Where it Started
Hi, I’m Stacy. I was born and raised in Oakland and as an Oakland native, I am excited to establish this business in my hometown. When I was growing up, Oakland wasn’t a cool or trendy place to be. Now the tables have turned and in the face of gentrification, I think it’s important for those of us who can to grow deeper roots to solidify the culture we know and love.
Ever since I remember, I’ve struggled with my skin and hair...and at times, my mom didn’t know what to do with it either. My mom cut all of my hair off when I was a toddler. Then at 5-years-old, I had a jheri curl....hey, it was the 1980’s! But even so, that was way too young for any child to have a chemical treatment on their head. I started working when I was 14 so that I could keep up with my appearance and by 16, I was able to get my hair done every two weeks; at that time, I had a relaxer and a bob. After several years and many episodes of being over-processed and losing hair, I decided to go natural. When I transitioned from having my hair relaxed to natural, it was a process. I didn’t want to chop all my hair off so I wore wigs and weaves for a year until my hair grew out some. Then...I spent another 3 years trying to figure out how to manage my natural hair. Different products, techniques, styles, etc. In 2019, I decided to start my loc journey.
Additionally, my eczema was so bad during my childhood that it was impossible to conceal. The back of my legs, arms, neck, and even on my face...even around my mouth. It was horrible and so embarrassing! Can imagine the cruel jokes kids made?
For years, I tried product after product to help me manage my hair and skin. I was in my 20’s before I figured out how to care for my skin and got my eczema under control. I was in my 30’s before I figured out how to manage my natural hair. Struggling with my appearance so long only added to my insecurities.
I was well into adulthood before I became painstakingly aware that “nude” wasn’t made for us. I didn’t realize it was supposed to match my skin color until I had to explain to my daughter why they wanted her to wear nude panties under her gymnastics leotard. And maybe it wasn’t that I didn’t realize it but that I’d accepted it to be normal. But it shouldn't be normal for us not to be considered in society. Just last year, I saw brown bandages in Target for the first time. I mean…haven’t Black people been here since Band-Aids were invented?
The idea for Blaque Beautique literally came to me in a dream so I am convinced that this is part of the divine purpose that God instilled in me. Seeds for this dream have been planted over decades. The struggle has always been real but business school helped me to refine the struggle into passion and combine it with my dream. When I look back on the projects I did in the pursuit of my MBA, they prepared me for this moment. I took on several projects that challenged “traditional” beauty standards and created space for Black girls and women. All of these projects planted seeds for this dream that morphed into Blaque Beautique. To pay it forward, I plan to help smooth the journey for others to find and embrace their beauty.
My other [and most important] inspiration for this endeavor is my daughter. I want her to see herself as valuable and beautiful and it breaks my heart that she doesn’t. If I have anything to do with it, one day she will.