Life makes many unexpected, tumultuous turns. We sometimes think we are headed straight down a path of success and arrive at new destinations unknown. We strive for normality, but at times our journey allows us to rise to the occasion and become extraordinary. This proves to be true with this month’s #BeautyBoss, Helecia, aka @iknowleee.
Helecia, post-university (where she majored in Graphic Design) became a school teacher, and taught fourth, fifth and seventh grade classes over a course of seven years. She also started a blog right after graduation, and, being a side-hustle pro, she also made and sold handmade goods using her social media leverage.
When you become a success because of who you are and not what you make, you are indeed a #BeautyBoss!
“I was a student who created handmade jewelry that I would sell at local events, pop-up shops and on Etsy… I started blogging immediately after graduating from college with my degree in Graphic Design,” she said. “I still wanted to explore my creative passion, but I was having a difficult time finding a career in that field that compensated well and allowed me to create freely.”
Because of her growing aspirations and her eventual “big chop,” Helecia dreamt of being a social media influencer, but with a new perspective. About 3 months before cutting her hair, Helecia’s older sister let her cut her hair for her “big chop,” then encouraged her to do the same. During that time, natural hair was not as popular and accessibility to products was limited. In that, her sister is also the one that urged her to pursue a part-time career on Youtube. Her philosophy was that it allowed Helecia to continue to use her degree and explore her creativity, but it now had even more meaning because she would be documenting her natural hair journey. Back then, it was the road less taken. She continued to teach and during her spare time or on weekends, she planned and recorded videos on natural hair. She had relaxed hair since she was a young child, and in the spirit of change, she opted to shave her head and start a fresh, new journey.
“I initially had a relaxer but I was interested in the texture of my hair. It’d been relaxed since I was five, so I really didn’t know anything about my natural hair, it’s texture or density,” she said. “I wore extensions for one month (soon realizing it wasn’t for me), and then I allowed one of my close friends to shave my head. It was truly a big chop; I lost over ten inches of hair all the way around. She ran the clippers down the middle of my head to make sure that I wouldn’t go back on my word. That was the beginning of my natural hair journey.”
Helecia always had a knack for aesthetics by way of crafting and curating. Because she made a choice to tap into her skills and talents, she opened up her opportunities to do what she loves and be rewarded. That’s the essence of being a #BeautyBoss. Impacting others positively is her FAVORITE part about being a social media influencer. It’s not always about things, it’s about people.
Helecia took her inspirations, hobbies + her natural hair journey to make a fruitful (creative!) life.
“I am a people person. I find people intriguing and I enjoy conversations with others especially when I feel like I can impact their lives in any way,” she said. “It’s fulfilling to see others happy, motivated, positive and feeling good about themselves. Being an influencer allows me to create a platform where people can get help, feel confident and free. It’s a judgement-free zone!”
As a plus, she gets to meet all sorts of people in the social media influencing realm and partake in awesome events and experiences!
“I once traveled to host a bloggers lounge at a natural hair care expo. I expected the event to be small and intimate. I didn’t really have high hopes but once again, I enjoy people so I was excited to host,” she said. “The event started off slow with about ten to fifteen local influencers. The lounge was only large enough to hold about forty attendees. Within an hour, there were over fifty influencers from across America in that small room purely enjoying the atmosphere!”
It’s a relief and an inspiration to see people who look like you and have traits similar to yours be successful. It’s another part of what makes Helecia’s job amazing, seeing she’s on both sides! Follow her on social media to be inspired, at @iknowleee!