Natural-Fashionista-Simeko

Natural Fashionista: Simeko

You may already recognize our “resident” hair care pro from our Ask the Pro series here on the blog. Or you may have seen her work around the web and in magazines. What you may not know is that this natural hair pro is just as fierce in fashion as she is in beautifying the manes of many.

We met some years back through a mutual friend and discovered that we shared a passion for natural hair and hair care education. We’ve been supporting the endeavors of one another ever since. ♥

Say hello…

Simeko_W_Hartley(2)

Hey Blooming Naturals!  My name is Simeko and I’m owner of Meko, New York Natural Hair Care Spa & Boutique located in Orange, NJ.  I was born & raised in Harlem, NY but now I’m a Jersey Gal (although Harlem still runs through my veins).

How long have you been wearing your hair in its natural state?

I first learned to love and wear my hair natural back in 1994 when I started working at Khamit Kinks Salon in Brooklyn, NY.

What’s one of the biggest things you’ve learned on this journey thus far?

I would have to say that it’s loving and accepting what you’ve been blessed with as a unique individual… no one else has hair like yours!  Your hair is like your fingerprint.  Beautiful, healthy, natural hair comes in all textures, lengths and thickness.

Briefly tell us about your hair care routine and some of your go-to styles.

My routine is very simple… I keep my scalp/hair cleaned, moisturized and protected.  And, anyone that knows me knows, every time you see me I have a different style (that’s one of the best things about being a natural hair care professional). However, my go-to protective style is a Crochet Weave.  When I wear my hair out, it’s my Funky French Braids Updo.

Kinky Crochet- Marley Hair

Kinky Crochet

Simeko-Funky-French-Braid

Some women have remarked that wearing their hair naturally has opened them up fashion-wise in that they take more risks. Do you find this to be true in your case?

Not really because I’ve always taken risks when it came to fashion.  I was never one to follow a trend… I wore what I liked!

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is versatile…BUT I ABSOLUTELY LOVE VINTAGE-CHIC!  

I love that you’re ‘fashionably frugal’ and have recently begun to feature this side of yourself on Instagram. What made you start doing this?

I always receive lots of complements on how nice I look and am usually asked, “where did you buy it?!” When I say it’s from a thrift shop and how much it cost me… people would be amazed. So I guess I just wanted show people that, yes, you can look like a million dollars and only spend a few bucks!

Simeko-Crochet-Twists-All-Black

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I have to admit, I am a shopaholic…lol! I shop everywhere.  I can’t mention my favorite places because I’m working on a special project.  But I can say this, stay tuned because I will be sharing soon!  

What’s one or two tips you’d like to leave with the readers on making their dollar stretch while staying fashionable?

Real style is not about how much you pay for something, it’s about how you put it together!  

{Click photo for larger image}

Many thanks to Simeko for sharing with us! Make sure you follow her for natural hair AND inspiration on Facebook and Instagram. Of course, if you’re in the NJ area looking for a top notch salon to take care of those kinks and curls, see Simeko and her team at Meko, New York!

Read about Simeko’s journey and career in our in-depth interview here and stay tuned for more with her in our Ask the Pro Series! 

xoxo

Toia B.

Feature Image Credit: Simeko Watkins-Hartley- Owner & Creative Director of Meko, New York Natural Hair Care Spa & Boutique.  Hair: Rhonda B., Jennifer C., and Niara P. of Meko, New York; Makeup: Jemi of Au Touche Makeup Artistry

ToBNatural-Fashion-Friday-Neutrals-Color

Fashion Friday: Neutrals With a Chance of Color

Taliah Waajid brought her natural hair expo to NYC for the first time and you know I had to be in the mix!

I opted for comfort on day one with a pair of simple flats as I assisted at the EMBRACE Magazine booth. Making a quick appearance on day two to capture some footage, I thought I would finally bring out some bright, funky heels. BOOM!

ToBNatural-Fashion-Neutrals-Color-4

Oversized Button-Down- H&M | Skinny Jeans- H&M | Wedges- Necessary Clothing | Belt- Banana Republic (thrifted) | Sunnies- Local Beauty Supply Store (gifted) | Nail Polish- Sinful Colors “Rise and Shine”

ToBNatural-Fashion-Neutrals-Color-1 ToBNatural-Fashion-Neutrals-Color-2 ToBNatural-Fashion-Neutrals-Color-3 ToBNatural-Fashion-Neutrals-Color-5 ToBNatural-Fashion-Neutrals-Color-6

In a rush and still wanting to keep things simple, I pretty much just threw on the easiest pieces I could. You can’t go wrong with neutrals! I hadn’t worn these jeans in a minute so hey, why not? And this beige shirt… it’s light and super versatile. But I just HAD to spice it up and don these coral-ish peep-toe wedges for the first time this summer. LOVE THEM!

