Nakkiyah, I’ve always admired your head full of beautiful, long thick hair, and as of late, I’ve seen you featured on quite a few different natural hair sites on Instagram, which is awesome! Tell us about your journey from relaxed hair to natural tresses.
Several years ago the decision was made for me to become a full time stay-at- home mother, which meant a one-income household. Immediately I started to find ways to “cut back” on “extra” expenses. One of those cut backs were the salon (hair and nails). I had just learned I was pregnant with my son and decided I would not use any more chemicals in my hair until after he was born. During that time the strangest thing happened, I realized how much healthier my hair had become. I kept it in braids and twists and it was so much easier for me. After my son was born, I decided not to get another perm. Committing to a more natural approach for hair care allowed me to experiment and use other alternatives, and the one my hair loved the most was Shea Butter.
People started to ask me what I used in my hair and I would passionately share. I noticed that a lot of women would not believe their hair would look nice if they did not use chemicals. They would say things like, “ I can’t go through that nappy stage,” or “my hair won’t look like yours.” These responses were frustrating for me because, although the process of transitioning from using chemicals to not using chemicals initially was about saving money, over time it became more about having healthier hair and embracing my hair’s natural texture. It was so much about stepping outside of what I was use to and loving and embracing me. (the good, bad , and the ugly)
What inspires you most about the path you're on?
I think so many times in life we love to celebrate the good--- which is oftentimes the end result of hard work. We love to wave the degree, hold the house and car keys, show off the ring, hold the baby… etc. But we never want to embrace, go through and celebrate the process of how we get there. We don’t show the sleepless nights, the tears, the arguments, saving money, the doubts, the “I almost gave up moments.” The process is what makes the end result so beautiful. Not one experience, but all of the experiences gives you the end result. The big chop, the transition, the teeny weeny afro stage, figuring out what products, heat damage, failed hair styles you spent two hours on…. That is how you figured out how to create that great wash-n-go! All of these experiences melded together give you a beautiful result. And out of this thought process Melded Beauty was born. What excites me about it is using hair care as a platform to inspire people to embrace the process “of becoming” and don’t be ashamed of what you have been through or what you are going through. They all play a part in your beauty!
How do you manage and a maintain balance in the different aspects of your professional & personal life along with your relationship with God?
Whoa, this is a loaded question. I have to be honest I don’t know if I have a definite answer. I think it’s a daily process and effort. I guess my answer would be one moment, one step, and one day at a time. I try to keep the attitude that God is the reason for all, the reason I live move and have my being. In other words I live for an audience of one. If my relationship with God is not in tact everything else in my life will mirror that. So, I make a concerted effort to have quiet time every day. In addition, I meditate on the word of God as much as possible through daily devotion, and mini sermons.
What advice can you give others who want have interests in what you do, but have limited time because of the many responsibilities they’re tasked with or just need some guidance and direction?
When you have limited time, I would suggest you make a list and schedule of things you would like to complete and set aside a specific time to get those things accomplished. For me, life is super-busy with 3 children, extra-curricular activities and household responsibilities. However, I try to maintain a realistic balance. When it’s time to be with the kids, I’m with the kids. When it’s time to do things with the house, I do that and when it’s business time, I devote myself to business. This means I have very little extra time, but I make it work.
Talk to us about any challenges you’ve faced, how you've endured and what keeps you wedded to what you do?
It’s been difficult especially for me these last 3 years. I completed my MBA last year while trying to maintain all of the things mentioned previously. The only thing that got me through was the grace of God. As for advice from a business aspect I will share and excerpt written in one of my graduate papers:
As business men and women who are ultimately responsible for new ideas and process for making the quality of life better for many consumers, are mandate is not only to add monetary value to our company’s, but we must be committed to constantly thinking of ideas and ways to expound upon the things that are already in place. As we are being innovative we must look at it as a form of worship. “In all things (including their innovation efforts) Christians are called to think and to act like Jesus. Making decisions in business is not a simple function of running anticipated actions through a formula or process…We are called to be like Christ and to think like he would think (Philippians 2:1-8). Christians know that this is made possible by the presence and inner work of the Holy Spirit, not by our efforts alone.” (Oster 2008)
Any particular designers that you like especially when shopping for clothing? What about specific stores that you find yourself frequenting more often, and why?
I love Urban Outfitters, Zara, and of course TJ Maxx to rock style on a budget.
I have a witty style question that I like asking all you stylish gals of faith, “What’s your Style Innuendo (the way you would like others to consider or view what your style is without you even saying a word when they see you)?
Stylish without trying hard; If I had to coin it, I would say “effortless simplistically fly”
How has your overall style evolved in the past few years?
I would have to say although I still love trendy pieces, I have definitely tried to seek out and include more mature and timeless clothing in my wardrobe.
This blog series is about transforming style from the inside out, therefore, how can one transform their style and faith in a positive progressive manner, and do so without compromise?
I think when you are connected to the creator; your creative abilities are authentic and limitless. I believe that the world should look to Christians for how to dress, dance, worship, etc. Unfortunately, as Christians we forget that the same God who created the universe breathed into man and today we breathe and draw life from that same creative energy. The amount of creativity and inspiration the church should have at its disposal should be mind-blowing. So, if you want to transform your style and faith be wholeheartedly committed to the source and creator of all things and everything you come in contact with will be transformed.
What’s soon to come for you and what can we expect see in the near future from your company?
Melded Beauty will initially start off as a hair and body product company. Eventually it will expand to a full line of all natural hair care and body products. It will start off as a home based business, which will be sold using the Internet (social media) and phone ordering, and eventually expand to mall kiosk, and even a store. I would like Melded Beauty to be a brand that ministers to the world by its philosophy and the way it conducts business.
Melded Beauty will be a platform to minister to young people, men and women, to let them know that there is a purpose for their lives and if they hone their gifts and talents the sky is the limit to what they can do. Every experience will be used for God’s glory if they commit their entire will to him. They do not have to be limited by how someone else defines great. God, the Creator is a God of purpose and everything he created he has predestined to be great and live to its fullest potential.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:9) (Holy Bible 1996)
Be sure to check out Melded Beauty line of products by visiting and following Nakkiyah on Social Media: