CRWN Magazine: What it Means To Go Natural With Your Hair and Your Business
A The Path Less Traveled Series Interview with CRWN magazine founders, Lindsey Day and Nkrumah Farrar
CRWN magazine is a natural hair publication committed to telling your hairstory. Through beautiful content, thoughtful commentary, hair inspiration and resources, CRWN mag challenges America's narrow depiction of what it means to be black, what it means to be beautiful, and what it means to go natural. Thanks to this publication, women of color can finally see themselves in print in their natural state and be reassured that they're beautiful. In their first on camera interview together the founders of CRWN mag, Lindsey Day and Nkrumah Farrar, sit down with Neffy Anderson on The Path Less Traveled Series to candidly discuss the birth and creation of CRWN mag and how to create a lucrative business model that is authentic, intentional, and dope.
15 Things You'll Learn From CRWN Magazine's Feature on The Path Less Traveled Series:
- How to transition into full time entrepreneurship
- How to launch and announce your product, brand, or service in a credible fashion
- How to increase your ability recognize business opportunities in your everyday life
- How to avoid common mistakes of first time entrepreneurs
- What to do when you don't have a lot of seed capital
- How to prove the business case for your idea
- Why print is not dead
- The downside of social media growth hacking
- How to consistently and organically gain Instagram followers
- What it takes to be successful on social media
- How to determine which social media platform(s) your business/brand should be on
- How to stay marketable
- Why you need the Business Model Generation book
- How to get people to give your product/brand/service the time of day
- How to mitigate the risks of full time entrepreneurship
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the guest and not those of The Path Less Traveled Series and/ or Neffy Anderson
NKRUMAH FARRAR: They told us that print was dead, and they told us it was a bad idea to start a print magazine in a digital age but they don’t know shit.
LINDSEY DAY: We pursued it anyway, and we saw we had a vision … and we saw we had a void in the marketplace and here we are today.
[b-roll of CRWN mag teaser and convo in kitchen + music]
NEFFY ANDERSON: Hey everyone, it’s Neffy Anderson here with a brand new episode of The Path Less Traveled, a web series spotlighting millennial entrepreneurs who successfully turned their passions into lucrative careers. Now today’s guests is digital strategist Lindsey Day, creative director Nkrumah Farrar, and together, they are the founders of CRWN magazine. Let me give you the rundown on CRWN magazine. CRWN Magazine is a quarterly hair publication that is committed -- can you say committed? Let’s say it together. Committed … to creating progressive dialogue around what it really means to “go natural” in America. Now through beautiful content, thoughtful commentary, hair inspiration and resources, CRWN magazine is helping women all over the world throughout their natural hair journey. I just wanna thank you guys for giving me the opportunity to interview you both. Together. Cuz I feel like this is y’all first on camera interview together.
DAY: First time.
ANDERSON: I feel blessed. I feel blessed.
DAY: Thank you for having us
ANDERSON: So …
DAY: Loving the energy …
ANDERSON: Yes, you know.
DAY: You make me wanna …
ANDERSON: Yes, you know. Turn. Turn. Turn Up! So you guys are not new to this y’all true to this. So y’all know, just like how they do in church and they say take a moment to pull out your bibles, take a moment to pull out your phones. Make sure that you tweet using the hashtag #tpltseries.
Alright, so let’s get a lil background information on the birth of CRWN magazine. First of all, I wanna know where did the idea even come from?
DAY: You take that one
FARRAR: It came. It came from a rooftop in Crown Heights.
DAY: It did. It did.
FARRAR: You know. I was out here on the corporate dime and you know, I was out here for work and uh, I stopped to visit Lindsey -- and she has great hospitality. She cooked, we had something to drink, we was on the roof, we were talking, and we were just really having a real conversation about what is happening, what’s going on. And … I just threw it in the air and she pulled it out of the air and was like “let’s do it”.
DAY: I think we always were talking about ownership, you know? About really when we say “getting off the plantation.” [laughter]
ANDERSON: Yes. Yessss.
