Sisters sharing knowledge – Let’s talk openly about weaves

Lori van Echtelt from the Netherlands

If I had a euro for every time a guy called me up and asked me what he can get for his girlfriends hair because “she is wearing a weave and I hate it”. I would be on a private island somewhere. We have seen the explosion of weaves not only within the black community but with white women as well. I can understand that there is a convenience to wearing weaves. It is “get up and go” hair but we are paying an emotional and financial price.

I have dealt with way too many women who are just plain addicted to their weaves. They will not stop weaving their hair even though they are losing their hair to weaving. I have seen women with absolutely no hairlines. First off, not every hairdresser is skilled at weaving. If it is pulling on your hair that is just not good. Some customers like it tight because they feel the weave will last longer. However the weave is pulling on the customers own hair. After a time the customer will develop traction alopecia. What is traction alopecia? It is baldness as the result of pulling on the hair. This can also be caused by tight ponytails and braids. In some cases the hair will not come back. I have seen women in their early 20’s with complete hairline baldness. The scalp is completely smooth, no hair. Hairdressers will see this and ignore this because they are making the money. At this point the customer will then go to lace front wigs because the permanent damage has been done.

Also the hair is often neglected under the weave. Too often when the weave is taken out, a huge amount of hair breaks off. The hair has not been moisturized while wearing the weave. Wearing a weave is not an excuse for neglecting the hair underneath. Sometimes the customers own hair is accidentally pulled out during the weave removal process. It is upsetting.

I had a hairdresser say to me, “why do women wear weaves, it just does not look good”. I told her that she is honest but not all hairdressers are honest. I am against weaves but if you do choose to temporarily wear a weave, it should look undetectable. It should be “be-weaveable”. Nothing looks as bad as a weave that screams fake Asian/Brazilian hair.

Weaves are not a solution to not loving your hair. If you do not love your hair, other people can see it and feel it. You are not fooling anyone. There is an interesting show on TV where they asked total strangers to give their opinion about a person they just saw. It was amazing how accurate they were. We are sending out a message to the world when we step outside the door about how we REALLY feel about ourselves.

Children and weaves…. I am totally against seeing children with weaves. Children are still developing. I think it is just ridiculous to put fake hair in the head of a little girl. She is beautiful just the way she is. She will learn to love herself from her family. I felt beautiful as a little girl because I learned that from my mother. Even though I was an underweight and a bit odd looking. I felt beautiful in the world. If you are a parent, do not let that critical period in a child’s life slip by.

The hair from weaves is often not hygienic. Forensic scientists have found skin cells from the hairs original owner attached to the weave!!! The hair should be washed prior to use. They are treated with chemicals before transport.

Weaves are not an excuse for proper hygiene. I have asked women, “when was the last time that you washed your hair/weave?” and I would hear silence. The smell of the weave was just stomach turning. A weave should be in for a short time, not for 6 months!

The amount of money that we are spending to walk around with someone else’s hair is staggering. Really.

I cannot stop thinking about the economically disadvantaged women who shave their hair because they need the money. We as women know how emotional hair is. I could not walk around with that energy on my head.

I have worn weaves in the past. I stopped when my partner told me how it really looked. I thank him for his honesty. Sometimes the truth hurts. Never again for me.

Please visit the following link “Whose Hair is it anyway?” By pop artist Jamelia. It is a 6 part video

If you need help breaking your weave addiction, do not hesitate to contact me via Mariposa Import. I have helped so many women to end their weave addiction and to enjoy the freedom of their own beautiful hair.

Love Your Hair!

Lori
Mariposa Import

Lori van Echtelt

Lori van Echtelt is the owner and founder of Mariposa Imports (MI), based in the Netherlands. She was on the Black Women in Europe™ 2010 Power List. Mariposa Import started in February 2004. It is the first and original shop focused on curly and frizzy hair in Western Europe. MI specializes in unique, high quality, hair and skin products from America and Afrika. We only sell products we ourselves use. The products we sell do not contain mineral oil or petrolatum, ingredients which block moisture absorption by the hair. We select products is based on our personal experience and that of our friends.

Mariposa Imports

Sisters sharing knowledge – Develop a passive income stream using the internet and membership sites

Diane Corriette from England

Last week I talked about**** creating and selling information products **** online well there is another way that can help you develop a passive income stream using the internet and that is with a membership site.

There are all types of different memberships currently being run online:

• You can send out a new report every week
• You can put together an online course and send out the materials
• You can put everything together in one place and let people login to view it all

Your membership site can charge a monthly, quarterly or yearly fee or a combination of all three with different membership levels. The main thing to ensure its success is that it teaches something that solves a problem. Always remember online we are problem solvers. So you are not a massage therapist – you help people overcome back pain using massage. You are not a personal trainer – you help people lose weight in time for their wedding.

