Tuesday, March 5, 2019

All They Can Say Is No

I posted something on social media the other day. It was a post with words. I usually don't get a lot of engagement with those kinds of posts but this one resonated with people for whatever reason. It read "If you don't ask, the answer is always no." This is a principle I have lived by for a long time. Here is what started this mindset.

Picture this, Sicily 1932. LOL! No, actually it was College Park, MD, April 2002. I'm all set to graduate with my baccalaureate degree in General Biology in May 2002 when I received a letter in the mail that totally knocked the wind out of my sail. Basically, the letter said that I would not be able to walk because I was short one credit. ONE! CREDIT! Ok. I get it. I wouldn't receive my degree on that day but to say I can't even walk. I felt that was a bit much. Imagine finding this out in April. One
month before graduation. I had to walk. HAD TO! All of my family had already made arrangements to come in town for my graduation. My parents had planned a huge celebration. This couldn't be life. So, I put my thinking cap on and went to talk to my "counselor".
In December 2001, I had a serious car accident that resulted in me having to postpone taking my finals for the fall semester. Which resulted in my not doing so hot on one of my science finals. I was already on thin ice for this class, so I ended up with a D instead of the C I would've probably gotten had I taken the final a scheduled. That class just so happened to be in the category of laboratory science classes that I needed to graduate, resulting in me being short one credit. I was devastated but not defeated. I asked what I could do to get this one credit, so that I could walk. The counselor did not seem optimistic but all I could do was give it my best shot.
Believe it or not, after all of that, this wasn't
even my degree. It was a picture of the "M" 🙄
First, I had to get the registrar's office to approve late registration for a one credit "independent laboratory study class", THEN I had to find a professor who would be willing to read a paper on the research I was doing at my part time job as a research assistant at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and grade it with a C or better. Easy breezy, right? Well, it ended up working out but it was stressful as heyall! I had to call on my Emmy award winning acting talents to convince the registrar's office, showing up with pictures of my mangled car, discharge papers from the ICU and, of course, eyes full of tears. It worked. I was registered for a one credit laboratory class in the proper category.

The most stressful part was finding a professor who would read a paper and grade it. Shouldn't have been too hard, I mean University of Maryland College Park had at LEAST 200 faculty in the Life Sciences department alone. I could find one who would do that for me. All I needed was one yes. Just one. One professor who would do a solid for a mediocre, not so memorable student they had never met before. *sigh* That was the reality I was facing but all they could say is "No", right? I would never know what they would say if I didn't ask. And besides, I only needed one "Yes." So, I started emailing. And emailing. And emailing. I emailed every. single. professor. at UMCP's department of Life Sciences. Every last one of them. All of them said no, except for one. And that's all I needed was one yes. I wrote the paper, got an A, not only walked in my graduation but actually finished that chapter of my undergraduate studies on time. Barely. But I did it.

I went on to get a second bachelor degree, a master's degree and become a certified specialist in my
How a Transfusion Services Supervisor's desk looks. LOL!
field. My career goal was to become a laboratory manager. I hit that goal by the time I was 29. How? I reluctantly took a job at the American Red Cross after I graduated from the National Institutes of Health's Specialist in Blood Bank program. I loved what I did but I hated the work environment. One evening, after a I had a disagreement with my immediate supervisor, I went online looking for a new job. I saw the position for a Blood Bank Supervisor. They wanted someone with managerial experience. I had just finished school, so I didn't have that. I applied anyway. What's the worse that could happen? All they can do is say "no". They didn't though. They took a chance on me and EYE was able to leave that god awful work environment I hated.

I have a few friends who thanked me for giving them the same advice when they were applying for graduate and professional school." Just apply. So what if your scores aren't where they recommend. All they can say is no. You only need one yes anyway." They took my advice and BOOM! They were admitted and right back on track to hitting their goals. Ok, you applied to 10 graduate programs and got rejected from 9. Go to the one who accepted you. Duh! LOL!

