I interviewed Natural Hair Beauty Expert and Mommy Entrepreneur Adana Collins about balancing business and motherhood for Mommy Noire. It was such a great conversation that we kept talking. Adana is also a jewelry designer, licensed face painter, and all around artist.
Here’s the overflow of that amazing convo with the gorgeous Guyanese woman including her business advice. She also shares more of her ideas about self-love and self-esteem. See what she has to say about the word “dreadlocks”…
Lessons from Natural Hair Beauty Expert Adana Collins
On the Natural Hair Terms “Dreadlocks” vs “Locs”
Abiola: Adana, I love this conversation. Beauty is not trivial. In The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love I have a whole chapter called “Nizhoni: Beauty As A Spiritual Practice.” ” Language is very important. Many people use the term “dreadlocks.” Please explain why this is detrimental.
(This conversation has become so timely with the recent controversy about Zendaya Coleman’s locs, but took place a couple of weeks ago.)
Adana: Yes, words are very important but as time passes meanings change. I’ve had my locs for many years and over that time I’ve encountered a range of people who have had strong feelings about MY locs. Some felt because I was not of a particular religious group I should not be wearing it while others decided that I perform certain activities and my locs are proof. I’ve had people who knew in their minds that I didn’t wash my hair and those that thought it was fake.
Over those years of being assaulted by others opinions of me I’ve come to understand that the word dreadlocks in our society is preserved in a negative way. I was told they were called dreadlocks because they were considered dreadful. Well I decided that nothing on me is dreadful and I prefer to use the word locs. Yet the word dreadlock is still being used by many people around the world and that is their choice to make.
On Being an Entrepreneur
Abiola: So Adana, please tell us about your business.
Adana: I have meet many people who have never thought about wearing adornments in their hair or figured it’s only for people with locs. I educate them that adornments can be worn by anyone with some adjustments.
We, the human race, have adorned ourselves with meaning for centuries probably from the beginning of time. Asians, Indians, Native Americans and Africans all adorn themselves and it has been an important part of our culture and is a reflection of cultural beauty. My ears were pierced at 6 months by my mother.
We put beads in little girls hair and they feel pretty. In my business I put beads in women’s hair and they feel beautiful.
Abiola: How do you balance being a mom with being a mompreneur?
Adana: Balancing the weekends have been a challenge because my business requires me to sell at shows on the weekends or travel. I’ve brought them with me to sell which gives them the opportunity to be in a different environment and it has sparked an entrepreneurship spirit in them. I admit at times I’ve left them home with my mom and the TV and other times I make it a point not to work certain weekends, for birthdays or special occasions. This year I’m more cognizant of it and plan to work every other weekend to create a better balance.
Abiola: Many mothers will be inspired by your story. Is there a way for parents to incorporate their children into their work?
Adana: Absolutely! My older son, Tehuti works for me and he is a big help. He places business cards in my bags and stickers on the outside. He helps me packs my car when I have a show, organize my beads for me and helps me sell at events. I pay him and I’m proud to say he saves him money. For Christmas he bought himself a video game he wanted all from working for me.
Having your children help you in your work, teaches them the value of hard work. It also gives them a better understanding of what you do for a living and why you may not be available at certain times. It also gives them an opportunity to follow in your foot steps.
Abiola: What is the hardest part of being in business for yourself? What do you wish you knew when you started? What gives you the confidence to keep going when things get rough?
Adana: The hardest part of being in business for myself is knowing that the bills will not be paid and the children will not eat if I am not successful. I wish I knew the value of getting a business coach when I first started and how they can help to prevent costly and time consuming mistakes. When it gets rough I find the confidence to keep going through the support of my family, my faith that the universe is working in my favor, and my customers’ excitement for my products and service. They remind me that I’m on the right path its bumpy because its less traveled but the results are worth it. I also try to remind myself to enjoy the journey.
On Being a Mom
Abiola: How do you inspire your children and how do they inspire you?
Adana: When you speak to children they don’t listen, but they are always watching. My children inspire me to reach for a life filled with love, joy and purpose because I know they are watching and at the same time I’ve inspire them to do the same. They have both expressed that they want to own their own business and I know that’s from watching me.