It has been great to see the natural hair community grow so organically in Nairobi, and Kenya in general, over the past few years. A variety of new and creative ventures have mushroomed out of appreciation for this wave of self-appreciation. These businesses, on the whole, have taken an approach that strives to develop and offer high quality products and services that resonate with the local market. To witness this new crop of outfits being driven by women, that mostly, if not wholly, actively own and wear the look of their natural hair is incredibly refreshing.
Natrella: Live Better, Live Beautiful
One of these such ventures is Natrella, an online community and lifestyle platform that seeks to bring together people whose common binder is a natural approach to beauty and lifestyle. Curious to know more about Natrella, we had a chat with them. Here’s how it went.
What is Natrella?
“Natrella is an online community for people interested in living a natural and healthy lifestyle. We come together to inspire and enable one another to live better by sharing the details of our personal habits and activities within the natural and healthy scope. By doing so, fellow members are able to re-live each others experiences for themselves.”
“I coined the word ‘Natrella’ as a combination of ‘natural’ and ‘bella-beauty’ to mean that there is so much beauty in the natural way of life.”
What is natural living?
“I think there isn’t a perfect definition for this. It takes a different form to different people. However, I would say that natural living is simply a lifestyle that entails being health conscious about the products, food and activities we put our bodies through. On a daily basis it means proactively using, consuming and seeking out healthy foods, practices and natural products.”
How did Natrella come to be? What is the story behind it all?
“It really all begun when I went natural 4 years ago. Embracing my natural hair helped me see lots of gaps in the industry and I slowly filled them in over time. I started a blog to encourage women to embrace their natural hair and I also started an online business selling steam caps and distributing coconut oil (before they were all over the supermarkets) when I was in uni. I no longer do that but those were good times! Being online is what slowly led me to tech. I wanted to understand how to grow a successful online business and still do what I love: help others pursue a natural lifestyle! I combined the two and well, here we are!”
So, how does it work?
“It’s really simple and free. To become a member of Natrella simply visit the website (https://lifestyle.natrella.co) and sign up by creating an account with your email address. With this account you can make your own posts, view those made by other members and basically engage with the community.”
Where can we find you?
“Mainly online. We’re active on social media under @natrella_beauty and we love emails: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re trying to get out more by participating at events so we can meet more potential members and partners for Natrella. Follow our social accounts for announcements on where we may be over the weekend.”
What benefits does one gain from signing up with Natrella?
“Firstly, having access to the community allows you to see firsthand what other people are doing to live a natural and /or healthy lifestyle. Being practical, you learn lots of new stuff and can see who else does stuff like you. Secondly, there are lots of plans in the works on truly enabling this unique way of life. We negotiate discounts on natural products and services on behalf of members and we’re always looking at ways to make being a member something that actually improves your lifestyle. We’ve only just begun.”
Images courtesy of Natrella
“Natrella isn’t about perfection, it’s a community for anyone that simply wants to try to live better.
Tell us more about the person behind the brand.
“My name is Nyawira, I’m a lover of nature. I love trees, flowers and simply being around nature. I went natural 4 years ago when I cut off my relaxed hair. I fell in love with my hair and the entire lifestyle. From mixing my own treatments and products for my hair, I realized that I could use lots of the same natural oils and butters for my skin. I slowly became a lot more conscious of the way I was living and now I simply try to play my part in helping other people become and stay natural – whether that’s skin care, hair care, food or simply enjoying being outside.”
As someone that has natural hair, and assuming, has had a natural hair journey, tell us about your experience with that and how that ties in with Natrella.
“I begun my natural hair journey 4 years ago. I must say it was the gateway to natural living and wellness for me. As I learned more about the benefits of natural sources and ingredients for my hair and body, I became hooked. It’s what has led to Natrella. Embracing the most important elements of who I am as an African woman led me to my love for nature and desire to do something more concrete about it.”
What are your thoughts on the natural hair movement in Kenya, and Africa as a whole?
“I love it! There are so many more afros around town these days and it feels great! Finding products has also become a lot easier in the past 2 years so it’s easier to stay natural. Most importantly, I love that African women are finally defining beauty for themselves and it includes our natural beauty. I believe it’s a crucial step in the right direction towards being mentally free. We are finally believing that who we are is enough.”
Who are your top 3 role models?
“Oprah Winfrey – her life has been an amazing uphill battle into greatness and grace.
Lupita Nyong’o – she makes me truly believe that my dreams are indeed valid and possible.
Jessica Alba – she followed her heart when starting the ‘Honest Company’ irrespective of what her background and experiences were about.
The most inspiring trait of all, none of these women gave up on their dreams.”
Natrella’s vision? Where would you like to see Natrella go?
“I would like to see Natrella become something that anyone anywhere in the world can use to find inspiration on practical ways to live better – regardless of the shape or form that would take place in. I’m really looking forward to being able to enable the processes involved to living a natural and healthy life.”
What can we expect from Natrella in the near future?
“There’s a lot more in store. A little sneak peek, more discounts for the members of Natrella. We’re getting lots more support and it’s just so exciting to see where we can go from here!”
Anything to add?
“You don’t need anything special to be a part of us. I find it interesting how lots of people assume that it’s for people who are all about being natural and fit 24/7. I truly believe that we all have something we can learn from each other. It’s comforting to see that someone out there is doing something that you also do, and it’s inspiring to see what other people are trying out. It’s quite encouraging. So even if all you’re looking for is inspiration, I hope you’ll join us!”
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