You will not die if you get told no. I mean, your feelings may be hurt but you will not physically perish and cease to exist. So, stop being afraid of hearing it. Shoot your shot. The worst thing that could happen is you get rejected. So what!!! Brush yourself off. Figure out why you were rejected. Improve. Try again or go somewhere else and try. However, if they say yes.....EVERYONE wins. But if you never ask, if you never try, the answer will always be "no". And you'll probably always be wondering "What if I had gone for it?"

MORAL: Life is way too short to live with regret. Just do it. If it works out, it was meant to be. If it doesn't, Jehovah definitely has something better in store for you. Trust.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website, www.fancyfreehairandskin.com, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Signs Are Right In Front Of You

My husband and I closed on what we consider our "Forever Home" in December 2010. The previous owners had very different taste when it comes to paint colors than we do. The foyer was painted grey and white. There was a navy blue accent wall in the living room. One bedroom was painted royal blue. Another bedroom had a black accent wall. In my opinion, the house was dark and gloomy. Not very inviting.

Our bedroom walls had been painted with neutral colors. Not too bad. My husband's closet came already outfitted with a closet system. My closet was just an empty room with a few shelves in it. Kind of disappointing but we can say it was a blank canvas. My clothes were all over the house. I rearranged and reorganized my closet at least 3 times before I started getting quotes from California Closet Systems and the like. Five figure quotes for the closet of my dreams. How disheartening. We definitely didn't have $10,000 for a closet when we needed to repair the roof, upgrade electricity, open the pool, renovate three bathrooms, so on and so forth. So, I put my shabby chic hat on and got to brainstorming....

I WANTED a closet system but all I really needed was racks to hang my clothes and some more drawers for storing other items. I found some quality Z-racks on Craigslist. My father and I went to the Loading Dock, a warehouse that sells used building material, and found some bottom kitchen cabinets to create a closet island. He had a counter top in his storage unit - very random, I know, but just go with it. He is an investor and rehabber. And the final step was choosing paint colors for the wall.

It's the summer of 2012. I wanted bright and vibrant colors that would make me feel alive when I walked into my closet. I went to Home Depot and picked swatches. They looked good together, in my opinion. Orange, purple and green. Don't ask. I painted the walls. Then painted all of the trim gold.  I spray painted the drawers of my bootleg island gold and the counter top was white with gold trim. The final product....looked kind of juvenile but whatever. It was my closet. My labor of love. And I did it all for under $500. Eff dat California Closets quote.

Fast forward to 2014. I'm becoming a real business woman and decide that this little LLC. I've established is going places, so I need a logo. I hire a graphic designer to design it. She sends me a survey asking questions about my business and personality. I pick the font and the colors based on her recommendations. The colors I chose represent wealth, wellness, and luxury. The colors were orange, purple and green. Go figure. Based on my choices, the Fancy Free, LLC. logo was official. We've gone through some rebranding but the logo and colors remains pretty much intact.

Interior decorators recommend that you freshen up your decor every 5-10 years. We're coming up on 7 years since I "renovated" my closet. Seven years, a pool renovation, 4 roof repairs, a new refrigerator, one cat, two businesses and two children later, I'm ready to spruce my closet up again. Preparing my daughter's bedroom and FINALLY buying a bedroom set for the master suite inspired me. I read  "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and purged about 75% of what was in my closet. Now, I have a lot more space to work. More wall space. More space on my racks. I'm looking around thinking of color palettes and furniture configurations when it hit me. OMG! I chose these colors WAY before starting a business and it was staring me in my face all this time. The colors that represent Fancy Free. Orange, purple and green. Wealth, wellness and luxury.

At 30 years old, I had achieved all of my healthcare career goals. I was just looking to occupy my time when I started my first direct sales business. That business opened my eyes to a whole new way of life. I thought I'd achieve the time freedom and income through that company but Jehovah had already planted the seed. He had something different in store for me. Something that I had full ownership of. Something that I could pursue with all of my passion and remain true to what I believe in. Building generational wealth and helping others do the same. Creating products that support wellness. Having the luxury to spend my time as I choose. Offer "Fancy" products at affordable prices that make people feel luxurious without breaking the bank.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20 but it never ceases to amaze me when I look back at the "signs", good and bad, that were right there in my face. Honestly, had I done a computer composite of what my closet would look like with those colors, I would have switched it up. But I just rolled with it. After all, it's just paint. An inexpensive way to drastically change the look of a room.

