That's a line from one of my favorite songs by The Ryan Montbleau Band, called Grain Of Sand.
The full line goes, "If I want too much from life, my heart will understand. I'm making the most of this great big grain of sand."
Check out a video of the song here, if you so desire.
Nice, eh? If you know me at all, you know that sums me up pretty well. I especially vibe with the part about the heart...
Ahem. Yeah. About that. Some of you know, and some of you don't, that I've been around the block a few times when it comes to heart issues.
Over the last 12 years I've had 5 procedures called Ablations to attempt to correct an electrical impulse issue that causes my heart to go super wacky. (Official medical terminology right there, folks.) Unfortunately none of them worked for more than a year or two.
I also have a leaky Mitral Valve, and, well, they need to fix that. Sooooo, next Wednesday, May 22, I'll be having surgery to fix that valve as well as make further attempts to correct the rhythm issues. Then I can get back to making the most of this great big grain of sand and dancing my ass off like y'all know I love to do so much! :)
I debated about if I wanted to tell you about this, but we decided I should for several reasons. One, is that I know you're used to me being super accessible via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, smoke signals, telepathy, etc. and I'll be somewhat less accessible for a little while. My doctor sounds like a total ROCKSTAR so I know it'll all go fine. Please don't take any of this as "oohhhh poor me!" m'kay? That’s not my intention at all. We just figured you needed to know what's going on. Hey, I'm human. I need to get fixed up. What are ya gonna do, eh?
Things at Jessicurl World HQ will be totally fine! :) Our staff is STELLAR and your products don't need ME around to be made and shipped! :) So don't worry about THAT at all. :)
Am I looking forward to this? Well, uh, no, not particularly. But it has to happen so I'm channeling my inner Merida from Brave and rocking a metaphorical bow and arrow to plow through it. :-)
This has been a really rough week for our country. Doing something nice for someone else can help make you feel better, I promise.
Today I decided to go around and give out Jessicurl trial packs to random curly haired people because being nice is fun! Here’s my little video of it. :) Thanks to Diqui for filming the adventure! :)
You know I love you, right curlies? I mean it, I do. That’s partly why we created Club Jessicurl, to help you and your friends buy in larger quantities together and save. Lots of you have already created clubs and that makes me super stoked. :)
It’s also why we send out various offers throughout the month, be it a percentage off, or free shipping or whatever else we cook up at our morning meetings. We want to help you get your hands on what we have to offer! :)
Sometimes, however, you miss the sale. You didn’t get the email. You didn’t need anything when we made the offer, or got the email too late to take advantage of it. You’re understandably disappointed when that happens. You just want something you can COUNT on in this wild and crazy world. :) Like, say, Happy Hour at the bar, or Senior Tuesday at the grocery store. :)
Is that too much to ask?
Nope! :) Not anymore. :)
I’m happy to present to you our newest offering.
We call it Free on 15.
EVERY 15th day of EVERY month, you can use the code FSJCRL15 to get Free Shipping on any order going to any U.S. address at Jessicurl.com. Yep, every 15th day of every month. The code will always be the same, but will only work on the 15th of the month.
This offer can’t be combined with any other offers we may have going at the time but it will always be your choice which you want to use and you can always count on this one. You don’t have to run out of Jessicurl JUST in case we decide to kick down an offer.
See? We heard your requests and we came up with something to address them. That’s what friends are for. :-)
This kicks off on Monday, April 15th. No better day than tax day to get 15% off, eh? :)
And for you international curlies, you know I love you too. As we’ve said in the past since your duties and VATs and SCHMATs and etc. etc. are completely unpredictable, we can’t offer free shipping but we can offer you all 15% off any order going to an address outside the U.S. on the 15th of every month. Just use the code JCRLINT15 to get that deal. How’s that for international relations? :-)
Ok, curlies. If you’ve heard my story, you know that back in Jr. High, there was one kid (who shall remain nameless from now on, m’kay?) who used to stick pencils in the back of my hair during English class. My hair was thick. And big. And poofy. And ‘lil man just HAD to see how many pencils he could get stuck in there before I’d realize what he was up to. He also wanted to see how long they’d stay.
Well, those suckers stayed all day. I mean, alllllll DAY. I’d get home at the end of school and lie down on the couch and it’d be like a lobotomy with those pencils jabbing me in the head. GRRRRRRR, eh? :) As I write this, I get simultaneously mad for 13 year old Jess and totally laugh, because, well, I just said “grrrr, eh?” :-)
Anyway, this is not a pity party, people! This is where we TAKE BACK THE PENCILS! :) As I wrote in my re-cap of my recent trip to Atlanta, I was recently interviewed and photographed for a book about curly hair, called Play With It. During my interview, I cited Pencil-Gate as a contributing factor to the hair obsession that ended up creating Jessicurl. (So, thanks for the pencils, jerk. Now I have a company. Joke’s on you.)
The book is being written by Vaughn Dabney, and every time he shoots someone for it, 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 the pencils, I just KNEW my shot with his card HAD to be this one…. :)
This MIGHT just be my favorite picture of my hair, ever, for all the reasons. :) This was taken on my iPhone, but Vaughn got a fancy-shmancy one on his camera. I love LOVE LOVE that it will be in a book.
The other night, as you know, was St. Patrick’s Day, and though I’m not usually one to celebrate it, (being a McGuinty and all…), I did find myself out and about with some friends. Irish flags were being handed out and, well, you know how this story ends….
(I'd like to point out, this hair was AFTER driving around for a few hours with the top down on my car. So don't even tell me you can't have decent hair AND a convertible. I'm here to say you can have both. :) )
So, curlies. Welcome to my new “Thing”. Putting Stuff In My Hair And Taking Pictures Of It Because Now I’M The One In Charge. In charge of what goes in my hair. (Good stuff only.) In charge of how I FEEL about my hair. (I love it.) And in charge of the message I convey to YOU about how YOU feel about YOUR hair. (You Have The Right To Remain Curly. Even if there's stuff stuck in it. :) )
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? :)