There's a new club in town and we're pulling back the velvet rope just for you!
Welcome to Club Jessicurl! : )
Club Jessicurl is our new buying club designed to help you save money AND SHIPPING COSTS when you place larger orders with your friends. Read all the awesome details here.
I hope you're having a curly day! :)
Hi curlies!! As you may know, I go to Atlanta twice a year to sponsor and participate in 'Fro Fashion Week. I’ve been going since their first event a few years ago and this was the fifth. It’s always a great time seeing curly friends I’ve met before, and of course meeting tons of new ones. :)
My photographer/friend Terrence McNally of Arcata Photo Studios traveled with me once again to capture the weekend in pictures and to get more photos for Jessicurl.com. He’s a super cool guy who is a blast to travel with so that just made it all the more fun. :)
Humboldt County, CA is a long way from Atlanta, GA. We drove down to Oakland (about a 5 hour drive) then took the red eye and arrived in Atlanta at about 6am Thursday morning. As you can see, we were SUPER serious about getting to Atlanta, and it was a beautiful day for a drive. :)
Eventually we got to Atlanta, about 20 hours after we left home. (I told you it’s long journey!) I was tired but HAD to get this picture at the Atlanta Airport. :) I always love seeing this painting when I arrive in Atlanta. :) It’s so welcoming and reminds me of my Jessicurl logo! :)
One of my favorite aspects of ‘Fro Fashion Week is sponsoring and participating in the I Love Me kids event put on by Julia Davis of Tru Chat Online. Helping the young curlies learn to love and appreciate their curls EARLY in life is super important to me, as I’d really love for them to just avoid all the hair hatred I went through, if at all possible.
That day happened to be the birthday of Tarrin Boone, Fro Fashion Week founder, and mine had been earlier that week, so Julia made these adorable Happy Birthday signs for us and also got a cake. How sweet is THAT?!
Since February is Black History Month, Julia had prepared biographical readings about famous African Americans through history for the girls to present to the group. She asked for volunteers to get up and read, and even Terrence got in on it! We also did arts and crafts, where the kids (… and Terrence … ) decorated tote bags with curly faces. :) He said, “I’m going to use this at the Co-Op every day!” :)
Every time I do the kid’s event, this adorable, wonderful girl Samaya is there. I love this kid, ok? :) (I love all kids though, if you hadn’t figured that out yet.) Her mom Stacey is one of the organizers of the event and is an awesome awesome lady. Stacey and Samaya both have the most fabulous natural hair. (That’s Samaya in the top left picture above. SEE how AMAZING her hair is?!)
Anyway, Stacey was telling me that Samaya has been being teased at school lately because she doesn’t wear a weave! I was SO ANGRY at this news. Like, mother-bear angry, ok? My tagline is “You Have The Right To Remain Curly!” for a REASON, and that goes double for kids. So I of course had to mention this in my presentation to the girls. I told them how I had also been picked on in school for my hair but how I LOVE it now and that I want THEM to love theirs, because they really ARE beautiful. Samaya’s hair is STUNNING and to think she’s 10 and being made fun of for it just BOILS MY BLOOD. (OMG can you tell? I’m getting all worked up again just typing this.) Here’s a picture of the big ‘ol huge hug I gave Samaya after my talk and whispered in her ear once again just how beautiful and special she is and that she does NOT need to listen to those kids at school.
The next day I had the most awesome idea I’ve ever had. :) I was talking to Terrence about our photo shoots and the women who are modeling for us and I perked up with the HUGEST smile on my face ever and said, “TERRENCE!!! We don’t have any kids lined up yet!!!” Ahem. :) Can you see where this is going? :)
So I called Samaya’s mom Stacey and asked if she and Samaya would please be models for me. Ohhhhh, I don’t know if I’ve been more excited about anything lately! :) Stacey was STOKED, Samaya was STOKED and it was just the most awesome thing. :) So I told Samaya, “Now you go back to school and you tell those kids teasing you that you’re a MODEL and it’s BECAUSE of your natural hair.” We had Samaya’s photo shoot Sunday night in downtown Atlanta and she ROCKED it. :) The pictures aren’t up yet but I’ll post another blog once they’re all edited and up on the site. It was COLD outside but that didn’t stop her from digging into a chocolate shake while Terrence set up the shot. :)
Here’s a cute shot of Terrence demonstrating for one of the other model’s how he wanted her to pose. No offense to Terrence, but I THINK she pulled it off a little more smoothly. :)
The rest of the weekend was full of seeing existing curly friends and meeting new ones. I met a bunch of bloggers I’d not met yet so that’s always awesome. And of course when I saw my ‘ol buddy Haley Rhine, our reunion was straight out of a movie, complete with slow motion running and high pitched squeeling. :) LOVE HER!