So, what's the point? What's for you is for you. Always have a plan but be flexible and open to things that aren't necessarily in your plan. New experiences. Learning new skills. Broaden your horizons. Let Jehovah show you the grand plan He has for your life. Don't fight it. Even if it feels uncomfortable. His plan is WAY better than anything you can imagine for yourself. Had someone told me in 2012 that I would retire from healthcare 5 years later, I would have told them they were crazy. Look at me now, Fancy and Free representing orange, purple and green! Bars! LOL!

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website, www.fancyfreehairandskin.com, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Easier Said Than Done

I had a baby on November 14, 2018. In preparation for the baby, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do about Fancy Free Hair & Skin business. I have two part-time employees and a team to run my social media and respond to emails but it just didn't sit right with me to totally unplug after I had a baby. Everyone told me I need to take a break. I understood where they were coming from but that is easier said than done.

As a business owner, I've learned that when you have momentum you have to keep it up, just like driving uphill when it's snowing. Have you ever tried to drive up a hill when there's snow on the ground coming from a complete stop? I have. It is HARD! Slipping and sliding. Wheels spinning - my car is rear wheel drive. Now, compare that to coming down a hill while it's snowing, going at a decent speed, then you have to go up a hill. MUCH easier. It's the momentum that pushes you to the top of hill with minimal difficulty. Well, the same thing happens in business. You have to keep working and pushing your business forward because if you stop, getting started again is a snow covered up hill battle.

To be sure that I wasn't crazy, I had a talk with a VERY successful mompreneur who had a baby while she was focused on hitting a HUGE goal in her business.  Her name is Chanelle Burt. Google her. She is a beast. Chanelle also confirmed how I was feeling. And just for safe measure, I asked myself "What would Beyonce do?". In my heart of hearts, I don't think Beyonce totally unplugged. IDC. IDC. IDC. Those video diaries and songs written while playing around are "work". LOL! Like Chanelle said, no one cares about my business more than me. While my team is amazing, I am still the driving force. So, if I slack off, guess what they're most likely going to do? Yooooouuuuu guessed it. They're probably going to slack off too. So, I decided that I would do what I needed to do for Fancy Free Hair & Skin, my first born baby, within reason.

November 14 was a Tuesday. I was back on my computer, updating things on the website, responding to emails. I came home from the hospital, 3 days postpartum and filled orders that came in while I was in the hospital. Yes. I have staff that fills orders but she works Mondays and Wednesdays, it was a Saturday. My husband did not give me crap about it. He took the orders to the post office for me.

When my baby needs to be fed, I stop and feed her. When my baby needs to be held, I sit down and hold her. When she's just up looking around, I strap her on and keep doing whatever with her strapped to my chest. I've chalked it up to me just not being the type of person to sit still. AND I can't let my business slow down, so I have stuff to do.

With my son, I had NO problem unplugging from work while I was on maternity leave. However, I was in the kitchen whipping up that work after being home for a week. I guess, when it comes to my own business, going on maternity leave is easier said than done with the current phase of growth I am in with my business. To my credit, I am on moratorium for vending and events until Spring 2019.

I guess I said all of that to say, when your main source of income depends on you being present and engaged, you find a way to be present and engaged even if it's less than 12 hours after you've had a baby. I understand that people mean well when they say "You have to take time off" but that is easier said than done.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website, www.fancyfreehairandskin.com, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

They MADE That Girl Get A Relaxer

The Fancy Free brand is all about hair and skin products that are free of harsh chemicals but also being Fancy and Free, as a person. That means embracing who you are, especially your natural hair texture. I have no problems with weave and wigs because hair can also be an accessory worn to express how you're feeling that day. But to chemically modify the texture of your hair to make it do something it wasn't designed goes against what I stand for. Again, I do not judge anyone who CHOOSES to do that. After all, it's your hair. However, to tell threaten someone's livelihood because they will not relax their hair is despicable, in my humble opinion me.