You have to focus on the problem that you solve or solution that you provide and use that as your focus online.

It can take some work to put a membership site together, you need to write out all the material and make sure it has taken people through the steps you have promised. Most importantly it needs to have an end goal and it must meet that for the people who buy it. As long as you can make that happen you will have an endless supply of members.

Here is an example using my membership site – you can take a look at http://www.om4b.co.uk

It helps speakers, life coaches, practitioners and small business owners in the health and wellness industry develop their own online presence.

I use the exact steps that I would take a client through when I build their online presence and I put it into the membership site because not everyone has the income available to pay me to do the work for them. This solves a problem for people who want to get on the internet but they don’t know how to do it and they don’t have the money to pay a professional. Once they are online they now have the ability to bring in clients (as long as they follow the training).

I charge a yearly fee because it is important to stay up to date with changes online – things move so quickly. Right now (Feb 2011) it costs just £67 a year – which is great value when you consider what people are learning and what the end result is – more clients.

Think about how much you could charge for people to get access to your knowledge through a membership site. If you decide on 10.00 euros a month that is 120.00 euros a year x 250 members = 30,000; 67.00 euros a year with x 800 members = 53,600 a year.

These are realistic figures if your material is right and is something people want. It might take some time to build up to 250 or even a 1000 members but the potential is always there and this is additional passive income added on to what you already earn in your profession.

You have the skills and the knowledge already in your head. Whether you choose information products or membership sites – or both, the internet is a real opportunity for you to help people, attract international customers and enjoy a regular passive income.

How do you think a membership site would benefit your business? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Diane Corriette
Diane Corriette helps business owners and professionals use the internet to bring in more visitors, leads and business. If you are an entrepreneur looking to build a persona online that will bring in work for you or a local business who wants to use online marketing to attract customers call her on +44208 242 4339 or via Skype at local.business. She is a regular speaker at events and seminars, as well as online webinars and shows. Runs training workshops in online marketing in London and offers a 45 minute coaching session for anyone wondering if the internet is for them. Visit http://www.littlefishmediacompany.com

Sisters sharing knowledge – Coworking is the events new genre

Laura Bazile from France

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend in Paris the presentation of Physical Computing, presented by a start-up using that technology to show their (own) expertise and the amazing amount of implementation in new projects, added to combination with other technologies in various spheres. It took place in a coworking space. It may sound techies-oriented for most of us but from my side, I noticed immediately the event aspect of the whole thing, via 3 themes:

Time management: getting invited to these types of events if you/your business is involved in new technologies can become a reality if you are active online and built efficiently your e-reputation.
There will be no surprise, if the event is full or your business does not fit the event category, you will not be accepted. No big deal, go on and keep an eye on more-fitted events and why not subscribe to the venue web feed, join its community online to be informed about their events AND their activity. It might become a nice place to be or not.

Quality of attendees: people who are interested in using one (or more) day a month in meeting partners, suppliers, peers …. are open to new ideas, to discuss over their expertise and more widely to plan how they can develop their skills. Plus, being there in person betrays (your) involvement and willingness, probably in a more efficient way than any anonymous online profile with a “global-worldwide-international-solutions-integrated type” name you will never meet or even speak to.

Meeting/sharing/discovering: here we are! the quality of such events is definitely there. A venue dedicated to coworking shelters (sole) entrepreneurs for working, organizing small events and/or presentations, networking events -thus focuses on the synergy of people who have something in common: ideas, skills, potential of partnerships … Coworking venues identity are built upon projects which were born there and it is obvious that if you do not feel comfortable with meeting new people or sharing your ideas and views, this can be a good way of learning.

Different people, creativity-oriented, ability to rent a space to meet/work from there, needless to add a new work space… : a mix dedicated to making business in a new way. Coworking has now its own b2b event and many spaces are emerging all over Europe.

My perception is that this might be the next big event thing, while I prefer the word “trend” (meaning “evolution” at the same time): a true combination of the use of technology, with extreme flexibility, creating a new market place, while enhancing the community side which we all are smartly use nowadays.

Ever used that type of spaces or meet a friend, a business partner there?
Let me know about your experience!

From France

Laura Bazile is an events professional, loves travelling, meeting & helping people, and is passionate about social media, live & virtual arts, and design.