From top left to bottom right, that's me (duh) with my girl Haley of Derby City Naturals, Lisa from This Hair Of Mine, my Atlanta BFF, Julia from TruChatOnline, and Stacey from The Sistah Cafe. You'll recognize Julia and Lisa from the slide show currently up at Jessicurl.com as they modeled for me last time I went to Atlanta, and you'll see Stacey and her beautiful daughter Samaya in the near future rockin' their natural curls in the slide show. :)
Another highlight of the weekend is always the Bloggers/Brands Brunch. This time Char Jay of www.CharJay.com was the featured blogger, and for good reason! She has built her blogging and vlogging into a fabulous brand over the last few years and she is a firery, engaging speaker. The brunch is also always a fabulous platform for the bloggersand brands to have open discussions about how better to work together. I love it. :) Here are some pics from the brunch. The first is the fabulous Char Jay during her talk.
During the day Saturday we had some great photo shoots with some beautiful curly ladies. :) I didn't get any picutres on my phone of that because that Terrence, man, he works fast! Keeping up with him during a shoot can be tough, as our former models can attest. :) You turn your head for one second and it's, "Where's Terrence? OH! Woah, he's over there. Ok, come on, let's go!" So as a result, I didn't get pics of my own, but once we get the real ones from him, I'll do a separate blog post highlighting those and you'll see how AMAZING they are. Because they are. Amazing. :)
Saturday night brought both the fashion show AND the ever-popular after-party. Both were, as usual, super fun and in typical 'Fro Fashion Week style, super glam and fabulous. :) Here are some pics from the fashion show.
At one point during the weekend, I got fed up at how straight Terrence's hair is and decided we had to do something about it. So we did. :)
On Monday, I got to do something SUPER COOL! :) When I was in Atlanta for Fro Fashion Week in September, I met a guy named Vaughn Dabney who is writing a book on natural hair, called Play With It. We chatted at the party and he asked me at that point if I'd be interested in being in it. Um, YES! :) Vaughn lives in Atlanta so on Monday I went to his studio to be interviewed for the documentary portion of his project and be photographed for the book. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?! :) Vaughn is super cool so it was great to see him again.
Every time he shoots someone for the book, he gets a shot of them holding his bookmark/business card. Good branding idea, right? Well, given I had just told him during my interview about how kids in school used to stick pencils in my hair to see how long they would stay, I just KNEW my shot with his card HAD to be this one…. :)
Tuesday Terrence and I made the long trek home. :) All in all, it was another great trip to Atlanta! The team behind Fro Fashion Week is SO wonderful and truly makes me feel like a part of the family every time, which I very much appreciate. When we get the final pics from Terrence I'll do another blog post to show those off because you KNOW they will be awesome. :)
You voted in large numbers to tell me what silly New Year's resolutions you want me to do in public, on video. Here are the results.
Scott Musgrave of www.ScottMusgravehair.com is one of our newest retailers of Jessicurl products and we are SO happy to have him join the Jessicurl family. Scott is extraordinarily passionate about curly hair, as you’ll see during the interview, partly because he’s a curly himself. :) Scott is located in Cary, NC and after seeing a bunch of before and after pictures on his blog and website, I can say with 100000% certainty that I would absolutely let him cut my hair. :) In fact, I wish he was closer so that he COULD cut my hair. :) Maybe someday I’ll get back to NC and we can make that happen. In the meantime, check out this interview with Scott below where he shares some of his insights and philosophies about curly hair and his approach to loving it. :)
How long have you been in business?
What made you go into the hair business?