FARRAR: Talk about it.
DAY: Getting off of the corporate you know. Getting out of the corporate life. We both had our stints in corporate.
FARRAR: We definitely did
DAY: And it just definitely was not … I knew for me, I was just like I have to get out of this. Like, it wasn’t the company it was me. You know?
DAY: Like I was not built for that mold.
FARRAR: And you know really to add. You know, for me all of the best opportunities come from observing culture.
FARRAR: So when you look at human behavior you will find a .. you’ll find a solid opportunity for commerce.
ANDERSON: Sooo. With you being able to like observe the culture and everything I think that it’s kind of like amazing that you had this idea because you’re a guy. And I think like a guy would be like the last person that you would think or that you would expect to think about, you know, a female’s hair in this way.
DAY: A bald guy … [laughter] with a beard.
FARRAR: If you ask black men how they prefer a sister’s hair to be either they’ll say “I don’t mind” however she wants to express herself” or they will say I like it when her hair is natural.
ANDERSON: They mature. [clapping] They mature. They grown up.
FARRAR: It’s a real thing. You know, it’s important because when a woman wear a protective style that means I probably can’t touch her hair.
ANDERSON: You smart.
FARRAR: And so I want your hair to be natural, you understand?
ANDERSON: Right. Right. Right. So off camera I know we spoke a little bit about how you know from the idea to the execution there was like a little bit of like a lag on the runway.
ANDERSON: I think maybe like 2 years or so. So talk to me about like what happened during that time for you guys.
FARRAR: We simmered. We incubated the idea. Right? So we did a lot of research. A lot of interacting & actually becoming a part of the community before we offered a product. And so that’s why when we actually announced we were able to do so in a very credible fashion because for many months I’ve been deep in the hashtag trenches of Instagram.
DAY: Yeah, cuz you were looking at it even before I thought about it as a business idea.
FARRAR: And this is something that is very important because a lot of young entrepreneurs enjoy the culture of being an entrepreneur: the idea that they have command over their time & they get to do something creative -- and so they put on a show for themselves and their friends, right?
DAY: That’s real.
FARRAR: Instead of really architecting and constructing the business. And then likewise, in the era of the tech startup boom you have this idea that you can put together an idea and then go raise money instead of building a business, right? So the idea that Daymond John this year he put out “The Power of Broke”
FARRAR: Which I thought was very compelling because when you don’t have a lot of seed capital you have to be very creative about how you start, and it makes you … it forces you to build a business. So we from the very beginning we worked on how we would monetize CRWN. Right? And so we started a process at the same time of building and introducing the brand we were also architecting and structuring how the business would sustain itself.
ANDERSON: So you told me that you automatically off the bat you came up with like 14 different revenue streams.
ANDERSON: That you guys could have.
ANDERSON: Which is like amazing.
FARRAR: Well you see. We both. We both.
DAY: And that got my attention. I’m like okay. We got something here.
FARRAR: When you have an idea for a business you have to prove the business case. And especially since we were both getting corporate money and consultant money, I had to prove to myself why I had to leave that alone and prove that, you know, their was an actual opportunity there & define what the opportunity was. It’s almost been two years to date, right? So like, we launched officially at Afro Punk last August in Brooklyn.
DAY: Mhm. We printed up a folded … what we called our “zero issue.” Our demo tape of sorts
ANDERSON: Okay, okay.
DAY: And so, that was “It’s like it’s our demo tape” & people were like “oh okay, we get it.” But even with that we were very calculated with the content we included. So, when you first open it, like this is the problem we see, this is the promise that we will deliver, & you open it further & there was information about what was happening at Afro Punk After Dark … like different stuff you can do in Brooklyn around the weekend, and the bottom of that was kind of like a tease of a bantu knot out. So it was tease of what future technique content would look like in the magazine.
DAY: And then you open it even bigger and there’s like an Instagram roundup with like different beautiful natural women of all different shades, sizes, colors … like it was just amazing. And then the right hand side was a big poster. What was on the bottom? I think just like call to actions and stuff. So we were very ... we were like okay, we want someone to put this on their wall, we want people to understand why we’re doing this first.
