The end of 2016 is here and as 2017 looms, we decided to actively involve you as we take stock, wrap up and bid this year farewell. In aiming to stay positive despite the many ups and downs faced this year, we have decided to launch a “NATURAL | BEAUTIFUL | YOU” Campaign of affirmations. These affirmations, we hope, will keep you going through the end of the year feeling inspired by words of encouragement paired with images to remind you that there are people out there, that look and experience life like you, and that we are never alone in our journeys.
AJANI Handmade came to be as a result of reading and sharing stories of how hair- naturally kinky hair, was virtually an unknown in the life worlds of many girls and women around the world who were born with it. It was incredibly baffling to one day realize, that I had no idea what my naturally textured hair looked like, due to close to two decades of constantly altering its natural state as a socially normative practice. Straightening our kinky hair through relaxers or hiding it under braids or weaves was just what we did. “We” being our friends, sisters, mothers aunts and the barrage of black women that surrounded us on a daily basis. The thought that we could wear out our afros, bantu knots, twists, kinks and coils and they could be considered beautiful had never occurred to me until I discovered a world of information that uncovered the socially rooted basis of where black hair practices came from. It was through reading, seeing and watching, women like me “dare”, for lack of a better term, begin to unapologetically wear their identities through their hair, that it became apparent to me that the reason I considered my hair difficult, was because I was constantly working against it, to change it, and that I actually OWNED the option, to do otherwise. How crazy is that, that due to lack of information, and the limited representation of blackness in the media, that so many black girls like me, millions of us, never once thought, or believed wearing our hair out as it grew from our bodies, an option!
AJANI Handmade ,the product, evolved from years of experimentation of natural recipes that were concocted to care for and nurture this new found awareness for the self, specifically hair and body. However, AJANI Handmade, the message, “NATURAL | BEAUTIFUL | YOU” came from the acknowledgement that, without information, words of encouragement, affirmations, images of people that looked like you and I, in their true natural form, many of us, would likely still be living in social shells that bind our ability to comprehend that our bodies are our own identities, identities that we can take pride in and that can be nurtured, built and protected.
So in aiming to push forward information, images and encouragement to not only nurture our hair and bodies, but our attitudes to life, we do hope that you enjoy our messages and affirmations, and they encourage you as many others have done so for us. To view the campaign live, follow us on instagram: @ajanihandmade or follow us on Facebook here. Feel free to join in the conversation, by contributing to our blog and sharing your own stories and messages!