I was dating a woman at the time while I was building houses and was 2 years out of the Marines. She was in hair school and saw my artistic side through my drawing, sleight of hand magic that I was performing and my care for people in general. She convinced me to attend. I don’t know where she is now, but thanks to her I am in a profession that I love.
If you specialize in curly hair, what made you adopt that focus?
There was a difference in expectation, needs and desire between the curly and straight haired clients. Cosmetology school does not prepare you to handle these needs and expectations, so you treat it like you were taught to with straight hair cutting techniques, tools and products. Of course, this sets the client up for disappointment as you do not exceed or even meet these expectations. Deep in my heart I could sense the disappointment from these clients, and I really did try to help them.
So instead of just shrugging it off with an attitude of ‘I did the best I could and if that isn’t good enough, too bad’, I set out to understand these expectations and really listened to what was giving women with curly hair a hard time and started tweaking the cut on dry hair. I did 90% straight hair cutting techniques and 10% tweaking/random/ cutting when it was dry.
Over time, I incorporated more of the random cutting to now make it an organized cutting process I simply call my Curl Cut. I even have one I call a Cubist Curl Cut which is a free-form cutting method to accomplish design elements with visual balance that I do on dry hair, one curl at a time without touching your head with a detangling comb, regular comb or a towel. It is a magical process that sets me apart from 100% of the straight hair stylists out there and no one else is doing it as it is specifically designed for curly hair.
What changes have you seen in relation to curly hair in the last 10 years?
Stylists place a lot of emphasis on all forms of techniques, geometric shapes and wet hair cutting techniques and when you remove some of those elements or change the meaning of how these techniques are done, you make for some very uncomfortable stylists. Add this to the overwhelming barrage of product companies trying to profit from the movement of curly hair clients embracing their curls, and many stylists, as well as consumers, are overwhelmed. There used to be a section in the aisle of the drug store for people with curls, now there are warehouses with whole aisles filled with products for people with curls.
Lack of education and confidence are what is missing in the styling industry. Missing these two components is why stylists treat your curls with straight hair cutting tools, techniques and products. Over time, women being treated by stylists with a lack of confidence and education pass on their confusion to the person sitting in the chair and this sends a silent message to the heart of the person with curls that there is something wrong with their hair, we need to fix you or this is unmanageable and out of control. You end up getting tools and products to take home and learn to DEAL with your hair and over time, you get fed up with being treated this way and do one or more of the following: avoid salons, start cutting your hair at home, going over a year between cuts, wearing it up all the time, etc and many times getting better results than the $70 dollar cut you were paying for!
So, I took the standard salon service and restructured it to be all about The Curl. My first time clients go through a 20-30 minute Lifestyle Conversation where I go through understanding what my client is currently doing and how I can add or subtract parts to go with the vision/goal we arrive at, I listen for key parts that help me to discover what is important to her for what she wants her hair to be and do. Not just now but months from now.
This creates instant rapport and all my curly clients unload their stress through this process as they realize this is not your regular salon service where I do all the talking about ‘fixing’ your hair, it is about genuine concern for taking already beautiful hair to another level. It is important that my client be herself, not a fake being nice kind of way, but respectfully honest so we can get to the heart of the matter of making her hair beautiful. I have learned communication skills to help with strategically drawing this out from a part of my heart that relates to what they are going through and it almost seems spiritual. This may sound serious, but we have a great time and I encourage a sense of humor through this process. I have found that people with curls have a different perspective and sense of humor because of what we have been through that is not understood by those with straight hair.
How did you first hear about Jessicurl?
Part of that 20-30 minute discussion time is when some clients bring in products to look at and I go over the science and ingredients and see if they are in line for what we come up with for her vision and goals for her hair. I explain the concept of ‘filling & sealing’ to her and 9 out of 10 products have so many liquid plastics in the hair and this only goes against the vision we have for her hair and is doing the very thing she does not want - a triangle with frizz.
One lady brought in Jessicurl and I could not find anything ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ with the ingredients. Something inside me that I call ‘The Inner Curl Mentor’ spoke loud and clear: “CHECK THIS OUT!”
