We had the good fortune of connecting with Araia Chanel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Araia, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I created Araia Chanel’s Essentials (ACE) because I love to take care of my hair and embrace my natural curls. Something about lighting a candle and listening to your favorite songs, while sectioning your hair to prep it for the next style is therapeutic to me. It brings a sense of self-love, and I wanted to be apart of that for people.
I realized, however, that it can be challenging to find the right products for natural hair (especially for those with kinky/coily textures). My goal was to contribute to making it easier for us by providing all natural, handmade haircare products for the natural hair community. My priority is to include every kink and coil, thus allowing everyone to feel comfortable in their natural state and embrace their various hair textures.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
ACE is one of my biggest accomplishments ever. Growing up, I’ve always struggled with giving up on myself. Whether it be hobby’s, schoolwork, or anything that caused me to have a great deal of self-doubt. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to or didn’t care to try, I just didn’t believe in myself enough to see it through.
ACE is one of the only things I believed in whole-heartedly enough to continue to push through no matter how many obstacles and set backs I faced. I became determined to be apart of the small percentage of black-owned haircare brands to give the natural hair community more options to choose from when styling their curls. I fell in love with both the process and the bigger picture, and that’s all it takes to produce something amazing.
One piece of advice I would like to give to my fellow entrepreneurs is not to give up. It sounds cliché and I’m sure they’ve heard this before, but I truly mean it. The corporate industry needs us. We have to continue to diversify it and show the world what we are made of!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite places to go to in Atlanta is Piedmont Park and Little Five Points! The scenery is amazing and it always seem to bring me peace. I love to ride bikes or electric scooters down the belt line, have a picnic in the park, and grab King of Pop popsicles on a nice, sunny day!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to dedicate my shoutout to my loving and supportive mother (@shawnachevonhair) who is also the Owner of the Societe Salon located in Hapeville. She is my backbone and has done so much for me and my brand without me having to ask. I truly couldn’t have made it this far without her.
My dearest friends Alyssa (@the.alyssajoy), Da’Naja (@theclinxc), Jaden (@subgalaxyphotography) & Jordin (@jordinrene) also deserve recognition. We all just so happen to be creatives, so it is very refreshing when we are able to come together and help one another on our business ventures.
From family, friends, to customers, a great amount of people have contributed to the making of Araia Chanel’s Essentials. While I am the CEO, this business was not solely my doing. Many people have been there for me throughout this entire journey and have constantly kept me on my feet. I am extremely grateful for anyone who has ever supported my business in any kind of way!
Chris Evans (Clearly Focused Media Works)