"We love hearing that we have inspired fellow black women to love who they naturally are - this is exactly what we set out to do so this is always something that warms our heart."
We are Jay & Tri from the empowerment platform Curlture. We're both from London and we've known each other since we were around 14 years old, having both lived in the same town. We had mutual friends so it was just natural for us to become friends too. We're also both of African Caribbean heritage so culturally we're very alike too. Our platform Curlture is focused on empowerment of people of African descent, in particular black women. We endeavour to support black owned businesses a lot to ensure that it becomes a norm within our community. We have self published our own book called KINK, which features original photography and poetry done by us, to counteract the narrative of texture discrimination and colourism that exist within the black community. We host events, we sit on panels, we do workshops in the UK and abroad, we've been featured on Channel 4, BET, BBC Radio 1 - we do a lot haha.
WOW! Well that is simply amazing. I'd love to know what inspired you to start curlture? How did it come about?
We were in our early 20s and both on our natural hair journeys. We were doing the typical newly natural things such as binging on youtube tutorials and discussing products. The only thing we noticed however was that a lot of the content we consumed was American, and we asked ourselves "Where are the British bloggers?", at the time we did some surface level research and couldn't really find many so we decided to start up our own platform that would explore both natural hair and culture, hence the name Curlture.
You're right, i've done all those things and asked all those questions and i'm so glad you're out to change that! How's the journey and partnership been so far?
There are so many things we are enjoying about this journey. Meeting new people, and sometimes people we've already known, who are doing great and impactful things and being able to collaborate with them. We love hearing that we have inspired fellow black women to love who they naturally are - this is exactly what we set out to do so this is always something that warms our heart. Another amazing thing is just the opportunities we are given or create for ourselves, we embark on new things and areas, learning new skills which has really developed us so many ways.
I love that mantra, inspiring women to love who they are, it's why I also do what I do! What plans do you have for Curlture moving forward?
We are continuing to find ways to make an impact, be it videos, be it books etc. We continue to make digital content aimed at our community and create events that have a beautiful vibe. We hope to continue our travels around the motherland and diaspora to inspire our community to travel and invest in those places.
You ladies think BIG, I like it. As I always say behind every natural there's a amazing story and i'm ready to hear yours!
At some point in our hair journeys, we both damaged our hair - for Trina it was more so dying and straightening, for Jay it was more weaves and straightening. When we saw the damage we had done to our hair, it was like a sign to stop, so we started paying attention to the natural hair scene in the US more and more, we changed the media we consumed - paying attention to more afrocentric representations of black women. On your natural hair journey you essentially have to reprogramme yourself; change the pages you follow on social media; stop reading Eurocentric magazines etc. slowly but surely we rerooted our brains to appreciate our natural black beauty and heritage more.
And that first step starts with following Curlture *hint hint*! What challenges have you faced on your Curlture journey?
Time management and consistency, we both work full time and we're so passionate about Curlture that sometimes we burn out or at other times we don't have enough time to pursue everything but that's life so we continue pushing.
Our platform Curlture is focused on empowerment of people of African descent, in particular black women. We endeavour to support black owned businesses a lot to ensure that it becomes a norm within our community.
The way we deal with adversity is the sign of true greatness and I think it's written all over you both! Tell us one thing our readers would be surprised to hear about you.
We're not related. A lot of people think we're related in someway or we live together haha, I guess it's because they see how close we are but no, we're best friends :)
Sounds like the dream team! What has been your greatest achievement outside blogging?
There are many, our book KINK would be the first to mention because we created this book by ourselves and self-published it. We did the photography, we did the poetry, we did the copyright, we controlled every aspect of it because we wanted the message to be clear. The other great achievements I would say we've got under our belts are our events; we tend to create a carefree, positive vibe that everyone enjoys. Being featured on TV multiple times, travelling to the Caribbean to do workshops - all of these things are achievements and moment that we always cherish when we sit back and realise "Wow, we did that.".
You’re both my definition of #GirlBosses, what tips would you give to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone and pursue something they love or believe in?
It's much easier to delve into something you're passionate about now because of social media so our advice would be: Start small, network, utilise social media, be open to learning new skills and persevere.
I'm sure we'll be seeing more big things from you both real soon. Anything else you'd like to let us know?
Haha perfect time to plug. Please purchase our book KINK, it really is a phenomenal gift or keepsake. Also, we are travelling to Jamaica with Divas In Paradise to deliver a workshop on confidence in June 2018, if you're up for an amazing experience do try to join us. We did the same in Tobago last year and it was a once in a lifetime experience.
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