So, there's this article that everyone keeps tagging me in. About a young girl competing in the America's Next Top Model franchise in the Carribean, Carribean's Next Top Model, who essentially had to decide between relaxing her hair or being eliminated from the competition. Watch the video: 

What. In. The. World. I have so much to say that I'm speechless. So let me count the ways...

  1. FIRST OF ALL, YOU UGLY! I'm sorry but what?!?! Girl, a RELAXER!?!? What happened to a press and curl? I don't need a relaxer to wear my hair straight. What rock have you been living under that you don't know that you don't know that?
  2. Where is your heart? This girl is crying over her hair. Not cuz she doesn't want a cut or a certain style but because she doesn't want to expose her hair and skin to harsh chemicals. She. Is. Crying. Real. Tears. What kind of monster are you?
  3. As a brown woman in the Carribean, I'm sure you have experienced racism and colorism in your lifetime. Do you remember that? How did that make you feel? Not good, I bet. Hair texture shaming is the same as that. We are JUST becoming comfortable in our own skin and embracing our natural, unadulterated beauty since the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade. Even if YOU are not comfortable with the natural texture of your hair, do not enforce your beliefs on me, especially if they expose me to harsh chemicals. ESPECIALLY since I can wear my hair straight WITHOUT doing that.
  4. Unprofessional?!?! Let me tell you something. You are asked this girl to go against everything she believes in. Giving her an ultimatum between standing up for what she believes in and her career. She did not raise her voice. She simply expressed her strong beliefs and stood up for herself. 
  5. Naughty?!?! This young lady is a grown woman. Not a child. Speaking up for herself is not considered misbehaving. It's a human right. So, not only are you forcing her to submit to YOUR standard of beauty, but you also want her to succumb to misogynistic/sexist rules of society. Women are supposed to be silent and do as told? Even if it's wrong? Even if they don't agree. Ridiculous. She spoke in calm respectful tones. At least from what I saw from the clip. She was in well within her rights to react the way she did.
I could go on and on but Imma stop at 5 cuz that's when people stop reading anyway. LOL! This whole scene makes me more sad than angry. Just like I feel sad for blatantly racist and hateful people. Our differences in view and beliefs is what makes this world a colorful and enjoyable place. We see thing differently. We operate differently, in different spaces that feel comfortable for us as individuals. Forcing someone to do something that is against their beliefs is just wrong.

For women reading this who prefer to wear their hair straight, hear me loud and clear, YOU DO NOT NEED A RELAXER TO WEAR YOUR HAIR STRAIGHT!  And if your hairstylist tries to tell you that you NEED a relaxer, I'd suggest you get a new stylist. Modern styling tools and hair products straighten hair beautifully without exposing you to chemicals that can eat through an aluminum can.

Ok. That concludes my rant for the day. Remember, that you are a friend of Fancy and she wants you to live Fancy and Free of harsh chemicals. LOL!

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website, www.fancyfreehairandskin.com, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mompreneur Life: A Day In The Life of Fancy

Cute but he's laughing so hard in
this pic because he thought it was
funny to pinch my toes.
As I type this, I am 35 weeks gestation with my second child. My first child is 2 years old. He is a boy. All boy. He is definitely 2 years old. With the tantrums. The erratic behavior. My husband works a lot. He really enjoys his career and he prides himself on being a bread winner (I got me a good one). Which means that I pretty much take care of the household.

I used to be able to accomplish monumental tasks while my son is in daycare. Not so much anymore. I'm super slow right now. The laundry has started to pile up. We are eating out more often. The house is a wreck. Well, more of a wreck than it normally is. Like, I need "a week's notice to prep for company" type of wreck. A full day.

