(Pictured Wearing Nude Pink Head Wrap)
Hometown: Savannah, GA
Currently Living: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Attorney & Founder of TheNileList.com
Tam: Tell us about how you grew up and how your experiences affected who you are today.
KR: I grew up Black AF. My parents put my sister and I in a Rights of Passage program. We celebrated Kwanzaa, wore kids clothes with print and Ankara prints all over it, and were not allowed to get relaxers or have non-Black dolls. I literally grew up so Black that it wasn’t until I went to school and heard people singing the national anthem that I realized Lift Every Voice and Sing wasn’t the actual national anthem. I laugh about it now, but I appreciate how much it made me love myself and my skin, and appreciate my community.
Tam: You’re an attorney by day, but you’re also building an online directory for Black owned businesses. What started your passion for supporting Black owned businesses?
KR: It was really that upbringing and the appreciation for Black culture and innovation that my parents instilled in me that started me on the path. I also went to Spelman College, the top HBCU in the country :) and that experience truly shaped my life. Spelman allowed me to experience the diversity amongst our community and witness how much excellence, intelligence, innovation, and creativity can flow out of a nurturing environment centered on Blackness.
(Image courtesy of Khadijah Robinson)
Tam: We’ve spoken about some of the challenges that black owned businesses have, but can you tell us the most common challenges that you hear about?
KR: The biggest challenge I hear about most often from business owners is time management. So many Black business owners are doing it alone. They have to be fulfillment, customer service, tech support, admin, and everything else in between. They need help, but they can’t afford it. And many of them are running their business in addition to having full-time jobs and families. So time is of the essence.
Tam: I love your tapered ‘fro!! It’s beautiful and really brings out how pretty you are. How did you wear your hair in your 20’s? Would you say that your views around beauty has had a dramatic shift? When/why did you start rocking this style?
KR: I wore my hair every which way in my 20s! I colored it, I cut it into a bowl cut, I had a bang, I cut it short, I grew it super long - I basically experimented and did what I felt in my 20s. The first time I cut my hair significantly, I realized that I wasn’t nearly as attached to my hair as I had previously thought, and that gave me a lot of freedom to get more funky and fun. I will say that it wasn’t until recently that I became more comfortable with being less “made up” and put together when I go out. I have really embraced my natural beauty - and when I say natural, I mean, just a bit of lipstick and a wash and go hairstyle. I only throw on makeup or dress up for more special occasions now!
(Image courtesy of Khadijah Robinson)
Tam: What’s your current hair care routine?
KR: Terrible. LOL! Seriously, I try to wash my hair once a week-ish, and maybe condition it at some point in between that, but I have been too busy gallivanting and ripping and running in these streets (as my mom would say) to take care of my hair the way I should. Luckily, the short hair is forgiving. I jump started my hair care routine when I first went this short by doing the Max Hydration Method (if you haven’t heard of it, look it up!) It completely rejuvenated my curls and brought so much moisture back into my hair. I do deep conditions and clay masks just often enough now to keep my hair from hating me completely. Usually, though, it’s just a bit of water and gel and running out the door.
(Pictured Holding Mischo Beauty Nail Polish in Worthy)
Tam: What are five (5) black & woman owned brands that are on your list this year to support?
KR: Oooooh, there are so many Black-women owned brands to choose from, so that’s tough. I’m just going to throw some out that come to the top of my mind. First and foremost, Loza Tam! On any given day, you can find me in my Tam, so I’d be remiss not to shout out your amazing brand and continue to support. I also love Mischo, a premium nail polish brand and can’t wait to buy more colors. I have been wanting to try Salone Monet, which makes color inclusive nude heels, for a while, so I think I’ll grab a pair this year. I also plan to try to do a bit of sprucing up in my condo, so I want to grab some paint from the Black-woman founded company Clare paint. Finally, at our launch event, we had a company called Shoe Crazy Wine as a vendor and everyone ranted and raved about the wines, but I didn’t get a chance to try any, so that’s on my list as well. I love wine, so that’s a no-brainer for me.
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