DAY: And so each panel had a very specific purpose -- and kind of was like a microcosm of what the future magazine [would look like]
FARRAR: Yeah, we used that initial zine as proof of concept.
FARRAR: I promise you we would not be here today if we had not done that activation because essentially what we did was we had done research and we had a conversation & put some stuff on paper to prove the business case to ourselves ...
FARRAR: Then we went and we saw the customer face to face. We had 500 one on one or two on one interactions with black women with natural hair and showed them our off … presented them with our offering, and got to see what their reaction was. And their reaction was ...
DAY: “Oh my gosh”
FARRAR: Very compelling.
FARRAR: We knew halfway through the exercise that we definitely had a business on our hands.
DAY: And it’s funny cuz, just going out there it was like “I mean it looks pretty, I like it.”
DAY: But you don’t know. But when you see your customer.
DAY: First off be like, “how much is it?” and it was free. Actually that was part of our strategy too. We were exchanging it for email subscription so we just took ...
ANDERSON: Ooouuu, that’s smart.
DAY: The uh service was bad so it was like put it in the notes section. You know?
ANDERSON: Yeah, Yeah
DAY: Nothing fancy. We just took down emails. Um. We, uhhh. Had people follow us on Instagram, so like within a month we had 1,000 Instagram followers.
FARRAR: That’s another thing. Our growth on Instagram has been just under 1,000 followers a month. But the fact that we started with 500 followers at one time because we talked to 500 people. So within one weekend we established our presence on Instagram and it just grew.
ANDERSON: Okay, wait. So, I wanna back it up a little bit. So … in you launching at Afro Punk, was that like, okay you take 250 I take 250 and we walk around? Or like you were stationed somewhere and people came? Cuz you know ...
DAY: We wish
ANDERSON: Cuz you know … I know that we live in a society where there’s like so much noise & somebody is always tryna tell you something … sell you something. It’s like, don’t talk to me, I got my headphones in. Don’t talk to me.
DAY: [ laughter]
ANDERSON: So, how did you … you know like … what did you do to get that person’s attention? And not have them you know? Like block you out?
DAY: Well, I think it’s … Well honestly it was his idea. It was super smart. It’s like, that is our audience.
DAY: If anyone is gunna like this product it’s gunna be the Afro Punk community.
ANDERSON: So did you like pass it out? How ... I’m thinking like ...
FARRAR: Nah, we didn’t just … We weren’t flyering.
FARRAR: I would walk up to a sister and say “hey”
DAY: Engage in conversation
FARRAR: “Sis, I made this for you.” And I’d hand her the zine.
FARRAR: And then as she’s looking at it. When she opens it, I’m speaking directly to what’s on the page in front of her.
FARRAR: And talking her through what our mission is and what the product is. Really conveying what our purpose was in doing this.
DAY: And the response, it was just like … People, they saw it, looked at it, and it was like (gasps), you know it was like seeing that interaction being that both of us are digital strategists by trade, like usually it’s like okay got followers, or got this many impressions, or this many hits this month. Whatever.
DAY: But to see and really interact with your customers in this age ...
DAY: I think just gave us a certain like fortitude, because we were like people have told us print is dead. People have … But I just saw what I just saw.
ANDERSON: So, what do you guys know now that you wish you knew when you first started. But you gotta break it down for me. I’m tryna go with you on this journey. I need the details. You know?
DAY: I think it’s a little bit tricky to answer because ... not like oh we know everything.
DAY: But we both remarked that … I mean, I believe in the divine. So, I really believe that my steps have been ordered until this point. And, looking at my career, and looking at his career it’s like I’ve done ad sales, I’ve done content, I’ve done digital strategy. I’ve done pretty much everything that it takes to create a magazine except create a magazine. &, on the visual side he’s done very similar things. So it’s like … and I’ve worked in startups, this is my third business, so I think ...
FARRAR: We were ready.