My feet March 18, 2016. 34 weeks gestation with my son.
I was very swollen with my son. I gained 85 pounds, most of which was water weight. I know what that feels like, I don't want to go through that again so as soon as I feel the top of my feet tingling or my legs getting tight (indications of swelling) I sit down with my feet up. But I can't sit down for long because I have a 2 year old son who requires undivided attention or he acts out. But my business is growing, so I have to do business stuff. I do as much as I can in the 15-20 minutes I have before my feet start tingling or my back starts hurting, then I sit down again. I have to drink a lot of water to keep the swelling down, so I don't sit down for long before I have to go to the bathroom. 

I am happy that my daughter is growing nicely. My business is also growing which makes it hard for me to sit down and relax like I should or at least how everyone tells me I should cuz I have stuff to do. I have to keep the momentum. I learned from direct sales that once you lose momentum, it's hard to gain it back. Production can't slow down. Shipping can't slow down. Marketing can't slow down.

Here is where it starts getting even more complicated. Read slowly. Maybe some of you can relate to how I have to process my whole life everyday.

I am carrying the weight of 1.25 people, literally. Let me rephrase, I can no longer carry the workload of one full person right now. LOL! I have great help but we can do more if I buy some more equipment to automate some processes. That would increase the efficiency of one person. NOT SO FAST, SISTAH! Real life is happening.

Oh. That property I sold in 2015? As a short sale because no one was paying retail in that neighborhood? When I thought all of the debt was forgiven? Well one of those banks wants their money. All of it. Plus 3 years of interest. Plus attorney fees. Totaling $75,000 and counting cuz the interest is accruing erryday, B. I AIN'T GOT THAT! Maybe they'll negotiate a settlement? Well, $55,000 isn't really a settlement.  I guess I'll have to file bankruptcy cuz I ain't got it. Which means.......I can't use my business lines of credit anymore because they are looking at my personal credit, even though I used Fancy Free Hair & Skin business credit history, and based on what's going on with my personal credit the banks have already started restricting my business credit usage.🙄
Time to get creative. 
Ask me if we've been able to get this working yet.

Anyone interested in investing in Fancy Free? Oh. We aren't big enough yet? Oh. The beauty industry is saturated? Oh. I'm operating out of a residence so I can't be serious about this thing? Ok. Other sources. WHAT?!?! You want me to pay $6600 to borrow $4000? That's like 44% interest. No way, Jose!! That is not industry standard. Ok. Come through Shopify and Quickbooks with the revenue based funding. 

Ordered some equipment. Have some more working capital. Fancy Free is ready for increased production capabilities. Ugh! These renovations for the baby's room! I have to pick paint colors, order the furniture, pick out decor. Can't leave my son out. Gotta change his room up a little too. All of these clothes! Who bought him all of this stuff?!?! Does he need a new coat this winter? Can he still fit these things from last year? No! No! You can't walk around all day with that coat on! We have to try on the other clothes. *sigh*

*door bells rings* Is that a delivery or a customer pick up?! Lordt. I'm all the way upstairs. I'm coming. *waddles down the steps* A delivery. Now all these boxes are in the way. They're too heavy for me to lift or move. My customer is coming to pick up their products and they won't see where I left it because of all the boxes I can't move. Let me text my customer to let them know where to look.

*hears husband walk in the door* OMG! What are we gonna eat for dinner? I didn't have time to go to store to even buy stuff we can heat up. 😢 He works so hard to take care of us and I can't even make sure he has a hot meal when he comes home from work. *Mommy/Wife guilt kicks in* Lord, I forgot to text my customer!

