Who Doesn’t Want Treasured Locks?
Do you long to have long straight hair? Healthy hair? Today, many women are going natural and the sales of relaxers are declining but that was not the case in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Going natural at that time was a gutsy move for an African-American woman to do (not to mention for a teenage girl). Times have changed.
Please enjoy this interview with Tywana Smith and thank you very much to the team at Treasured Locks for filling a void in the beauty industry.
DFN: How would you describe your hair care routine?
Smith: My hair is natural and I wear it in a short-tapered cut. I use Treasured Locks Gray Away Enhanced Henna to color my hair and I regularly use Treasured Locks Super Natural Curl Tamer to soften it. I lead an active lifestyle so I will moisturize my hair with water every day and then I will condition it about three times a week with the Treasured Locks H2G Awaken Emu Oil Conditioner. I shampoo my hair about once a month or after I use the henna or the curl tamer. Whenever I wet my hair I apply the Treasured Locks Knot No More Tangle Removal Cream and then the Treasured Locks Herbal Hair Balm with Shea Butter to seal in the moisture and get a bit of shine. I then style with the Knot Genie and I am good to go!
DFN: How would you describe Treasured Locks?
Smith: Treasured Locks is a family-owned hair supply store. We have customers from various different demographics, but our products are especially beneficial to people with African American, biracial and ethnic hair. In addition to providing excellent products, we are experts in hair care and consult with our customers on a regular basis.
DFN: What was your background before you opened Treasured Locks?
Smith: My husband worked in the computer industry for twenty-five years. I was a stay-at-home mother with two young girls. Before the kids, I had worked in computer customer support, so I love working with people. I became a self-taught hair expert out of necessity.
DFN: What made you want to launch Treasured Locks?
Smith: I found it impossible to find good products for my girls’ hair. The beauty supply stores did not carry quality products and the people working there knew nothing about our needs since they did not have ethnic hair. In 2002, my husband and started buying hair care products on the internet (mostly from New York) and saw an opportunity for a small part-time business.
DFN: What was the hardest part about launching Treasured Locks?
Smith: It was hard to find quality products. When we started there were not many cheap products that meted our needs. After a few years of being in business, we decided to launch our own brands.
DFN: Where do you see yourself and Treasured Locks in the next five years?
Smith: We hope to continue to grow and reach more customers.
DFN: What do you love the most about Treasured Locks?
Smith: I love being my own boss! Treasured Locks afforded me the opportunity to stay home with my girls who I homeschooled through the eighth grade. I love helping mothers and others who are struggling with their hair. I am a people person so I absolutely love to interact with all of the customers!
DFN: How did you get started?
Smith: Before shea butter became popular we started with Shea Moisture products. My husband built the website by himself, we invested $1,500 dollars in inventor, and the rest is history.
DFN: What advice would you give to future entrepreneurs?
Smith: Find something you are passionate about and make yourself an expert at whatever that is. You will not succeed by doing the same thing everyone else is already doing. You have to fill a need that is not being filled.
DFN: How did you come up with the name?
Smith: My husband came up with several names and that is the one we decided to go with. Locks is another word for hair and black women should be proud of their hair and treasure it. Black women have been taught to be ashamed of their hair and we wanted to flip that. We wanted to have each person be free to unlock the treasure within themselves with Treasured Locks products!
Photo of Smith: Brian Smith
Photo of the merchandise: Brian Smith
Written by Kelechi Uchendu