LIMELIGHT - Coffee with AKIDO WIJAYARATHNE
She's quirky, she's fun, she's inspirational and she's a warm soul. Today on the very first session of Limelight,
She's quirky, she's fun, she's inspirational and she's a warm soul. Today on the very first session of Limelight, we feature Abena Hagan, the Founder and CEO of Curlsaunaturel, the largest black women Community in Britain with over 523k Instagram followers and an ever growing community on all social media platforms. She's an entrepreneur, a business mogul, motivator, natural hair sensation and author. "The Change you want to see, begins with you. Be that change" 01) Tell me about you. My name is Abena Hagan and I'm the founder of Curlsaunaturel. I have a Master's degree in Creative Writing and Publishing and a Bachelor's degree in Public Health. I'm a driven, passionate, stubborn (*grins*) and strong-willed woman, the very factors that advocated my self-exploration. I'm a yes woman that rarely finds self-induced or externally projected reasons and excuses to not keep up with my plans, my commitments, my rota and my schedule. 02) What brought about Curlsaunaturel? I started Curlsaunaturel in 2014 to boost the natural hair Community in Britain, which wasn't as established as it was in the States and to generate a platform to promote self-love, empowerment and acceptance of black and mixed-race women. 03) Tell me about the brand, Curlsaunaturel. The brand is all about self-embracement as I said. I'm the author to a kiddie book series. I've got a line of Backpacks going designed specifically for Black and mixed-race children. I host children building workshops and natural hair seminars. I travel out to speak at events and visit the States once a year for two of them. Our YouTubers educate the masses on managing and styling their curls, kinks and coils. Our Bloggers raise generic awareness and hype on the everyday woman's life. The Instagram page itself caters to social media marketing and promotion of other brands. 04) Tell me about the Curlsaunaturel Journey. The merchandise, backpacks was a step to provide social representation to the black and mixed-race race children which honestly was scarce in the market. I aimed to provide storylines and characters, our children can relate with, in the book series. The first book, "I wanna look like me," aimed to foster satisfaction and contentment with their mirror selves, literally be comfortable in their own skins and ward off the society's misleading image of beauty standards. The second book, "No such thing as I can't," projected to encourage positivity and sky-limits in achieving the impossible. The third book, worked to break the unpopular myth of black people being not good with money. Oh how I disagree with that! (*laughs*) 05) What have been your major pitfalls? At the starting of the merchandise, I got duped in the shipment of the stock from China and I had to part ways with a whole bunch of my savings. But instead of walowing in it, I looked past at the bigger picture and made lemonade out of my lemons. (*smiles*) Another one was peer commentary, the "you-can't"s, the "you aren't making use of your Master's degree. You are just being lazy. You want to sit at home infront of your laptop and claim that you are working"s. I garbage-binned all of that and kept going. 06) What have been your best moments? When children hug me and tell me they just love my stories and when parents tell me the stories have affected their kids positively. The greatest feeling is when people come up to me and tell me I've inspired them. It's an absolute joy knowing I am making a difference somewhere, touching lives and impacting them emphatically. I'm humbled and this pushes me to work even harder, to make a greater change. 07) What would be a fun day for you? Having lots of good food around (*laughs*) and good vibes. Spending time with my family, watching my fav TV shows or occasionally going out with my friends. I'm a very private gal and love my indoor time, so even a day by myself- with good food- works. 08) What is your favourite recipe? I'm not really a recipe person. I just mix, match and add my own twists to my self-discovered recipes and they turn out great! 09) What are your top beauty care tips? I am minimal in makeup but I am very pro glowing skin. I moisturize extensively twice a day after my shower, morning and night. I also try to drink 1-3 litres of water daily, well as much as the distance between me and a toilet bowl permits. (laughs.) 10) What would be your ideal generation? The 90's. The pressure of the society and power of social media wasn't dominating as that of the present. Now you constantly feel like you are under a microscope, every action scrutinized and judged. It just makes it that much harder for people to be themselves. Back then, everybody kept to their business, well most did. 11) What are your immediate aspirations? To be a light to as many as I can. I also want to publish more books. I hope to branch out to hold events in other countries apart from the States and London, where I currently host them. 12) What are your top goal digging tips? Consistency, self-belief, hard work, patience and tunnel vision; focus on your journey and your journey alone. 13) What is your message to our readers? Continue to support us, we love and appreciate all of you and will continue to deliver our best to the community. Love yourself just the way you are. If you don't love, believe in, respect and value yourself, nobody else will. How people see you treat yourself is how they will treat you in return. Be your top cheerleader. It all starts with you. Focus on your dreams and goals, whatever hurdles, come what may, your true belief in your work and your self will take you to your destination. Rome wasn't built in a day. Keep going! She truly is a blessing by far to all women out there. It was an honest pleasure having a little chat over coffee with her. We just love her ?