“I have come to realize that it’s much deeper than that…” This quote is from a woman who I met and interviewed on the street for Blooming Queens. She made the statement when referring to the mindset shift that occurred during her transition to natural hair. She let me know that gone were the days when she only focused on having super long hair because she entered a new phase...
*This is Blooming Queens first featured post! Featured posts indicate that we know someone personally or contacted an individual to request an interview after meeting them in person. More often than not, we’re interviewing women who we meet on the street, but we’d be remiss to not acknowledge the women who we personally know are great representations of Blooming Queens. This woman, in particular serves as a reminder to Carla to always own her voice in the workplace and not be afraid to be bold.
“Figuring out my curls took a while, but I mainly wore my hair curly instead of straight while in college. I realized that some men would only talk to me when my hair was straight, so I knew that wearing my hair curly sent a message about the person I wanted to attract which was someone who would appreciate my hair in it’s natural state just as much as when it was straightened.
I wear my hair down in all of it’s curly fabulousness. In IT, people like it because I have big hair and I’m typically one of a few women in my department. I never felt like I had to change my hair, however. At my current organization, people think that my hair looks beautiful.”
The concept for Blooming Queens came to me nearly four years ago, but years went by without me acting on the idea. I had some serious creative blocks, but I honestly don’t think that I was ready to consistently act on an idea in order to share it with the world. The idea of a street style photo blog uplifting the growth stories of women with natural hair wouldn’t let me go, however. The concept truly merges my passion for portrait and travel photography, natural hair, health, women’s advocacy and a love for connecting with people to better understand their stories.
Looking back, it’s amazing to reflect on the life events that contributed to the idea of Blooming Queens:
- Winter of 2011: I purchased my first DSLR camera. A Nikon D3600. I’ve always appreciated landscape and portrait photography and I wanted to start being creative again. Sadly, I never used my camera consistency…until now.
- Summer of 2012: I did my big chop after growing out my relaxed hair for several months and it was the first time that I had short hair. Almost instantly my addiction to Youtube hair videos began! During this time, I discovered quite a few natural hair vloggers who not only provide recommendations for the latest natural hair products, but also inspired my personal development journey in the most unexpected ways.
- Winter of 2013: I became a vegetarian and started long distance running. I also paid increasingly more attention to the ingredients in my food as well as my hair products. Around this time, I became more serious about holistic hair and healthcare.
I know that it’s imperative to uplift our stories during a time when school-aged girls are told that their hair needs to be ‘tamed’ before attending school or women who wear their natural hair in the workplace are labeled ‘unprofessional’. My desire is to celebrate women with natural hair of all textures. I aim to share our growth stories with a world that’s often unsympathetic to our presence. I want young women to see that we all may not have it together right now, but the goal is to continue working towards something greater.This blog will serve as a reminder that we are all queens. Blooming Queens, in fact.
One of my favorite quotes is a constant reminder that often times the risk to transform can be less painful then it is to stay in your comfort zone:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
Thanks for coming along for the ride! I look forward to sharing these stories and I know that we will enjoy the journey.
All my best,