We had the good fortune of connecting with Jazmine Johnson-Black and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jazmine, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I initially was a local braider in Phoenix, AZ and had planned to do that full time then COVID-19 hit. At first I wasn’t sure how I was going to proceed until my Grandfather made a special request from me. He’s currently bald but wanted dreads for a trip he was going on to New Orleans, so I figured out a way to make him a dreadlock wig. Once I saw the finished product and how elated he was to have some hair, it hit me. I should start making braided wigs! There are so many people, myself included, that deal with some kind of hair loss or sensitivity.
Since it wasn’t ideal to have people come sit in my chair for social distancing purposes, I came up with a plan to not only still be able to execute braided styles but also saving people time by not having to sit in a salon chair for hours for a style that likely wouldn’t last longer than a month. That’s how Braided Crownz was born.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve had a love for art ever since I was a kid. I started braiding when I was 9 years old. My mom was a hairstylist at the time so I would watch her techniques and practice on myself and my dolls. Eventually, I got good enough to start braiding on others and from there, my passion for braiding grew. Braiding is a unique art form that has various different outcomes. What’s so exciting about it is styles are constantly evolving so you can never get bored. If it weren’t for Covid, I would have never thought to start braiding wigs. I didn’t even know it was a thing outside of movies. With each wig I create, I strive to make the next one better than the last because even when I think something is “perfect” there’s always going to be room for improvement. The road to get where I am now definitely was not easy. I’ve had moments of doubt and wanting to give up, but my faith in God would not allow me to just walk away. Through prayer and constant encouragement from my wife and mother, I was able to create Braided Crownz.
What sets me apart from others is I braid from my soul not my head. I put love and energy into every wig I create and it’s not the money that keeps me going, it’s that initial reaction my customers have when they first put the wig on. I want every woman to feel beautiful!
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned that I’m still working on today is to put myself out there even when I think no one is watching. Being consumed in social media it’s easy to believe that likes and follows are what matters, but really it’s all about consistency. If you consistently put yourself out there, those who were meant to find you will find you and from there you can build a loyal community that is interested in what you have.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m still fairly new to Houston so I haven’t been to very many places yet. I will say that Kamp Houston has been my favorite go to spot. The atmosphere is great and the food is delicious!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give a huge shoutout to my wife. Since I’m a one woman show she has continued to push me even when I felt like giving up. I also have to shoutout my mother. If it wasn’t for her I would’ve never known that I had a true calling to braid hair.