DAY: Right. It was like … there’s things that of course we’ve learned but I think that we’ve also were kind of … they weren’t surprising. It was like … Okay. We gon get through this because we’ve done something similar to this before.
FARRAR: So the biggest takeaway is that you can master plan your business. You can spend all this time on a business plan but it’s not gunna mean anything if you cannot adapt as things arise.
DAY: And one huge takeaway for me is don’t build a kingdom. Like I’ve done that in my career where it’s like we’re gunna have all the content and all the blah blah blah … and you’re guna have all this traffic -- THEN -- you start thinking about a business model. Which I see a lot of people doing in the content space. Everybody has a blog, everybody has this thing, & so you’re doing all of this legwork and creating all of this content but you haven’t … it’s like, get the sale. Like how are you going to convert and get money coming in.
DAY: Do that as soon as possible
ANDERSON: Right. And I think that you know, just to piggyback off what you both said, you know there’s levels to this. But most people they don’t think about … you know it’s instant gratification. And sometimes you have to be very careful about like what you wish for. So it’s like “ooouuu I wanna get like a lot of followers” or whatever but it’s like once you get it people expect for you to like, perform, produce. It’s like alright you got me here like how are you gunna keep me ...
ANDERSON: And the let down is real. So it’s like you have to be able to deliver. You have to know how you’re gunna sustain yourself. So, individually what you know would you guys say is one thing that most people don’t know about your career journey to where you are today? Because it’s so easy, especially in the social generation, you know the digital age to look at you like ooouuu y’all fly ...
ANDERSON: Y’all always been poppin’, You know, & just to know like it sounds like you both have extensive backgrounds in varied fields, your work experience is pretty thorough & so I know it’s like easy for someone to look from the outside saying y’all poppin’ ...
ANDERSON: Y’all always been poppin’ and like, you know
FARRAR: Well, I mean for me, straight up, I put in my 10,000 hours. Working as a designer for cheap or for free I spent a lot of time and most … and actually, everything that I know how to do of value, every marketable skill that I have, I taught myself, & it took a long time. So while my friends was out I was in front of my computer for years.
FARRAR: And that’s why when Lindsey was talking about our career paths … we had prepared ourselves for this. Like we put in our time. Um, something else that people may not know about me is that my career has been closely tied to technology. So when I started really working in 06’ um, around the time that my son was born I was like okay, I have all these creative skills, I gotta go out and get a job. And so, of course I wanted a job in fashion or entertainment because who doesn’t want to work in fashion or entertainment?
FARRAR:But I looked and I understood quickly that they don’t pay worth nothing because everybody wants those jobs. So I decided that i would work in technology companies because in tech they pay really well.
FARRAR: And so, as a result I got the opportunity to work with a lot of engineers. So although I am a very creative person I think like an engineer.
DAY: He’s always coming up with something like “Oh, we should do dada da da … Just put a form up & blah blah blah blah blah.” Like, you’re very good at making things very simple and easy, & effiecent. & I’m like very much like dive & get it done.
DAY: But I’ll spend hours doing something that, you know, doesn’t necessarily need to take that long. So it’s good to have an efficient, you know, efficient person that is your partner.
DAY: I think we have very compatible skillsets.
ANDERSON: I think so too, and I know that you’ve had 3 businesses
ANDERSON: Um, so what would you say is like something that most people don’t know about your career journey?
DAY: I think one big thing is like what he said with the 10,000 hours. Like, I have worked 2 jobs since like 2009. You know?
DAY: So like, just grinding. Go home, get on the computer, work some more. Probably lost relationships, you know?
ANDERSON: Right. Right.
DAY: It’s real. Like, I was very focused and knew that I wanted to create something bigger than myself.
DAY: Didn’t necessarily know what it was. But I recognized that where I was was not going to work so I was like, you know, my first company may not be the end all be all but it’s something.
ANDERSON: So what would you guys say was your last career low and how did you bounce back from that? Because the message we want to get out there is that you know, you’re gunna be successful but you’re gunna have like some rainy days & you have to pick yourself back up & get out there.
