Homegrown Business: hair extensions for Black women, KinkyCurlyYaki

KinkyCurlyYaki is a Toronto-based eCommerce company that sells hair extensions for Black women. We spoke with Vivian Kaye, the owner, to find out more about them.

KinkyCurlyYaki

What is your business called and what does it do?

KinkyCurlyYaki – an eCommerce company that sells premium textured hair extensions for Black women started in 2012. Also, I’m a content creator and podcast host.

What made you want to do this work?

I was trying to solve my own problem while I was running a wedding business. I needed a protective style /hair extensions that looked like my hair but couldn’t find it. So I did all the legwork to source a solution. While wearing the solution, I received some feedback that it was a product that the market needed, so I decided to take the plunge.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Black women who wear their hair natural, 25-44, USA/Canada

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Potential clients go to our website and make their purchases.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

Online!

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

What’s the difference between your product and what I can find on large marketplace websites?

I’m a small Black woman-owned business who started her business to solve our problem and have served thousands of customers for almost 10 years. The random fly by night non Black owned company doesn’t understand our struggle firsthand, but I do.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part of what I do is provide a solution to help Black women feel more confident, especially in the workplace. -whether that’s in person or on a virtual call.

The worst part is having a supply chain issue that was disrupted during the pandemic, but I’m all about taking lemons and turning them into lemonade! I pivoted into creating timely, entertaining educational content for small businesses that had to urgently get online. I also leaned more on my personal brand. I host a podcast called Business Class: Build it Braver by American Express. It’s a show where small business owners can learn from real-world experiences of seasoned entrepreneurs turned mentors

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

How can you tell if someone is an entrepreneur?

Don’t worry, they’ll tell you

Where can we follow you?

On Instagram.

Listen to my podcast here.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

So many to mention! Shout out to One More Cocoa, Lexi Balloons and Kaela Kay Boutique.