After finally putting the kid to bed, I head up to my bedroom to wind down. And when I open the door, another disaster zone. How can I relax here? Why are there toys all over the floor? Who is gonna put this laundry away? But I'm way too tired to clean up. Imma do it first thing tomorrow. *looks at calendar for next day* 🙍 Ok. The next day. *sigh*
TRYING to do "sit down" work

Yes. My days are this random. Then throw in a couple of self care appointments, business meetings and conference calls and I'm really messed up. I feel like there are one million moving parts with no sign of slowing down. At least not until 2019. I am not complaining. It's just.....a lot. Some times I feel overwhelmed. There are times when I cry. But I make phone calls and send emails in between tears. I asked for this life. I am blessed to have an AH-MAY-ZING support system. But it is a lot to deal with while pregnant. I am used to being superwoman. My family is used to me being superwoman but right now, with a little bowling ball in my belly that pushes my lungs up, so I can't breathe, I just can't be all things to everyone. One day at a time. One task at a time. And when I think I've gone as far as I can go, I don't push myself, I relax. Even if it's only for 5 minutes.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website, www.fancyfreehairandskin.com, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

You Just Killed My Vibe

I have always had a keen sense of discernment when it came to reading people but my naivety would want to see the good in people even when I could feel that something wasn't right. When I became a manager, reading people during the hiring process became one of my valued traits in my department.  I would get these vibes about interviewees and I would suggest that we didn't hire them. In every single case that the person was hired anyway, they ended up being trouble. The problem back then was that I didn't have any data to back up my decision, just my gut feeling or, should I say, bad vibes. Now, I can decide for myself who Fancy Free Hair & Skin will enter into partnerships with.

When I say "kill my vibe", I mean something about the person is "off" and there energy is telling me that their energy is not in sync with my energy. I am generally a happy go lucky person. I am honest and forthcoming with information that matters. I am fair. I am considerate. It is most disappointing when I engage with someone with whom I hope to have some kind of mutually beneficial agreement with and they give me weird vibes, or worse, bad vibes.  

In sales, I encounter all types of people. It's only been a few years for me, but I've sharpened my skills on being able to identify who to spend my time with  and who not to. I will say, I take all interactions in stride with a smile. However, I think the most disappointing interaction are the interactions that kill my vibe.

Most recently, it was with another business owner. I saw an opportunity that could potentially be beneficial for both of us. He was not marketing his services. I sought him out, found him - with no social media, by the way. When we spoke on the phone, he looked at my website and seemed impressed with what I was trying to do. We agreed to meet. I was excited. Then we met.....

I walked into the meeting space, I was immediately overwhelmed. Something wasn't right. I didn't talk much, I just listened and watched his body language. Some of what he was saying didn't line up with the research I had done. Remember, I found him and he did not have any social media accounts. #CreepLife However, I know how it is to have to shuffle paperwork with your business life when things come up in your personal life, so I brushed it off. I made mental notes and told him I would look at my numbers, discuss the opportunity with my partner aka husband, and call him back with my proposal.

When I called him back with my proposal based on things HE suggested he would be willing to offer in order to help me out, it was like he had completely forgotten what he said. VIBE KILLED! All of the sudden he needed me to make a move within a week, even though he saw that I am about to have a baby AND I explained that I wouldn't be able to finalize anything until after I have my baby. 
I was so confused. 
Bubble busted.
Balloon deflated.
Excitement out the window.

Now, I could have negotiated terms that were beneficial for both of us. But you know what Lil Duval said. And because of my initial "read" of something being off with this guy, I decided I would look for opportunities elsewhere. His change in perspective on how he would be willing to work with me in 24 hours solidified it for me. I've been there with an old tenant before. The tenant was a liar, going back on her word once, so I had to stop talking to the tenant. I switched to communicating via text or email only, so that I could have documentation. I told my property manager that I wanted her out cuz "something was off". He convinced me to let her stay and in the end, I was shafted. So, never again.

