow your heart, seek God in all things and work to your absolute best ability. Also please marinate on my favourite quote: Our bodies are shaped to bear children, and our lives are a working out of the processes of creation. All our ambitions and intelligence are beside that great elemental point.- Saint Augustine.

WITJ – What product from your new line do you love the most and why? 

KM – I love the Hair Repair Oil the most, simply because it is so versatile. It can be used to detangle the hair before you shampoo. It can be used as a hot-oil treatment. You can use it to seal in moisture when hair is wet and use it to soften and add shine when hair is dry. It quickly absorbs into the hair shaft and goes through to the cortex. It is filled with such rich ingredients which have been proven to be effective for genetically curly hair. It smells sublime and is also great for the skin! Our customers love our Hair Repair Oil so much.

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Photo source – www.curlybynature.com

WITJ – Where do you see Curly by Nature in 5 year? 

KM – We will be an internationally recognised brand that is still active at a local level within the community. We are all about education and believe that that is where our focus will be.

WITJ – Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

KM – I see myself being more active in my community in regards to haircare and business education simply because haircare, business and education are true passions of mine.

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Photo source – www.curlybynature.com

Klerissa McDonald

WITJ – Where are you from?
KM – I was born in London Town to parents of Jamaican/ African heritage
WITJ – Have you always been natural if not why did you decide to go natural?
KM – I have been natural most of my life. When I was around 18 years old, I had my hair relaxed by my boss at my salon and it although it was treated very well regularly, I noticed my natural richness and strength slowly deteriorating over a few years. Whilst I love the experience of having my styled at the salon, I knew that suffering the burns and watching the quality of my hair deplete over time was soul destroying. When the hair on the crown of my head started to break off I knew it was time to return back to natural, so I did it without thinking and never looked back- always forward. This was the point where it dawned on me that there was no reputable honest haircare products I could count on to style and care for my hair and started creating my own solutions.

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WITJ – What is your top tip for any natural?
KM – Treat your scalp like it is an extension of your face- because it is. Keep it clean and healthy. Likewise, treat your hair with love, gentleness and with patience avoiding unnecessary build up and low manipulation. KISS: Keep it sexy simple.
WITJ – Do you have a favourite Youtuber and if so who?
KM – Wunmi-WITJ, Crystal Afro & Naprika are my favourite because I love their ethos, passion and always give useful tips. I also like to watch Mae- Natural Chica, Mahogany Curls, Ms Vaughn and Pretty Dimples.

 

WITJ –  Where can we find your products and learn more about you? 
KM – You can find our products any reputable haircare retailer or salon. If you cannot find us, just ask an stylist, assistant or manager for the shelf position or if they have any in stock. You can visit us directly online at www.curlybynature.com

 

What advice would you give to start your own business?