From homelessness to successful black haircare brand owner
End of November 2009, Angel Okumu Creech the founder of Native Kurls moved into a homeless shelter in Cambridge MA. A few months before, she had given birth to a beautiful baby boy named Victor and gave him to his mother to return to Uganda at just 2 months old because she was afraid of losing him to the protection service of the childhood because she was unemployed with an expired. Visa. At the time, those were her only options as it was either that or remain at the mercy of an emotionally abusive sadistic man who had abandoned her the moment she mentioned the pregnancy.
For the next 11 months, she saw her hair slowly fall out due to extreme stress, harsh winter conditions, limited hygiene options, and most importantly, very few hard-to-reach hair care products for her. hair like his. During this period, as she hoped to move from shelter to shelter (there was no permanent accommodation), she depended on donations from various organizations, but it was apparent that the donations received were short of items for the hair.
She remembers waking up one morning and making the painful decision to cut all her hair off because at that point it was so damaged there was no hope of rebirth. Over the next two months, she resorted to the daily wearing of hats or head coverings, which stripped her of much of her identity as she felt less “beautiful” with a bald head.
When she was finally able to navigate the immigration process in the United States and secured her first small studio in Marlborough, Massachusetts, she embarked on a journey of self-healing that involved self-care. skin, weight gain and, last but not least, hair regrowth. She has embarked on a chemical-free renaissance based on her African heritage which is rooted in an organic or natural lifestyle. As she shopped for hair care products, she slowly realized that chemical-free, vegan hair products formulated specifically for textured hair were rare. She was surprised at how hard it was to find such hair care products in most department stores, so she either ordered online or made trips to black-owned beauty stores that were nearly an hour or more from his town. That’s when the idea of starting her own natural hair care business for textured hair came to her – she could literally be “the change she wanted to see in the world”.
As you know, it’s one thing to dream about and another to achieve, so it took her a few years to juggle school, raise a family (yes, she finally met someone and got married ) while researching and purchasing products for that dream to come true. At the beginning of 2020 with her husband D’Andre, they finally launched the Native Kurls dream with their savings, but no sooner had she distributed her first samples than the covid pandemic made its appearance. They then made the painful decision to postpone this dream until the world, especially their target market, was “back on its feet”.
Fast forward, she relaunched her business last year in 2021 and today she is proud to introduce you to Native Kurls. The name Native Kurls honors and celebrates the rich hair texture of the earth’s first inhabitants/natives. Her haircare brand was built on the firm belief that “every type of hair is beautiful” because each of us is wonderfully made. Native Kurls reflects Angel’s core beliefs: organic, cruelty-free, vegan, and non-toxic.
The product line includes over 40 products for women, men and children of color with textured hair. She leads with the deep belief that this beautiful hair comes from a nourished and healthy scalp. These gentle products are therefore formulated with ingredients that target dryness, flaking and itching to promote natural hair growth and retention. Her goal is to encourage more people of color to feel happier and more confident by embracing their unique hair.
As she likes to sign all communications, she wishes you a beautiful hair day, every day!