The trouble with vibes is that I have to make sure I'm not just being a punk, scared of doing something differed, and real bad vibes. If I've read the situation incorrectly, I am the one missing out. But, if I am correct, I dodged a bullet. The only way to know for sure is to go through with it. I just ain't in a position to risk it right now. #EntrePoorNeurLife 

Lesson: We all give off energy. Some people pay attention to it. Some do not. If you feel like something is off, it probably is. I'd recommend disengaging. If someone randomly walked away from you, you may have killed their vibe. It happens. Don't take offense, that relationship wasn't meant to be at that time.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website, www.fancyfreehairandskin.com, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I Draw The Line At.....Edge Control

Fancy Free Hair & Skin started as as consultant company back in 2013. It was called Fancy Free
Natural Hair Consults. My accountant told me that I needed to start a home based business and I was getting sooooo many questions about my hair routine and the products I was using that I decided that I would sit down with these ladies for a nominal fee of $20. That fee included one hour of one on one conversation with me, a sample of the product I was making for myself and a personalized hair care plan developed to help them reach their hair goals.
NOTE: Yes, the price has gone up but only to pay for the cost of the nutritional supplements I now include in the Natural Hair Consultation package.

A lot of my consult clients would contact me about purchasing more of the product I had given them. I'd just give them recipe - which I have tweeked since then. Fast forward to 2015, my goodt goodt girlfriend tried my product and simply said "Sell this". I trust her judgment and since I already had a few people asking for it, I started to sell it. The rest is history, well....more like, history in the making.

Since then, I've launched the Exclusives line of Shea Pomade for Hair & Skin, lipbalm, Fancy Free Milk for Hair & Skin, Alumium Free Roll-On Deodorant, and, everyone's favorite, Aluminum Free Solid Deodorant. I launched these products based on customer feedback and inquiries. However, I do not make products that I don't use on myself or that my family wouldn't use. I have at least one more product in the pipeline within the next year and it's NOT edge control.

In the beginning of my transition to natural hair, I did try to find the perfect product to lay my edges down nice and smooth but none that I ever tried were a lasting solution. My edges would end up looking just how they looked without edge control, just greasier. After spending about $150 over the years trying different products, I asked myself "Why am I doing this?". I didn't have a real answer, so I quit trying to control my edges.

As it becomes apparent that I can develop any product I want to, more and more customers are asking me about edge control, usually natural newbies. My answer is "Not gonna happen." Here's why.....

  1. I don't want to be controlled and neither do my edges. I've always needed to operate in a space that gave me creative freedom to accomplish my goals/tasks/assignments in a way that feels good to me. When it comes to my hair, I had a much better relationship with my natural texture when I decided to let it show me what it wanted to do instead of trying to force it to do something it's not designed to do. I feel the same about edges. Let them be free to do what they want. Otherwise, they will always go against you.
  2. People are losing their edges as a result of trying to control them. Most African-American women and girls suffer from traction alopecia (lost edges) because they are trying to get a look that's just not meant to be.....smooth, straight edges. Pony tails pulled tight. Braids snatched. Weaves tight. 
  3. As I dive deeper into educating myself on the history of caring for kinky textured hair, product development and beauty standards, I have begun to find words like "smooth" and "control" appalling considering that my kinky hair is not ever going to be smooth. At least not in it's natural state. I pride myself on my wild hair. I will brush my edges when I pull my hair up but I never go out of the way to have them "laid" because...well, see number 1.
  4. I don't encourage the use of edge control. I don't support what edge "control" represents. (Yes. I could be reading into it too much but there is so much subliminal messaging and brain washing with the beauty industry, I'm going to stick with my story) And most importantly, I don't use edge control. Therefore, I will not be developing edge control or carrying any "edge control" like products.
This is my personal preference. I do think that toothbrush styled, swirly edges are pretty. I just know that for me, it's a waste of time. So, I don't do it. The funniest thing about this topic is, most people who have asked me about edge control in the past almost always come back to tell me that they understand why I don't use it. LOL! Right! Cuz it doesn't work. So why bother?

The name of my business, Fancy Free, represents both me and my products. I am fancy and free. A free spirit. I have a hard time conforming to norms that aren't true to who I am. I feel like Jehovah made us all perfectly beautiful and it is my mission to help everyone see their natural beauty and the beauty of individuality. What works for the goose doesn't always work for the gander. That's why it's for the goose. Let your hair be fancy and free. You'll be surprised how much stress is alleviated from your life once you're not trying to "control" it and make it do something it not designed to do.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website, www.fancyfreehairandskin.com, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.