My name is Renisha King, I'm 28 years old and I'm a self-taught accessory designer and owner of The Girl with the Fro Boutique. Ever since I was a child I've always been drawn to anything and everything within the creative field. I used to draw, paint, and write a lot during my teenage years and actually planned on becoming an Art Teacher. Sewing was never a thought in my mind apart from my desire to make dolly clothes when I was a child.
As life would have it, I moved away from the artistic route and chose something more traditional. It wasn't until I had graduated with my undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2016 that the passion for sewing emerged. I was home and awaiting a job within my field. One night, I prayed and ask God to give me purpose, to help me find something to do that will help me out of my slump. Literally the next day, I took $200 and went to Jimmy Aboud, penny wise, and a few other stores to buy materials. My mother had a sewing machine that only saw the light of day around Christmas time. I pulled out the machine and started making sample headbands. As someone with no training in sewing, pattern drafting or not even being able to sew in a straight line (I kid you not!) I had no idea if I would be able to make anything. Ironically, as I sat behind the machine, it clicked, it felt as though I had been sewing my entire life and everything else- pattern drafting, what items to make, it just came to me by instinct. I'm not saying that everything I made was perfect from the beginning, I had a lot of trial and error before I got it right. However, I fell in love with the creative process and decided to make some items to sell for the Christmas season that was approaching. Without putting much thought into it- I decided to call the business "The Girl with the Fro" as it was a nickname I had gotten due to my thick mane of hair at the time and my signature "bun" hairstyle.
After the Christmas season had passed, all of the Accessories I had made were sold out. I was honestly surprised and from there I decided to continue making Accessories. I had gotten through with a full-time job shortly after but still decided to make "The Girl with the Fro" an official registered business. I've been doing it ever since.
When the business first started, I mainly offered headbands and hair bows. As time progressed I added hair bonnets, different types of headbands while experimenting with different types of materials and I also provide unique, bohemian hair clips as well. In 2018 I made my first bag when my husband literally dared me to come out of my comfort zone. I have since fallen in love with bag making and have added it to my product offerings. Apart from hair Accessories, I create female cosmetic bags, clutch purses, wristlets, wallets, and male Dopp bags. Ironically, The Girl with the fro Boutique has provided a large male clientele and so in June of this year, I've expanded the business by starting a subsidiary company providing only male Accessories. It's called Dope for men (my husband named it haha).
The concept behind my Accessories initially was to provide more Afrocentric hair Accessories due to the fact that Ankara print was not as popular in 2016 as it is today. Also, I'm a lover of bold and vibrant prints and so I naturally gravitated to it. However as time progressed and people started wearing more African print, the handmade hair Accessory industry began to become saturated with afri-print and so I decided to expand my offerings to include other patterned fabric. My customers fell in love with the range of unusual yet trendy headbands and it's been my signature ever since.
Additional, I'm a person that likes to be unique. I dislike walking down the street and see 5 other persons wearing the same thing as me. As a result, I decided that I would only create a few items per print and never remake after the batch is sold out. This is to maintain a sense of exclusivity for my customers and to maintain brand identity. I can often spot my designs on someone due to the fact that it's a unique print. As I've expanded my accessories, I've had to compromise on some items such as bonnet colors as there will be colors that will always be a favorite. However, for my headbands, they remain available in small batches and I really think my customers appreciate that.
In terms of all of the hair Accessories I've created, my favorite would have to be the turban headbands. It's the one Accessory that I believe can add that extra touch to an outfit, it can be used to help with those bad hair days and it's the one hair Accessory that will never go out of style.
What I would like my customers to know is that every single item is handmade by me. In the past people asked me why I choose to make items when I can just bring in stuff from China or Amazon but honestly, I do it because it brings fulfillment to my life. I left my full-time job in 2019 to pursue this business full time because I love what I do. I pour all of my time and energy into creating each item just so that I can see the joy it brings to its buyers. Every "thank you" &"I love it" remark I get is cherished. My greatest compliment is "you sure you made this?" It motivates me to stay on top of my game while also inspiring others who may like to sew that they too can turn their hobby into a business.
Got questions or a request? You can contact The Girl With The Fro Here