FARRAR: Well, I mean a career low for me, ummm …. Was being in corporate earning crazy money, and then not having that job anymore. Right? And so you get accustomed to living a certain lifestyle & then you have to figure out, oh shit what am I gunna do. Umm, & I found myself ... this was like right in the middle of the recession & it was a very bad time not to have a job. But also, because I had gotten comfortable in my job I hadn’t stayed marketable, so my portfolio was out of date, my resume was out of date, & so it took me … you know I had to take time to build those tools to market myself again. Umm, so i begin through a couple of very rough winters.
ANDERSON: Yeah, yeah. Wowwww. What about you?
DAY: I at a certain point was working, again, multiple jobs at all times.
ANDERSON: Right. Lemme find out you Jamaican. [laughter]
DAY: [laughter] That’s the running joke in my family. Like, what is your deal? Um, so I was working at … still working on my own platform, Made Woman, and I was working at a startup called Intern Queen and, it came time, I stepped away from Made Woman. Which was like my baby. My first everything, like the hardest thing. It was like gut wrenchingly hard. Um, and then kind of realizing okay, I went from having my own thing & building this thing to it’s gone, I no longer have it. It’s not mine anymore.
DAY: And then working for somebody. We were very close in age, & it was a wonderful company, wonderful startup, but I’m an owner. You know?
DAY: And that’s something that’s in me. It had nothing to do with anyone. I could work for Barack Obama but I would have been like, I want to do my own thing.
DAY: Umm, so, that period -- very similar, I hadn’t properly branded myself during my building of my company. I had a brand that I had built but once I didnt have that anymore it was like, who is Lindsey Day? What am I?
DAY: There were just a couple of different signs that happened along the way, & actually a former writer of mine gave me the business model generation book.
DAY: Former writer of mine at Made Woman. And … started flipping through it & I was like oh my gosh. This is like … Kinda the key, cuz I knew that I wanted to do marketing ...
DAY: But the business model portion of it really to me … there’s so many marketers. Everybody does social media, everybody does .., & I didn’t want to be another one of those people in a sea of those people.
DAY: So adding that tangible … & I was a business major
DAY: So it was like okay, this makes sense.
DAY: But kind of redefining myself and reinventing myself was so hard. Like it was probably like a six to eight month process of just deciding I was gunna go forward with it. And then CRWN was like a case study. I was like well, it’s a dope project let’s just start doing it. Like, I was luckily in a place where I was very open & wanted a new something you know? Something to kind of latch unto.
FARRAR: Fertile minds
DAY: And then it was like oh this thing. Let me take that. [Laughter] Like, we’re gunna make this happen.
FARRAR: You gotta be paying attention. Cuz opportunites be all around you.
FARRAR: Opportunity might walk right up to you.
FARRAR: And if you’re not prepared & you’re not awake you’ll miss it. And people be like “awww, how come I can’t?” Well, you probably had 2 opportunities already. You just wasn’t ready.
ANDERSON: So speaking of opportunities, how are you guys using social media to creatively further develop the CRWN magazine brand?
FARRAR: Um, well one of the things is, you know, every social media platform has its own culture & so respecting the culture of that platform, & early on we were strategic in deciding what we would do and where, & also what we wouldnt do, right? Cuz there’s a lot of pressure to say well there’s pinterest, instagram, twitter, facebook, snapchat ...
FARRAR: You have to have a profile everywhere. & very early we were like, nah. We’re gunna do what we can do well for now & we will wxpand our footprint as our resources expand. And so, because CRWN is largely about aesthetic, Instagram was a logical first place to start. So we really focused on curating very well & providing a lot of value on the one platform, versus trying to be everywhere, with no audience.
DAY: And really like, really, it’s like we touched physically so many of our first followers.
DAY: So, it’s like they … We always say that we’re print first but born in the digital age, so versus an old school magazine that’s like “Oh these millennials are on snapchat, we better go over there. Let’s figure this thing out.” Like thes 3 years in ...
