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Meet Crystal Daniel of Kinks and Curls Natural Hair Boutique in Lawrenceville

Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Daniel.

Crystal, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve always had  an entrepreneurial spirit; in high school I sold snacks out of my backpack during homeroom before vending machines in schools was a thing! I  worked as a “kitchen stylist” to my extended family; specializing in relaxers, special occasion styling and even experimented with weave installs, and various other styling techniques. As a child, I was extremely tender headed with long thick hair, so I learned early how to properly care for my own hair. I stopped chemically relaxing my hair over 12 years ago, however  most of those years did not include healthy hair practices. Working in a conservative work environment, like many others, I believed that straight hair was more professional. After years of blowouts and silk presses, my hair lacked moisture and my natural curls were non-existent. While, standing in the mirror after washing my hair one day, I grabbed the scissors and big chopped. That night began the journey of Kinks and Curls, but also my personal journey of self-love and healing.

Experiencing the frustration of many naturals, learning to care for their curls, I spent countless hours in the aisles of beauty supply stores not finding quality hair care products or consultation readily available. I began to imagine a place that provides high quality product and a DIY guide to caring for your natural hair. I researched kinky and curly hair textures, and how product ingredients affect styling techniques. Compiled with years of trials with my own natural  tresses, this gave me a better understanding of the interrelationship of healthy hair and a consistent hair regimen with quality products. I was in the process of looking for a retail space when my mom unexpectedly passed away at 58. She was a single mom that worked her entire life to care for me and my sister. When her friend brought me her belongings from her desk, I realized that my mom’s entire 35-year career was sitting in ten boxes in my foyer. She didn’t really care for the work she did, but it took care of her family. My mom was such a light and would help anyone in need. I knew that she left this world without sharing her true gifts, and I did not want the same fate. I wanted to fill that void for her and find a way to uphold her legacy of helping others. I have created Kinks and Curls, a space where I help people, and I truly love the work that I do.

For years, I have struggled with anxiety and depression; Kinks and Curls has placed purpose on my life and the space is infused with my mom’s love and energy. She loved leopard print and always wore a leopard print scarf around her beautiful afro. I carried the leopard theme throughout the store to honor her. The creation of Kinks and Curls was a labor of love and it allows a safe space for me to grieve and heal, and through this journey, it has become a place for others to do the same.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The journey has been tough but rewarding. Since my business concept is unique, I’ve had to create my business support system using different methods. I’ve made costly mistakes and had some failures. I jumped into entrepreneurship full time and decided to build my business from the ground up. This meant less time to spend with my children and learning to live a bit scrappy for a few years. Life doesn’t stop when you are running a business. My family has made the biggest sacrifice by learning they have to share me with the new “baby.” I no longer have a clock in/out option. In the beginning, you are wearing ALL the hats and coats too! I’ve learned so much about running a business and have created some great relationships. I’ve learned to take my time when choosing opportunities and partnerships to ensure they align with my business and personal goals.

Kinks and Curls Natural Hair Boutique – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Kinks and Curls provides a one-stop shop for Natural Hair Care products paired with knowledgeable education and consultations. Our goal is to take great pride in providing our customers with a comprehensive selection of natural hair products in a warm and welcoming environment that fosters importance on healthy hair care. We offer our clients product consultation, healthy hair assessments, and protective styling services, through one on one interactions, classes and workshops covering styling techniques.  In addition to hair care, we offer make up and skin care services. Most popular, is the DIY approach with our oil and body scrub bar, where one can create custom oil blends, sugar and salt scrubs. We also also offer a selection of raw butter, henna, and clay.

Our most notable event is Little Naturals Meet which is catered to our little naturalists. This event includes a fun craft, hair education, live demonstrations, and the parents get to network.  Many of us didn’t have space and representation to embrace our natural hair texture, so we created Little Naturals Meet to start the journey of self-love and discovery early.

Kinks and Curls mission does not don’t encourage product “junkyism”- We understand products don’t “work” unless you do, so we help our customers understand the basic regimen and encourage them to embrace their unique hair characteristics. We offer solutions based on individual hair needs. Sometimes it is imperative we refer a client to their doctor to assess any underlying issue, or to a dermatologist or cosmetologist for treatments to help get their damaged hair back on track. We have a unique synergy and vibe at Kinks and Curls. Through in-depth analysis, clients are able to see the products in action before they invest. Our licensed cosmetologist on staff (Givini V of Curltured Salon Studio) understands the basic biology of all types of textured hair and has the experience to help her clients achieve their hair goals. We have built a healthy community over competition environment for our clients. Naturalistas leave our store armed with knowledge, great products, and new found confidence.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I had a customer return to the store with her daughters. She came in when I 1st opened , and her daughter’s hair was extremely damaged and broken. We did a product consultation and I recommended she big chop her toddler’s hair for a fresh start. She came in to show me her daughter’s progress. She did take my recommendation to cut her daughter’s hair and now she now has a head FULL of beautiful curls! She’s been following the hair care regimen we provided and their hair is thriving! This solidified for me that what we offer at Kinks and Curls is not only needed but absolutely necessary.

Pricing:

  • Product Consultation $25.00
  • Children’s Wash Day Consultation $85.00
  • Product Demonstration $95.00

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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