Fly Female Entrepreneurs: The Curly Girl Collective
If you’ve ever run into six beautiful, classy, and uber stylish ladies on the streets of New York City, each rocking their own unique, natural looks, you’ve probably had a Curly Girl Collective sighting! As a united body of natural women, the Curly Girl Collective (CGC) strives to create innovative experiences that foster acceptance and celebration of curls, kinks, and everything in between. CGC aims to create a platform ripe for conversation, affecting more than just hair choices, but addressing the spectrum of subjects that start with hair, and end with self-actualization.
Just in time for CGC’s highly anticipated event this Sunday at Brooklyn’s FREECANDY, In Her Shoes sat down with the busy beauties to chat about their inspiration, the biggest misconceptions about the group, and what we can expect from them in the months and years to come:
In Her Shoes: There are plenty of individuals in the “curly girl” movement but very few collectives. What inspired the launch of CGC and what does each member bring to the table?
CGC: What inspired the Curly Girl Collective, was just THAT…a collective of curly girls that started a group to talk, support and listen to one another about various things going on with our hair and our individual lives. What started out as a group of 10 women turned into a support system of 75+ women from various countries around the world—all with hair textures, lengths, experiences and questions. This inspired the Curly Girl Collective to branch off and form an actual company that can provide that safe haven for all women to freely express their natural selves and appreciate the beauty of our individuality and diversity. (Simone Mair, Director of Business Strategy)
In Her Shoes: Outside of your fabulous events, most of the buzz surrounding CGC happens via social media. For In Her Shoes readers who aren’t following you yet, please describe the Curly Girl Collective’s Twitter style:
CGC: Our twitter style is energetic & inviting. We love to provoke discussion – It’s like that “Big Mama” who always brings the family together to celebrate, heal & share. – Julienne Brown, Marketing & Promotions Director
In Her Shoes: How do you feel about the sometimes divisive tone behind the #teamnatural and #teamrelaxed hash tags on Twitter?
CGC: I think the divisiveness is rooted in a much bigger issue of individuals have a strong desire to find where they belong. Twitter is a place where people come to voice their opinions and we would never judge anyone’s personal views on either stance. Everyone should co-exist. There’s things that I adore about my natural hair as there are things I adored about my relaxed hair. I think the one commonality is having self confidence and knowing self worth either way. (Melody Henderson, Creative Director)
In Her Shoes: What’s a day like in the Curly Girl Collective’s shoes?
CGC: A day in our shoes requires hard work, collaboration, a commitment to style and a driving passion to connect a community. We work late hours but have FUN. We rock a pair of vibrant, reliable shoes, guaranteed to make any outfit pop! (Curly Girl Collective)
In Her Shoes: What’s the biggest misconception about natural hair and the Curly Girl Collective?
CGC: One of the things I have heard is that if you’re “pro-natural” then you shouldn’t wear any other style or else you’re somehow a hypocrite. I personally disagree, and if you look at all of the members of CGC, you’ll see that we rock it all – bone straight, curly, extensions, braids, wash and go, blow-outs, and every color and texture you can think of or buy at the store lol. It’s about personal expression! As long as the hair on your head is healthy, and you feel beautiful and comfortable with the way your hair grows out of your head, I don’t see why you need to wear it a certain way to be welcomed into the natural hair community. (Tracey Coleman, Director of Events)
In Her Shoes: Your upcoming event, “Mane Attraction: His Voice, Her Hair” at FREECANDY on October 14th will feature a panel of male relationship experts and popular female natural hair vloggers weighing in on the topic of natural hair. What led to this discussion? Any personal hair/relationship experiences you want to dish about?
CGC: CGC is always seeking opportunities to provide our audience with innovative, topical events, and we feel very good about this event. This conversation isn’t new and happens in quite a few circles of friends, in many bedrooms, and on plenty of living room couches—not to mention, behind many closed doors. I know our fellow curly girls were shouting, “It’s about Time!” upon opening our invitation to Mane Attraction. And, our fellas have gladly accepted the invitation with suspicious yet anxious grins. I find it fascinating to hear what men have to say in regard to this topic. And I’m hoping to hear a couple of gents get on the mic to proclaim why natural hair may or may not be sexy. (Charisse Higgins, Director of Public Relations)
In Her Shoes: Who are a few of your natural hair inspirations?
CGC: I’m just inspired. Period. Many things inspire me and may be reflected in my look. My hair has experienced so many beginnings and break-ups in terms of styles; trying to find what worked for my hair, my face, and my overall look. I drew from videos, magazines and the media; until I realized, there is no need to compartmentalize, just be inspired. Draw from all things beautiful; from the lovely cut you peeped on the subway platform this morning, to that interesting flower you stumbled upon on your lunch break stroll. Just be inspired, be fearless and create. (Gia Lowe, Strategic Partnerships Director)
In Her Shoes: Where would you like to see CGC in the next five years?
CGC: Happy, healthy and still a group of six curly headed friends, traveling together and inspiring women across the world to love themselves the way that Jill Scott sang about in her first album – “from their hair follicles to their toenails”. (Tracey Coleman, Director of Events)
To learn more about the Curly Girl Collective visit www.curlygirlcollective.com or follow the movement on Twitter and Instagram today (@ILOVECGC)!
For my fellow product junkies, EDEN BodyWorks (one of my fav clients & Name Sponsor for this Sunday’s CGC event) is offering a special discount for CGC lovers. Visit www.edenbodyworks.net and use the “ILOVECGC” discount code for 30% off your next purchase!
*Code valid through 10/31