Let me set the scene. The “Naturally Textured” Competition with Premiere Orlando will be my first competition with anyone else but I have no fear. It feels like every tear, every scar, every lesson have led me to this moment. My only clear memory is that I kept replaying each braid, each section in my mind at a symphonic pace timing my every movement and remembering when I prayed for this platform.
But first, let's talk about how I got here. When I was a child my mother was militant when teaching me the art of braiding. It amazed me to no end how a mop of hair could be transformed into an artistic masterpiece. I remember her popping my hands if each line was not straight or if the braids were not clean. She would unravel them all and make me start again.
In no time I mastered it and professed my ambitions to be a hair stylist to only be told “it’s just a hobby, not a career”. So I shifted my focus, graduating at the top of my class with a scholarship to Bethune-Cookman College, making me the first in my family on both sides to graduate from high school and step onto a college campus.
My life took many turns sometimes not on the safest paths but my love for hair was always present. So when a Queen approached me at the Hair SheGrows Natural Hair Stylist Showcase with the opportunity to compete at “the First Natural Hair competition ever” I was overwhelmed with emotion.
At that time, I had just went into production of my product line Kgoody Kollection for mass distribution on top of preparing for advertisements for my book. I was fully booked and also a wife and mother with only three weeks to prepare!?! Without even considering all of that, I agreed and committed without even hearing the parameters of the quest. All I knew is that I am “The Natural Hair Guru” so I had to be there no matter what.
After coming down from the clouds I read the rules stating we only had 40 minutes to complete a “fashion-forward, wearable style” on naturally textured hair. I felt like the words climbed in my soul and pulled out my spirit flower, like the rules whispered, “Kgoody to the stage”. When the dust settled I did have a moment of uncertainty but it never overshadowed the honor to be called at that moment. Yes, 40 minutes is the equivalent to what some may consider needed just to detangle a head of natural hair let alone implement a “wearable” style but this is my wheelhouse. This is my daily routine so let's get it!
So how did I prepare? As I stated this is MY arena. I am exclusive with my services to the natural hair community and went from 3k to 10k followers in one week because of my Instagram post of Boho Twist. My installation timeline is my niche as I can complete a full installation of medium to small size twist or Faux Locs in 3 hours or less. So this was my jam.
Let's be clear. This was the first of these competitions so there was no footage. I looked at no one to say this is what they expect to see so I had to just go for what I know. So every day I timed myself to a music mix to figure out what look I could complete in such a short timeline and not sacrifice my technical skill, settling on the Boho Twist.
On Monday I was informed that one of my regular clients and close friends passed away. On Wednesday morning, my husband was hospitalized and I still could not complete the look in less than 56 minutes. While reading I found a quote by George Matthew Adams, “learn to keep out of your mind and out of your world every element that seeks admittance with no definite helpful end in view”. Becoming stagnant would not help me or my husband nor would it have been what my Soul Mother would have wanted, so I calmed myself and remembered that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to show my skills on a platform that would elevate my brand in a matter of moments. I had to push through.
On Sunday afternoon I said my prayers, put on my headphones and went to work. I completed my look with time to spare. When I looked up the audience applauded in disbelief. I was not awarded any placement or trophy by the judges that day, but the memory of being on that stage and the moment I had to finally be proud of myself is an immeasurable victory. I say all this to say don't miss your moment and don’t quit because blessings do not always look like gifts!
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