Since I am a research freak, I did a lot of background research on what other people with curls were saying, read reviews of your products and saw so many positive reviews. I sent you an email and you were nice enough to call me personally. After our talk I got my package of Jessicurl and set out to give it my trial period and test it out on myself first for a week or two. Then I took it into the salon to try it out on my clients who are ‘testers’ and who will give me hard core honest trustworthy reviews. Jessicurl passed all the tests.
How long have you been carrying Jessicurl?
One month, and I wish I had found it years ago.
What sets Jessicurl apart from other lines, curly or otherwise?
What sets any curly product apart from any other line is mainly what is in it. Curlies are research fanatics and many know what certain ingredients will do for their hair, more so than ANY other hair type.
Online presence is a huge factor in building up a brands identity. I have learned that you can influence people with manipulation or inspiration and Jessicurl definitely inspires people through your website, Facebook page, blog and YouTube presence. People come and go in this business. I have noticed that you have been around for over 10 years and are always showing up here and there, a true sign of inspiring people with your passion. This overall presence builds trust and the endurance reveals to me that you are authentic and have a product that has stood the trials of good and bad. Persistence is an important value to me and I sense this in Jessicurl.
Thanks so much, Scott, for taking the time for this interview. Curlies in or near Cary, NC, get thee to Scott's chair!! :) And isn't it great to know that you can get your favorite Jessicurl products from him now too? :)
Check out Scott's blog for even more awesome curly hair info and pictures. :)
Curlies! I know you love Jessicurl products and now I'm asking you to vote for them in NaturallyCurly.com's 3rd Best Of The Best Awards contest.
The first two years NaturallyCurly.com held this contest, you made your voices heard loud and clear, and Jessicurl won tons of awards. :) We thank you for that and hope you’ll vote again for your favorite Jessicurl products.
The rules of the contest clearly state that you must specify not only the brand of your favorite product (Jessicurl, duh. :), but also the specific product. For instance, where it asks for favorite shampoo, Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream rather than just “Jessicurl”. Or, where it asks for favorite daily conditioner, Jessicurl Too Shea.
Voting ends on January 21, and everyone who votes gets a code for 20% off an order at NaturallyCurly.com! Neat, eh? Of course you can buy all your favorite Jessicurl products there. :)
2013. Here we are. We made it!
I’m not usually one for making New Year’s resolutions, but this year I did. I decided I need to come out of my shell a bit more. You know, not be so reserved. Not so inhibited. :)
Haaaa ha ha ha. Are you laughing yet? :) I could hardly type that with a straight face! :)
But really, 2013 is a great year to be more carefree EVEN IF it’s sort of my default state already, right? And, the Jessicurl team wanted a fun way to give you a good discount at Jessicurl.com to start the New Year out right and to celebrate that the Mayans were wrong and we all made it to 2013! :) I think you’ll like what we came up with. :)
YOU, my curly friends, get to help pick just HOW I’m going to come out of this horrible horrible shell of mine. :) That’s right; I'm leaving my New Year’s Resolutions up to YOU to decide! (Crazy, eh?) Pick your favorite 3 "resolutions" from the list of 13 below, and I will take the top 3 vote-getters and actually DO them. On video. Just for fun and to be entertaining for you. The winning antics will then become blog posts throughout the year as I complete them. FUN, right? :)
I also am willing to do what comes to YOUR mind. Fill in the blank in the second question, and I'll pick my top 3 favorites and do those too. If you want a shout-out in the resulting blog post when I do your idea, be sure to include your name. :) If you don't want your name used, just skip that part. :)
As if that weren't awesome enough, once you finish telling me what to do, a nifty little window will pop up with a code for 20% off any order at Jessicurl.com that lasts for 48 hours. (Get it? Rank my 13 resolutions and get 20% off? Clever, eh?)
Yep yep, a discount on your favorite hair products AND I'll do weird stuff on video. Hurry, do it before I regain my senses and change my mind. :-) Feel free to share and re-post this with all your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc. The more the merrier when it comes to making me do stupid stuff, right? :)
For some reason, when I was writing this blog post I coudln't get this song out of my head. :) I wonder why? :)
To say that Beverly Neeland, owner of Hello Curls in Sacramento, CA is passionate about curly hair would be like saying I laugh a lot. Calling it an understatement would BE an understatement. :) And I love that about her. In fact, check out what it says on her website:
“I only accept new clients with wavy or curly hair. I
do NOT offer blow-outs or flat iron styles.”