Are you a heels type of gal or do you often keep it comfy and cozy in flats? Share below!

xoxo

Toia B.

TNHS_Postcard-822x360

DMV Event Alert: The 2nd Annual Naturalista Hair Show Aug. 2-3, 2014

Listen up naturalistas of the DMV!

The second annual Naturalista Hair Show is coming with a two-day show in downtown Silver Spring, MD at the DoubleTree Hotel on Saturday August 2nd and Sunday August 3rd.

Brought to you by N Natural Hair Studio, this event is geared to be epic with a slew of workshops and panel discussions with topics ranging from the business of beauty blogging to protective styling to the male perspective on natural hair.

“The Naturalista Hair Show is a showcase and celebration of the coming age of the modern naturalista. We’re standing on the backs of the women who came before us and looking out at a promising future. This expo teaches women of color how to care for their natural hair and live healthy lives while embracing the right to remain fabulous. Its a BIG deal ! It’s a DOPE celebration!”

Are you ‘N’? Get your tickets here!

xoxo

Toia B.

Hair-Tip-Tues-Wash-Day-14

Hair Tip Tuesday: Wash Day- 3 Tips to Help You Get Through It!

For some, the mere thought of wash day is met with eye rolls and pouts aplenty! Well, I wanted to offer just a few tips that may change your view. This isn’t necessarily a list of harsh rules or talk of products to use but just some practical suggestions to help you make the most of your wash day and get through it without grumbling.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Now, I know they call it “wash DAY” but it doesn’t always have to take that long. At the same time, you don’t wanna rush through it either. You ever speed through a task just to get it done already? More often than not, you wind up skipping steps or not doing a thorough enough job. In my experience, it doesn’t pay to try to properly wash AND style my hair when I’m pressed for time so I’ve found it better to do so when I’m completely free or close to it. This means less stress for me and there’s also a practical benefit…

Ever find flakes in your hair or on your scalp and you JUST washed it? *shakes fist* Aaaargh! One of two things may have happened- (1) either you didn’t cleanse your hair and scalp properly or (2) you may not have rinsed out the product thoroughly in your efforts to beat the clock. Then you go and layer more product on top of the stuff you never really got rid of in the first place! #NotCute. We’re now talkin’ about product buildup, clogged pores/follicles and the hair may not have the appearance of overall health. Plus, your products may not work as intended because your hair isn’t free of all the schmutz you had on it before. Healthy hair needs to thrive from a clean and healthy environment so make sure you devote enough time to do it right.

Plan Ahead & Organize

I like to know ahead of time what products and/or tools I’m going to need so I ask myself things like, “Am I just cleansing and conditioning? Do I need to deep condition this week? Do I need to steam my hair?” …all that good stuff. Having all my products and tools laid out and at the ready makes life a bit easier so I’m not fumbling for things with dripping wet hair.

Make a Day of It… a Spa Day, That Is!

I have yet to do this but I’ve got a few friends who make wash day an entire experience! They draw a bubble bath, do an at-home mani-pedi, facial mask, the whole nine yards. In line with the first tip, why not just give yourself the whole day and pamper yourself?! We can all use some “me time” so go ahead and make it wash day. Instead of dreading the time you’ll spend, you’ll be giving yourself something to look forward to with anticipation at the end of a busy day/week.

Do you already implement these tips in your routine? What are some things YOU’VE done to make the most of your wash day? We’d love to know!

xoxo

Toia B.

ToBNatural-Fashion-Summer-Florals

Fashion Friday: Festive Summer Florals

We took a little trip to Connecticut a couple Saturdays ago to surprise our friend, a mom-to-be, at Beardsley Park in Bridgeport. It can be risky to plan an outdoor gathering but the weather definitely cooperated during this baby shower. It was a GORGEOUS day!

It was also HOT so I opted for this light floral skirt that I bought from the same thrift store as this one for a mere four bucks. Having recently gone through my large collection of tees, I remembered that I might have one that would go perfectly with it. I was right. :-)

ToBNatural-Blue-Floral-Skirt-4

What I’m wearing…
Skirt- Brooklyn Industries (Thrifted) | V-neck- Dr. Jay’s Ladies | Bra Top Tank- UNIQLO | Sandals- Target | Locket Necklace- Gifted | Shades- Steve Madden (Daffy’s)

ToBNatural-Fashion-Blue-Floral-Skirt-1 ToBNatural-Blue-Floral-Skirt-2 ToBNatural-Blue-Floral-Skirt-3

Oh. Thankfully, no one spoiled anything and our friend was genuinely surprised. Yes, there were tears {insert “awww” here}. Look forward to meeting baby Arianna!

Despite the heat, I felt pretty comfy in this getup and thoroughly appreciated that the skirt is lined with cotton… sweet! I had no idea what I would do with this skirt when I took it off that rack but this summer has given me some beautiful opportunities to put it to good use!

xoxo

Toia B.