Q&A with Rochelle Graham of Alikay Naturals
Name: Rochelle Graham
Where are you from: Jamaica
Hobbies: Vlogging, Poetry and anything involving natural hair
Name of Business: Alikay Naturals
Business Location: Ft. Myers, FL
Age or Age of Business: Founded in 2009
What service do you provide? Natural hair & skin care products
Website: www.alikaynaturals.comMotivation/Inspiration for starting your business/service:
Motivation/Inspiration for starting your business/service:
I did my first Big Chop in 2008. Initially, I began documenting my hair journey with photos and videos to use as a reference point for determining the best looks and how I can re-create them later. I was bouncing between college classes and working, so the videos made it easier for me to remember what I did to achieve different looks. As more people started inquiring what I did to achieve my styles, I started creating instructional videos to help other women who didn’t really have anywhere to turn to for natural hair direction. We supported each other as I embarked on my hair journey as 1 of the original handful of women back in the day who chartered new territory on YouTube. After not being able to find exactly what my hair needed in other brands on the market and a lot of trial & error, I began putting my herbalist grandmother’s remedies to work to create custom blends that offer high quality hair care products that promote healthy hair growth.
What brings you the most joy while creating your product/service?
Knowing that I am helping other women and that Alikay Naturals is an extension of that enlightenment and going beyond conventional perceptions of beauty, I love that I am able to use the brand as an influential force sharing this appreciation of beauty of imperfections as well as the individuality that builds confidence.
What are some of your recent accomplishments? I am proud to be recognized as a "Black Beauty Pioneer" by Essence.com for Black History Month. I am honored to be chosen as a guest speaker at the "Just Girls" Beauty Inside Out Workshop designed to empower inner-city high school girls in Chicago.
How do you feel about natural hair? I think natural hair is beautiful, empowering and versatile. I love that as we fall in love with our hair we feel empowered to create our own definition of beauty. Also, I enjoy that natural hair has brought so many people together to support each other and create a community. I love how it feels to be able to change my look everyday if I choose.
What are your inspirational words to live by and why did you choose these words? Live like today is your last. I choose these words because I believe its important to make the best of today, work hard today, live your dreams today, and be your best today. There shouldn’t be, [“Oh Ill do it one day”] - do it today..this should encourage women also who are thinking of going natural, do it today!