DAY: We are born in this culture. We are all about … we do social media. We do digital strategy. So it was like, we made it such an integral part of the magazine. The first piece had like a instagram roundup. We pulled stuff from Instagram that we found because, that is the world we live in. We are in a digital age. And everyone who is like “print is dead, print is dead.” Print is not dead. It’s just that the old model is dead.
ANDERSON: What’s the new model?
DAY: We’re creating it. [laughter]
FARRAR: The new model is direct to consumer. First & foremost.
FARRAR: None of that the newsstands, the bookstores. There’s so much waste in that distribution model, so we’re direct to consumer first. Um, and then also, it’s about knowing …. I say it like this blogs killed the newspaper, but blogs couldn’t kill the magazine. Um, because a magazine is an experience, an escape. So, you know, we publish quarterly, and part of the reason for that is is because, since digital happens so fast we can never keep pace with that, so instead we take a step back & we try to take a deeper look into the content that we create. & you know, provide more substance, you know, so when you get our magazine you feel like you got your monies worth. Um, so another part of our business model is to really engage in conversation with our following, And a lot of what’s in the actual magazine comes from conversations that we’ve had with our social following. So, in a sense it’s almost like cheating cuz we get to see what’s on the minds of our readers, and um offer them content that is going to reflect the needs, wants, and the sensibilities.
DAY: And then two, taking a step further, being able … because we cultivated this organic network of followers on Instagram for example, um, you know we haven’t done crazy hashtagging and we haven’t growth hacked, and we haven’t paid for followers. So, we have people who are truly engaged with the content & want to be a part of it whether that’s contributing or whatever. We’ve put calls out for casting for the magazine, for whatever particular looks we’re going for, photographers, and we have a real tangible audience of people. It’s just not you know, random numbers on the screen …
ANDERSON: Yeah, yeah
DAY: These are people who want to be a part of this and are a part of this culture.
FARRAR: That’s another part about being intentional with the business. The fact that we didn’t growth hack on social just to get the vanity metrics up, is because, when I look at the Instagram following, I wanna know that all of them thousands of people are potential customers. Then, it’s just a matter of what do we need to do to convert them into a sale. And then this is from the beginning when we started instagram we knew that we only wanted to engage with people who were qualified for a product. That would be interested in our product.
ANDERSON: Well speaking of people interested in your product, you guys know that we’re nothing without you, we definitley want to get in touch with the fans, the supporters, & see what is it that you guys want to know. What you want to know from these folks? So, let’s take a moment to check instagram & Twitter to see some questions. Ummm, let’s see. Alright so, @goldieloc wants to know how did you make the leap from a 9-5, steady paycheck to being financially stable in order to become an entrepreneur?
FARRAR: Well, the first thing to know is that it’s not just a switch, you know? You do it right. You plan to do it. You gotta save some money & also put a support system around you. The fact that we’re both able to consult, um, is really what makes it so that we can survive in this climate. But the other part of that is, you can’t be no punk.
FARRAR: Don’t be scared to leave your job. Like I had this for a long time because I have a son & so I was like I have to earn, & I have to earn well in order to provide for my family, so for me, I always, when I worked in corporate I always had a project that I was working on & I always told myself & I would wonder, well, if I dedicated 40 hours a week to my idea I could probably make just as much money as I could working corporate, & it’s absolutely the case. So don’t be no punk. Just got. Just get busy.
DAY: Yeah. There’s never gunna be a right time. Never.
FARRAR: That’s right.
DAY: Um, obviously you can do things to mitigate the risk some. Savings, um, if you’re at a steady job with a nice salary save up for a minute obviously. Um, you know, man, it’s again, you have to take the leap, you have to take the jump, & yeah I guess it’s similar to what you said. It’s like having other things, being able to pick up another project. But hustle. If you gotta airbnb your place airbnb your place. If you gotta, you know, it’s like figure it out. Really, & at the end of the day there’s no formula for this.
