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Hey readers,

With her sisterlocs, dimples, bright smile and positive personality, it was a pleasure interviewing this week’s naturalista – Shanika!


SpecialKinks (SK): State your name and country of birth

My name is Shanika Grimes and I was born and reside in Barbados.

SK: Age?

Shanika: I am 25 years old.

SK: How long have you been natural or transitioning?

Shanika: I have been natural for most of my life, I just had a four year experiment.

SK: Why did you decide to go natural?

Shanika: I chose to go natural because I burned myself so much flatironing and straightening my hair it was exhausting and I didn’t feel beautiful pretending to be something I wasn’t.

SK: Why did you choose to big chop or transition?

Shanika: It was just two months after my last relaxer and my natural hair was growing back out, I just got frustrated and cut off all my straightened ends!

SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages when you chopped or started your transition?

Shanika: The hardest part was accepting that I was two shakes away from being bald! (SK: lol I love how she put it, two shakes or two snips lol You are preaching to the converted.) IMG_9669

SK: What is your hair regimen?

Shanika: I oil my hair every night by adding a little castor oil and water. I then twist my hair into jumbo twists. When I wake up I untwist and go.

SK: Name your favourite products

Shanika: Castor oil!

SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?

Shanika: It’s difficult to find pure castor oil in hair care stores so I just stick to the supermarket!

SK: Favourite style

Shanika: Just down is my favorite style. I may do a light braid up for elegant occasions, anything else is way too much work. (SK: I understand this, because I always thought locs were an escape from the hours of styling frequently. Glad to know I’m not crazy and alone in this thinking.)

SK: Tell me about a great hair day or a bad hair day in short.

Shanika: The worst hair day I have had recently was after I bleached my hair and dyed it red, no treatment could save it and I had to have it cut to recover it. It was so awful!! (SK: Ouch! I’m so sorry.)

SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?

IMG_7264Shanika: Beautiful.

SK: Name something outrageous or edgy or just different you would love to try with your hair but have not had the guts to try YET!

Shanika: I did the worst to it in dying it red, now I am just waiting for it to grow back. (Cuh dear, best wishes!)

Natural hair and Business
Now apart from nice hair, she told us about herself and her business as well.
SK: As a young entrepreneur in Barbados, do you ever fear that your hair could cause you to get turned down when approaching persons with proposals? Have you ever had someone react negatively to your locs?
Shanika: I have experienced situations where my appearance was received in a stereotypical manner. I just observed this shallow behavior and let who I am really shine through.
SK: Tell me a little bit about Artist Made and how it has expanded to what it is now with murals around the island and bags being sold in a retail store in one of Barbados’ Malls. IMG_9800
Shanika: I am the founder of Artist Made. Artist Made is a Design company focusing on the fine artist vision of design, colour choices etc. I first approached Dingolay and Atlantis Submarines when I first started thinking about retailing my product and it is by God’s blessing that they later found me! Being an entrepreneur is a risk taking adventure with a lot of downs. I just remind myself that even “Michael Kors” faced bankruptcy. Now I can see the fruit of my hard work and positivity, I am truly proud of doing what 90 per cent of persons will not do.
SK: What are some of the other outstanding accomplishments which come to mind for you since you started Artist Made?
Shanika: Artist Made has won the 2014 best new product at BMEX (the Barbados Manufacturers’ EXhibition). It has also achieved a Grant for $3000 from the Ministry of Commerce,and last but not least I opened my own studio for production in Canewood.
SK: Where do you see your brand in five years?
Shanika: Artist Made will be an international designer brand making bags and paintings that truly represent the spirit of people who choose to be a part of it.
May God bless you Shanika and continue to grow your hair and business. Remember Jeremiah 29:11