Sisters sharing knowledge – Develop a passive income stream using the internet and information products

Diane Corriette from England

One of the most difficult parts of being online for most business professionals is knowing exactly how they can use the internet to bring in additional profits to their business. One of the proven ways I often recommend comes from writing information products.

Have you ever bought an ebook or an audio/video online? You buy it, download it and use it. Well that is an information product and it is the easiest thing for you to create because you already have the knowledge – you are just putting it down on paper or in a video.

I often caution professionals on writing about a topic they are not sure about or have to research. You are already in business and you already know your profession so it stands to reason that the easiest place to start is with the knowledge you already have. Whatever it is that you do in your business I know I can help you figure out how that can translate online into an information product.

Writing and putting together your information product is the easy part. The most difficult part of this process is actually putting it up on the internet and selling it, not because the process is hard but because sometimes before putting up your first product you may suffer from a crisis of confidence and delay finishing it so you don’t have to put it up. You sabotage your own efforts. When I was ready to put my first product up I hesitated. All kinds of negative thoughts went through my head:

“What if people don’t want to buy it” (there is a way to make sure they do!)
“What if people buy it and say they don’t like it and want their money back” (it happens)

I was afraid and my fear stopped me in my tracks for months. At some point I had to take a leap of faith and decide to get it up there. Once I got my first one up the second and third were easier. They were only £9.97 reports/guides at the time but it was a start. Now, I put all my work into one place and promote a membership site (I will write about the power of membership sites next week).

Every expert/professional has the ability to create an information product and get paid for what you know. With the number of people using the internet to search out solutions to their problems you will be crazy not to get involved.

You may need help setting up the actual process and system so that you have a site to sell it from, a payment button so people can buy etc – but you can hire people to do that – my business helps people set that up. Don’t let your lack of putting up the system by which you will sell your product stop you – just begin to think about what you could possible offer and do your research to find out if it is in fact something people want.

Your biggest error will be to think that you know what people want and create a product based on that – it is the biggest reality check when nothing is ever sold! Research is essential to this process.

What might stop you from creating your first information product? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Diane Corriette
Diane Corriette helps business owners and professionals use the internet to bring in more visitors, leads and business. If you are an entrepreneur looking to build a persona online that will bring in work for you or a local business who wants to use online marketing to attract customers call her on +44208 242 4339 or via Skype at local.business. She is a regular speaker at events and seminars, as well as online webinars and shows. Runs training workshops in online marketing in London and offers a 45 minute coaching session for anyone wondering if the internet is for them. Visit http://www.littlefishmediacompany.com

Sisters sharing knowledge – How to add your Facebook Page on to your Facebook Profile

From England

Diane Corriette
Diane Corriette helps business owners and professionals use the internet to bring in more visitors, leads and business. If you are an entrepreneur looking to build a persona online that will bring in work for you or a local business who wants to use online marketing to attract customers call her on +44208 242 4339 or via Skype at local.business. She is a regular speaker at events and seminars, as well as online webinars and shows. Runs training workshops in online marketing in London and offers a 45 minute coaching session for anyone wondering if the internet is for them. Visit http://www.littlefishmediacompany.com

Sisters sharing knowledge – Transparency online is fitted for Black women!

Laura Bazile from France

When I have been asked by Adrianne to contribute to B.W.I.E™ blog, it immediatedly come to my mind that I would have dealt with it rather differently a few years ago.

Why ? because of …

Building your image online is common sense today, whether you are part of a company or being a sole entrepreneur. What is more insightful and interesting to notice is when it is time to open the door to something/someone new, different, using your image online is helpful. No second thought, you know who you are dealing with ; reverts do not disappear in the blink of an eye, but today’s social media use offer great advantages of transparency and unique ways of communicating about who you are, plus …

Focus on skills and experience becomes central part of the virtual experience as it is the purpose and/or the reason why you are here for. You will have to discuss, share, sell, collaborate …. around “what” you have gained, not only/always about “who” you are. It makes a huge difference.

Being part of a community means you choose your community and they choose you as well. The idea of community is proeminent and useful whether you look for people with common values or business relationships. Good news is that there are all types of communities and you will have the choice of “which” community you wish to belong to, plus you can join in many of them, as long as they are meeting your requirements as a woman, as a Black woman, as a Black woman into the business.

Creating immediate connections no longer need a hundred phone cold calls, a billion emails and discovering that it might be not the accurate contact you need to speak to. Social media do not give immediate right answers, but at least treasuring quality of contact when networking is quite appreciable most of the time…. leading to ….

…Opening the sliding doors and keep them opened for real discussion.

From France

Laura Bazile is an events professional, loves travelling, meeting & helping people, and is passionate about social media, live & virtual arts, and design.