FARRAR: & you gotta be willing to sacrifice. You gotta be willing to like be broke for a time to know that youre gunna come out on the other side and be rich forever.
FARRAR: Like my whole camp mission in life is to build transgenerational wealth.
FARRAR: I feel very confident that if my father had something to hand to me when I became a man there’s no telling what I could of accomplished. But because I had to start from nothing, I am determined that my children won’t have to do that.
FARRAR: Like, when my son is 18 or he’s in his early 20’s & he has an idea & he wants to now express power in this world I am gunna be able to provide him with the means to do so. So, you gotta sacrifice now to do something greater later.
ANDERSON: So, I love those responses. I’m gunna do a follow up because @goldieloc girl… she got like five people on there like ... “what she said,” “amen,” “mhm,” “alright,” “me in the back”
ANDERSON: So, my follow up for that is, umm … so, how did you or when did you get to a point where you added on other people outside of yourselves? Cuz I know that you guys mentioned contributors
ANDERSON: And … I don’t know, like …. did you get to a point where you can pay them? How did that work? Or is just like, we’re building, you’re building & when we get it we’ll pay you? Like, how does that work?
FARRAR: You know what’s interesting? And it’s been like this for me, even when I was working corporate. Anytime I encountered a brother or sister that had an idea, that was trying & that was doing something I would always help them. I designed a lot for free. That’s a part of those 10,000 hours I was talking about. And that’s been very much the case for us, it’s that people see what we’re doing and they see that we can actually go and win. And they want to support us.
FARRAR: You know, so …
DAY: And like not being an asshole throughout your life. You know?
DAY: Like it’s been … I guess validating in a way like to see people who you know … there were dark times in my career where I felt like “oh my gosh what am I doing?” Like ... I thought I had it all figured out, but, really realizing that along each step of the way .. like there have been people involved from every step in my career that now see what we’re doing and either have connected me with somebody, or have contributed, or have, you know … some money came out of nowhere and it’s like oh my gosh this is amazing. You know?
DAY: And you can’t make those things come out of thin air. Like, even our partnership. We were friends for … and the thing is, we were like around each other. We never were like tight close friends like that
DAY: Like homies. But it was like we worked together at that time, we were cool, good rapport & we ended up. You know, that happened. And that has happened so many times. Like,
DAY: Just long term, just building relationships with people. Like ... really investing, like you said, investing in other people, investing in umm … maybe you lend 30mins and do an informational interview, or maybe you do, you know, like the little things that don’t take that much ...
DAY: But people remember those things
ANDERSON: I think that that response kinda is an answer to @imanijahaan’s question
DAY: [laughter] Okay
ANDERSON: You let me know if you want to add or not -- but Imani wants to know, how do you get people to see you without the whole check me out bit? I want an organic following of people who respect and enjoy our website.
FARRAR: Be dope. Be dope. If you’re not dope then nobody is gunna … No one is gunna be interested in what you’re doing. So that’s the first thing. Be dope. Offer. Have something to offer and add value. And then … the other side to that is um, like -- even in us launching Instagram, we put the emphasis in engagement not on content. So we put up some content, but it wasn’t about posting a lot. It was about going and being apart of the community and showing love to people: commenting and like really interacting.
FARRAR: And, especially on platforms like Instagram it happens naturally. Like, If you come and you show love and you comment on someone’s content they’re naturally gunna go okay so what is this person about & they’re gunna go see. And so the key is, when they come to check you out, you gotta be dope.
FARRAR: And I think it’s like being authentic. We live in a time where everybody wants to put on airs & pretend that they’re something like so special & it’s like, just be you. You know I think this works well because this is … like again, an extension of us.
DAY: Like, I saw my mother be diagnosed with breast cancer & decide why am I putting chemicals into my scalp.
FARRAR: That’s real
DAY: Into our brains we’re putting chemicals. You know?
