Wednesday, July 17, 2013

KiKi - Entrepreneur and Natural Hair Beauty




Hi Kiki, I want to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to share with us. I can only imagine how busy you are. So, let’s get right into it.  Can you start by telling use a little bit about yourself?
 My name is Kiandra, but everyone usually calls me Kiki. I'm 26, and I was born and raised in New Orleans, La. While playing collegiate basketball, I finished my undergraduate degree at Dillard University in Nola graduating Cum Lade with a B.A. in Mass Communication- Broadcasting with minor in Theater. A year later in 2010 I completed my graduate degree at Texas A & M International with a M.A. in English. After graduate school, I've had the opportunity to use both my degrees working at a news station, radio station, and teaching English at a community college. I was blessed to marry my wonderful husband who'll I'll be married to for 2 years this coming July. We don't have any rugrats just yet but maybe in a couple years (*laughing*) we'll have some baby Carters. Both my husband and I are professional basketball players, and so far we've lived in Cyprus and Israel while on our great journey of overseas professional sports. I also own my own business, Creole Amour, which is a fashion accessory boutique. Check us out at www.creoleamour.com :-) Lastly, and more important than anything I could ever say,” I love Christ”!


Wow…so you are pretty accomplished and a lover a Christ.  You go girl!  So can you tell us what Creole Amour is all about?
Creole Amour is a fashion accessory boutique carrying accessories for the eclectic, whimsical soul. We all can have a great outfit, but accessories are that special something that can make a look, not just complete it. We operate strictly online at www.creoleamour.com, and from time to time we participate in expos, jewelry parties, etc. We've reached fashionistas all across the nation and even world wide as we continue to build a brand that delivers great, unique, and quality fashion experiences for our customers.


How did you get started?
I've always known I wanted own my own business, and one night I came up with Creole Amour. It wasn't until I realized that the constant travel with my husband as a professional athlete (plus nudge from my big sister) was actually the perfect time to create a business that I can operate from anywhere. 
I am in love with your company name. How did you come up with it?
Thank you! (*laughs*) I came up with the name in two parts. "Creole" comes from my Creole history as well as my roots in New Orleans. Being from New Orleans/ south Louisiana many families have Creole roots, and my maiden name, Metoyer, is French. As many know New Orleans has rich French history. As a result the word "Creole" came. "Amour", the French word for love,  was chosen because my middle name is Love, which was given to me from my mom. Her family name is love. To add the icing on top, I love God and "God is love", so it only made since to add "Amour" to the name.... And Creole Amour was born!

I know what items I like on your site, but what are your most popular items?
Right now our floral print, "Fly" and "Bang Bang" snapbacks are extremely popular. Our "Nerd" Style, "Cat Eye", and "Eyeful Tower" sunglasses have been a hit as well. We have a lot to offer at very reasonable prices. It means a lot to us to offer quality accessories and inspirational fashion experiences without   "breaking the bank".




Now, you know I can’t go without talking to you about your beautiful natural hair. 
                                                    
Did you do the BC (Big Chop) or did you Transition?
I did a big chop. Back when I decided to go natural, I was a Junior in High School (October of 2003), and there weren't many naturals nor was there a lot of information or tips on hair products and surely nothing on transitioning. I decided to wear Kinky Twist for a few months to let my hair grow a bit and then chopped it ALL off! My hair was as short as *snaps fingers* lol


Too Funny….How did you feel after going natural?
 I felt great after I went natural, but it was a huge struggle to maintain my hair. I battled with driness the most because I couldn't figure out for the life of me what products to use. There weren't aisles filled with natural hair products at places like Target, Walgreens, or even popular online. Not to mention blogs and vlogs (youtube videos) on natural hair were unheard of. That made it slightly difficult to care for my hair properly. I can't even remember what products I used (*laughs*), but I did everything to keep my look interesting with puffs, picked our fros, and two strand twists. Overall it was great experience for me. I loved and still do love my hair!

How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? Most of my family and friends were sort of shocked because the hair cut was so drastic, but everyone close to me loved it. Now I did get a few side eyes from some people at school and because I played basketball many said "what is she doing" and thought I was being a Tom boy... But that's your typical high school students, so it didn't bother much at all. I continued to rock my natural look and before I knew it, other girls at my high school started to go natural.
 

How would you describe your hair?
My hair falls past shoulder length when in its natural state and is well pass bra strength length when straightened. I'll confess. I haven't straightened since November of last year, so hopefully it's grown a bit. My curl pattern is a bit all over the place for me. I believe majority of my hair is 3c mixed with 4a at the crown of my head or more plainly put I have tight curls.
 
   

What’s your current hair routine?
 My hair routine is *pauses* somewhat of a routine... I guess. (*laughs*) Let me explain: I don't have set wash days, deep condition days, or set products. I sort of go with the flow. When my hair feels very dry or when I can't get 3rd day, 4th day or 5th day hair, I wash. A wash for me is typically a co-wash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, Pantene Pro V Co-Wash, or Tresseme Naturals Conditioner. I only use shampoo when my hair has tons of product build up and even then I only use sulfate free shampoos.
I co-wash in the shower and saturate my hair with conditioner and water and finger detangle. I then rinse and leave a little conditioner in and sometimes I'll add a leave in conditioner. After that I blot my hair with a microfiber towel or a t-shirt to get rid of excess water, and then I add whatever product I'm liking at the moment and do chunky two strand twists. I've gotten away from wash-n-gos because it extremely bothers me to have wet collars and hair juice running down my neck when I'm out and about (*laughs* but seriously). Also, I find that twist outs let me go much longer between co-washes and helps to keep the tangling to a minimum.
  
I agree with the twist outs, they do allow a longer stretch between washes. So, what are your favorite products?
Please don't hate me for this (*ducks head*), but I don't have any absolute favorite products. I have favorite types of products and they are a conditioner to co-wash, sometimes a leave in if I don't leave conditioner in, and a gel or custard as a styler. But if I must have favorite products, I would say Eco styler gel and Pantene Pro V Defining Custard are currently my favorites. Those two products give me great hold while I spend my summer in the very very hot and humid New Orleans. They also do not leave my hair feeling dry. The conditioners or leave in products that I'll use under those styler vary but recently it's been, Shea butter, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, Pantene Pro V Co-Wash, Tresseme Naturals Conditioner, or Mixed Chicks Leave in (I also have a random but pretty good moisturizer I brought home from my time in Israel). Those products also vary because I find that my hair looks it's best when I change up my products every once and a while. Also, might I add all of those products I've mentioned are under $5 except for the Mixed Chicks. Other products I've used and wouldn't mind using again are Quidad Climate Control products, DevaCurl One conditioner, Shea moisture's Style Milk, Kinky Curly products, Dark and Lovely Au Naturale, and the list goes on.

No favorite products huh? LOL!! That’s alright, well how do you maintain your hair at night?
I wear my hair in a high bun at night (I wrap it into a bun with no hair pins and secure it with a hair tie) and wrap it with a satin scarf or sleep on satin pillow cases. The next morning I take the bun down, fluff it, and go.


That sounds easy enough.  Tell us the best thing you have found about being natural?
The best thing about being natural is that natural hair/ natural curls are very exotic! I love it! There is so much versatility and so much self expression in natural hair styles.




If we want to find more information about you and your company where would we look?
Instagram: @kikilove32  (www.instagram.com/kikilove32)
Twitter: @kiki_love32