August 3, 2015

It’s all about braids, and this month Keash Braids are housed at our Oxford Street store for all your hair styling needs. From glitter treatments to hair rings and charms, Keash have got it covered. We sat down with friends, partners in crime and erm, actual business partners, Jessy Linton and Taiba Akhuetie to chat about the perks of running your own business.

UO: How did you both meet?

J: We went to school together and both spent our teen years in SW London. We’ve known each other for 14 years!

UO: What prompted you to set up Keash Braids?

J: We both felt like it was something girls would totally be into. The non-permanent element is also what I like…if you’re bored of your hair but don’t want to cut it off or dye it pink you weren’t left with many options.

T: I didn’t even realise the potential behind a braiding business as it is part of my culture. I was talking to Jessy about building up a braiding and styling portfolio. Jessy got super excited, one thing led to another and we had come up with a framework for a business.

UO: Where did you both learn to braid?

J: I learnt to French plait as a kid, but I’m not sure how or where. I was always obsessed with hair. Later at school two twins taught me how to Dutch braid and that’s when I really got into it.

T: My mum. I would always watch her braiding my sister’s hair and I loved helping her finish off plaits. I would just do standard french plaits on girls at school. My mum said I was always a natural.

UO: What or who inspires you – personally and professionally?

T: My friends and family influence me and help me to keep at it.

UO: How do you keep your braid styles fresh? What is the creative process when thinking up new styles?

J: Research, research, research! We are constantly collating ‘hairspo’ and our friends are a BIG influence.

T: I find referencing what has already been done and experimenting with variations really helps.

UO: What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?

J: Being able to work from bed and wear a tracksuit 24/7!

T: Actually having the ability to turn your visions into a reality. Also I am a very dominant person so it’s a plus that I don’t have someone telling me what to do.

UO: What have been the biggest challenges at Keash Braids so far?

J: Being such a small team! As it stands Taiba and I manage absolutely everything: from creative direction to web design to accounts!

UO: What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at Keash?

T: Being patient pays off!

UO: What has been your summer highlight so far this year?

J: Opening our pop-up salon at Urban Outfitters Oxford Street!

T: Seeing our name in Urban Outfitters Oxford Street window.

UO: What is your must-have wardrobe staple?

J: A bomber jacket. I have about 11 to date.

T: Big t-shirts. I like to feel comfortable.

What would your advice be to someone who wants to start their own business?

J: Have the courage to go ahead and just do it!

T: Take your time and try to pick out at least one thing that makes you different from your competition.

And finally…

If I wasn’t a co-founder of Keash, I would be…

J: A popstar.
T: A presenter of my own TV show… Graham Norton vibes.

My favourite thing to do on the weekend is…

J: Go out!!!! And on a Sunday eat pizza and watch films.
T: Sipping on gin n tonic and or prosecco.

My favourite braiding style is…

J: I change my mind everyday. Probably one we haven’t come up with yet.
T: I don’t have one I like freestyling, it’s way more fun!

My hidden talent is…

T: I can do a backwards walk-over if I try really really REALLY hard!

If I could be anywhere in the world right now I would be…

J: In bed. Preferably near a beach…
T: Same as Jessy. I LOVE BED and I could do with a holiday.

I’m currently listening to…

J: Major Lazer’s new album ‘Peace is the mission’.
T: Usher ‘Caught Up’