DAY: And, seeing her process, seeing her come alive & go on to run a marathon, and she’s ziplining in Hawaii, & she’s doing all of these things that my mom before, the mom I had my whole life growing up was the one … you know we’re on a water ride wherever and she’s finding plastic bags, & you know -- it’s just those little things that aren’t so little because, it affects how you move through this world. And I think seeing her transformation, seeing close friends of mine. Like all of my girls in harlem from college -- we were all straight in college and we’re all natural now,
DAY: And just. There’s a certain ease about it. You know, and I think that is what is kind of captured within our brand. You know? It’s like really embracing who you are.
DAY: And just rocking with it. Like … nobody can tell you how to do you.
ANDERSON: Yes! I said that in my head & then you said it out loud. I love it. Nobody could tell you how to do you people!
ANDERSON: So, I think so in closing do you have any last words & comments to the natural hair community specifically about going natural, or being natural. Somebody that’s on the fence. Because although it’s like -- it seems to be something that is more ... I guess widely received now -- it’s kind of like at its height for being natural, you know, it’s still difficult.
ANDERSON: So, in your experience, I don’t know, you know, what you see as the common problems, you know, or trends, or threads that you see in the comments, but just based off of what you know of like your community, what you’ve seen .. is there anything that each of you have to speak to that person who’s thinking about going natural? Or that person is natural but you know, is unsure about XYZ?
DAY: Um, man. I think that it’s just such a personal decision -- a journey that you have to embark on.
DAY: Um, I would never want CRWN to be perceived as something that’s like “everybody should be natural” you know? We’re not mad at people who wear weaves. We’re not mad at protective styles. Like what makes us happy is for women to see themselves & to see ourselves in a natural state and to not feel like we have to wear weaves to be beautiful. We don’t have to straighten our hair to be equal. I want a little girl to pick this up & to grow up in a world where she feels beautiful & there’s not a million different things saying that you have to tweak yourself or change yourself, & fit into this narrow depiction of what blackness is because we are so wildly diverse & beautiful & it’s just … yeah. That’s really what I want the takeaway to be when it’s a;; said & done.
FARRAR: It’s very much the case. Like, we’re not in a position to evangelize, right? As a matter of fact, we just simply wanna have the conversation with the women who already are thinking about it, or who already have decided to embrace like the hair that they was born with -- & we’re just reflecting them to them. Right? We’re showing them themselves to build esteem. & I think the way that it will grow is in a very organic fashion. Maybe the woman that has always relaxed her hair, she’s gunna develop the confidence by seeing herself presented in her natural state and say … & that’s another important part about the magazine. Most of the sisters that we’ve shot are not models. This is just sisters from the neighborhood. Right? So when you open the magazine I want you to be like “Oh, I saw her on the train”
FARRAR: “Oh, my auntie look just like that. Shit! There I am. That’s me right there on that page.” Right? And ...
DAY: Because where do we see ourselves now? You know?
FARRAR: I believe that if we do that, if we present that to black women, even the black women who have not transitioned yet, they will begin to become more comfortable with the idea just by seeing how it’s done.
ANDERSON: I have chills right now. I’m just like, I’m so excited. On behalf of everyone else on the other side of that screen I just wanna thank you for just having the courage to like turn this from an idea into like a real thing. And for allowing me, & my sister & my mother & everyone else that looks like me that has hair like mine, for me to like you know, pick up something in print & identify with it & see myself & know that it’s coming from a place of love, it’s coming for a place of understanding, and you’re not just trying to sell me something.
ANDERSON: You know what I mean? So, I like … I really
DAY: Aww, you’re so cute.
ANDERSON: You guys are the bomb dot com
DAY: Ahhh! I wanna hug you. [laughter]
ANDERSON: if you guys enjoyed this interview as much as I did, I need you to let me know it. Don’t be stingy don’t be cheap. I need you to like, I need you to comment, I need you to subscribe, I need you to share to all of your social media platforms & then what I need you to do? I think y’all know. What I need you to do? I need you to head to crwnmag.com, yeah?
DAY: Yes ma’am
ANDERSON: And uh, get the magazine before the sale ends people. C’mon now. Be smart with the coinage, okay? Until next time, byeeee!