/Editor's Note/: I love Nicole's energy! I got a sense of it just by reading this beautifully written post. She is eloquent, beautiful and a joy to interview! Enjoy.xo.Joy.
Background / Born and raised in the Bronx. I am proudly of St. Lucian and Southern American parentage.
Where do you live?
I live in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx. Woot woot.
What do you do?
I currently manage a program for African girls living in NYC, but will be leaving this role soon to pursue my graduate degree in Oral History at Columbia University. I am also proudly a volunteer Doula! Bring dem babies! Oh, I'm also the mother to 6-year old Negasi. Art lover and wife, too.
How long have you been a natural gal?
Mostly all my life. I got a perm at the age of 13, it wreaked havoc, and I made one of the best decisions at the age of 15, which was to return to my roots. I haven't looked back since. Two snaps for that.
What do you love about being natural?
The freedom that comes with just rocking your own hair. How can you not be comfortable with and love who you are when you are already openly and willingly sharing it with the world? No boost of self-confidence like it. I also love the versatility that rocking natural hair offers. Ooh, the things I can do with my locs!
What's your hair regimen?
I wash and condition every 2 weeks using Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap (Lavender scented)
and do an Apple Cider Vinegar
Rinse about every 6 weeks to do a deep cleanse. Moisturize with a mix of Castor Oil
and Coconut Oil
right after and in between washes. Also, in between washes I spritz my locs and scalp with a mixture of vegetable glycerin
and water for added moisture. Got to wrap my locs up every night to seal in moisture too.
Top 5 fave hair products?
Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap (Lavender scented)
My applicator/spray bottle!
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How do you describe your fashion style?
Afro-chic meets urban smart. I like to keep it funky while maintaining a certain level of crisp, clean-cut exactness to my looks. I am a Virgo, and if nowhere else I believe I subconsciously emit my perfectionist ways when it comes to my fashion sense. Very meticulous about what I buy/put on. I'm telling you, I won't say, write, or WEAR anything that I don't believe in.
What are your fave stores to shop?
Oooh Goodness...motherhood has really forced me to put a price cap on just about everything so that's a tough one. I really do get a sense of fulfillment from supporting independent shops. My favorites right now are Harriets by Hekima, Mamayashi, and Tribal Immunity. Their pieces are like wearable art to me. In my more subdued shopping state, however, I'm a Zara (sale) kinda gyal. I appreciate a good thrift shop too. Beacon's Closet will do it for me.
Do you have a fave designer?
My mother and I. We collaborated on my African and Lupita Nyong'o - inspired wedding gown. I would also have to say the lovely and talented Ama Genfi who I've known since elementary school, and contributed tremendously to the sketch of this gown. These two women saw my vision and took it to new heights.
One item you can't leave home without?
My shades. My eyes have developed a strange sensitivity to the sun. I still love a good tan though.
Fave things to do on the weekend?
Eat food I finally get the time to prepare, make my son laugh (at me), kick it with my husband or shop with my sisters.
Fave travel destinations?
St. Lucia. My father was born here and I've been visiting since I was a little girl. It was the location of my and my husband's recent Unity Ceremony. It's an incredibly magical and romantic place. I have so much connection to it. I also have a soft spot for Jamaica because I studied there for a year. Ask me again in 5 years, however. By then, I think I would have made at least one trip to Africa. My answer should be different.
What do you wish for?
My wish is for my people to gain their freedom. We are not free and this has been evidenced in the all too recent and all too common murders of young Black men such as Mike Brown in Missouri, Eric Garner in Staten Island, Trayvon Martin in Florida, and Ramarley Graham just blocks away from my own home just to name SOME, not nearly all. For each of these instances I've had to ask others, "What year are we living in?"
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself as a much more experienced Doula, owner of my own Doula practice for underserved, but equally deserving women, a happy Mama to more than just one and an even better wife than I am today. My mom and I might even finally collaborate on a fashion line by then. Who knows?
What's some words of wisdom that you live by?
Your word is your bond. Any one of us can be stripped of all of our material possessions at any time, but what will leave a lasting impression on those with whom you came in contact are the words you imparted upon them and the integrity of those words. Very powerful weapons. Even stronger medicine.
What makes you smile?
Making silly faces in the mirror. And my funny husband.
I am unapologetically Rastafari.
Where can our readers find you? Insta, FB, Twitter On Instagram @nicolnicole
. I also have a Tumblr: rastaartspeaks.tumblr.com