Now, THAT, my friends, is a bold statement and shows just how dedicated she is to the curly cause. Beverly has been carrying Jessicurl in her salon since 2008 and while I have yet to meet her in person, I’ve spoken to her on the phone several times and each time it was like talking to an old friend. She’s just … friendly like that. :) So when I started this blog feature of interviewing the salon owners that carry Jessicurl, I knew she had to be among the first.
Beverly has a degree in theater from UC Davis and was a costume designer, makeup artist and wig master for 15 years. Her grandmother had been a hair stylist in the 30s during the depression and her family had always encouraged her to go into the business, telling her that it could withstand a bad economy. In 2003 she took that advice and went to cosmetology school, knowing that she wanted to specialize in curly hair.
In 2004 she rented a chair at a salon in Sacramento and knew she had to take every head of hair that walked in, even though she really only wanted to focus on curls.
This is where her story makes my blood boil…
“The salon where I worked for forbade me to have curly hair when I worked there”, Beverly says. “They said, ‘You look unkempt. You look unprofessional. We’re trying to sell these $800 Japanese straightening services and we can’t have you with curly hair trying to sell these services.’ I felt totally persecuted because of my curly hair.”
CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT?!?! No wonder she puts her foot down and only does curly hair now that she has her own salon, eh?
The chemicals used in the straightening services were also making her sick, so thankfully she was able to move to a new salon where not only did her health improve, she was finally able to do some curls! Word got out about her curl talents via the message boards and salon review section of NaturallyCurly.com, and her current salon, Hello Curls, is not only 100% curl-centric, it’s also completely green and caters to people with chemical sensitivities.
Says Beverly, “From 2008 on I wouldn’t take people who had straight hair or who wanted a blow out. I think they understand. I tell them,’ I can’t style your hair. I don’t have a flat iron. I don’t do those things at my salon. It’s not my thing.’”
I love it. I mean, of course I do. :) Check out these great before and after pics of one of Beverly’s happy clients. :)
As with most of the salons that carry Jessicurl, Beverly heard about us through her curly clients. :) (Thank you, again, for that y’all. :) ) She was carrying a different curly-specific line but several of her clients would bring Jessicurl in when they got their hair cut and Beverly realized it met her specifications for use in her salon.
As I said before, I’ve unfortunately not yet met Beverly in person but I know someday I will, and I know it will be awesome. She is warm, friendly, bubbly and clearly VERY passionate about curly hair and fostering our love for our curls. If you live in or around Sacramento, CA I can tell your curls will be in GREAT hands if you need a cut. :)
I decided that today was a good day to do a video blog. :) This one addresses some tips on getting a hair cut, evenly distributing products, and frizz control. :)
If there is one truth to the success of Jessicurl, it’s that there wouldn’t BE any Jessicurl if y’all weren’t out there telling each other about it. For reals. You are a chatty bunch and I thank you for it. :-) You’re telling your sisters and your friends and your cousins and your hair stylists how much you love Jessicurl and that’s a large reason why we’ve grown and survived for the last 10 years.
Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Entire books have been written about the concept. In fact, I read one WAAAAAAAYYYYY back in my first year in business called Creating Customer Evangelists and realized that without having a CLUE what I was doing – I was doing everything it said to do. :) Huh. I guess having a product people like goes a long way. :)
Anyway, I’ve always been like that too. Very loud-mouthed about stuff I like. :) I get SUPER stoked about bands I like or apps I like or books I like and if you’re in a 10 foot radius, you’re bound to hear about it.
But think about it. In our culture today, not only have we become virtually immune to traditional advertising, we go out of our way to avoid it. (Hello Tivo) We pay extra so we DON’T have to deal with advertising. We hate it and we’ve made that very clear. However, when your BFF bounces up to you just SPILLING OVER about her new latest and greatest whatever-it-is, you’re far more apt to listen because she has nothing to gain from being all excited about it.
