By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
More and more Black women around the world, including here in the Bahamas, have been embracing their natural hair, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic.
And one popular style in the natural hair movement are dreadlocks, also known as locs. It is the style Nickeisha Storr chose for herself. But for Nickeisha natural did not mean unadorned. She still wanted to have fun with her locs and “decorate” them, so to speak.
“I explored countless sites online for jewels to adorn my locs. However, they were too expensive to order. I then searched locally and noticed there was either not a lot of options or the variety was basically non-existent,” she told Tribune Woman.
But all that was about to change with the arrival of COVID-19 and the resultant lockdowns.
“The pandemic has awakened a change (in the way) Bahamian women view their hair. With salons and beauty supply stores being closed there was a spike in Bahamian women choosing to go loose natural or "loc-ing" their hair. That in future (will) show a great demand for loc accessories,” said Nickeisha.
To answer that demand, she decided to launch herCharmed Loc brand, through which she creates and custom designs loc jewellery.
“What I like most about being an entrepreneur during a time like this is the ability to provide an affordable service while meeting new wonderful people sharing a similar journey. I also was able to explore my creativity and provide a stable living for myself, despite economic hardship.
The feedback received from Bahamians since launching has been positive. Generally I'm often credited on how beautifully the jewels are done. They admire the options provided and appreciate the knowledge about loc care. They also commend my patience if they are indecisive on which piece to purchase,” she said.
Her most popular item is the bundle set with tube beads and a single coil piece.
“The pieces are unique because the are made to solely fit the customers’ locs. They are handcrafted, so no two pieces will ever be the same. They are considered a great gift because they can be personally customised to include birthstone beads, initial and sentimental charms,” she said.
Nickeisha credits her grandmother, Susanna Johnson, has being her greatest inspiration in life.
“After working all her life to provide for her six children in retirement she was stricken with breast cancer, she fought and won her fight. Her goal was always to be a good mother by creating a foundation whereas her kids can get a head start in life and have their own. She is the true pinnacle of ‘no matter what the world throws at you, keep pushing and finding a way’.”
Nickeisha said she remains inspired by always creating something new, so it never really feels like work.
“When accomplishing a new design I feel rush of pride. My objective is to make a variety of jewels whereas I satisfy the diversity in customer interest. As for my business adaptation to social distancing, because we are home based, all orders are placed electronically. When it is time for transaction, pick up and delivery options are available. Masks are always worn. Going into the holiday season Charmed has Christmas loc jewellery pieces available. A giveaway will also be done to commemorate the holidays,” she said.