Much like I have nothing to gain from being all excited about what I’m going to tell you about here! :) (Ha. See that segue there? Did you even feel that coming?) I’m totally not trying to get you to buy this stuff, I swear. I’m just sayin’, “Hey, I like this. Maybe you will too.” :)
If you’re a friend of mine on my personal Facebook page, you might have heard me sing the praises of Yogoman Burning Band, particularly their song, Gonna Get It. First of all, this band (from Bellingham, WA) is just all around awesome and their music is all very happy, upbeat and makes you dance. (Thus, no surprise that I’d love them, eh? :) )
But that particular song has become somewhat of an anthem for me. Many MANY times over the years, when I’m trying to make something really big happen, I’ll literally put that song on repeat and focus on what I’m trying to accomplish. The chorus goes, “She knows what she wants and she’s gonna get it.” Can’t beat that for being empowering, eh?! Plus, it’s just a great tune. You can listen to it here if you like. :) Good luck listening to it and not dancing though. :)
I also LOVE the Police Log of my local newspaper, the Arcata Eye. I know, I know, everybody thinks that THEIR police log is the best. But really? Ours is. One way I know is because it’s been published into not one but TWO books. Uh huh. Take that, um, other town’s police logs. :) Here are a few excerpts from this last week, courtesy of Editor Kevin Hoover.
9:18 a.m. You can’t shoplift from an I Street store, or any other for that matter, then go back later and pay for the stuff when you feel like it, then expect the workers to embrace your leisurely approach to retail. Banned.
A Plazaland bongo upthrust
Left downtowners somewhat nonplussed
Cops duly responded
But drummers absconded
Averting one more bongo-bust
1:13 a.m. If you need to leave your backpack and flute in your parked car on Janes Road, go that extra inch and push the door-lock button down to avert later conversations with police.
Yeah. Weird stuff written weirdly. :) Gotta love that. The books are great because it’s the best of the best from over the years. (Wait, you mean you didn’t realize your hair products were made in a really weird town?)
Something else I’ve been all jazzed about lately that liable to land me IN the darn police log is Zombies, Run! It’s an app for iPhone and Android and if you already have it, you know why it’s awesome and can just skip this part. If for some reason this is news to you, OMG, it’s CRAZYFUN! :)
It’s part workout motivation app, part video game and part audio book, all rolled into one. You plug in your ear buds, turn on the app, and head out for a jog or walk. As you go, a story unfolds. A very long story, actually, that reveals itself over the course of 22 “missions”, with each mission representing a new workout for you. (So, like, you don’t do ‘em all on one day, m’kay?) Here’s what it says on the Zombies, Run! Website:
"You are Runner 5. Hundreds of lives are counting on you. You've got to help your base rebuild from the ruins of civilization by collecting critical supplies while avoiding roving zombie hordes. Can you save them and learn the truth about the zombie apocalypse? Even better, you can create your own custom playlists before you start running: the story unfolds in between your tracks through a series of dynamic radio messages and voice recordings."
If you have zombie chases turned on (and you should!), every so often it goes, “Warning! Zombies approaching!” and you have to SPEED THE HECK UP to out-run the zombies. The app uses your GPS and KNOWS if you do or not and if you don’t go fast enough you drop your supplies to distract the zombies. You NEED those supplies to unlock new missions! So those zombie chases really are motivating and really do make you run faster. It’s awesome :) As far as apps go, at $8 it’s on the pricey side but SO totally worth it. In fact, when I first got it, I used it so much I overdid it (who me?!), hurt my ankle and had to take the next 3 weeks off. So, like, don’t do that.
So, once again, there’s a blog post for you that’s not exactly hair related. :) However, part of the point of this blog was for us to get to know each other better, so maybe I just accomplished that a bit. Now you know I like to dance, jog and read the police log but ONLY if it’s written humorously. :)
Yesterday I once again posted on my Jessicurl Facebook Page asking what you'd like me to blog about today, and several of you said second day hair. Well, that's EASY, since I've gone over this before. :) I even did a video a while back addressing the many ways you can achieve this elusive goal, so I’m re-posting it here for all the new Facebook fans and blog readers to check out. :)