Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Anika: The ALTERNATIVE




I've realized that in my life, I am SURROUNDED by amazing entrepreneurial women who provide so much inspiration to me and my endeavors. My good friend Anika Lee Thompson-Staples is one of those inspirations.

Anika is the definition of entrepreneurial success. Since we became friends in our early twenties, I've witnessed her professional ascension, first hand. Throughout the years, her commitment to her profession has been constant, and unwavering - As is her dedication to her family, as a wife & mother. She balances it all seamlessly. Meet Anika....

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF.
My name is Anika Lee Thompson-Staples and I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I am 35 years old and have been a stylist for 17 years. I have never worked in another field other than the beauty business. I have also been a salon owner (Ryan Foster Inc.) for 6 years. I am a mother and a wife before I am anything. I love everything about my life.

WHAT DO YOU CREATE?
I make natural hair products that give women effortless transitions with their hair textures without causing permanency or damage. My product line is called ALTERNATIVE™.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED ON YOUR CREATIVE PATH?
I have always done hair. I do not know anything other then hair, it is my life. I grew up in a hair salon from the time I was in 1st grade and fell in love with the whole salon environment. When I was young, I obsessed over my mothers make-up and hair products, and by 10 I started cutting away at my hair. I knew very early on who I was and where I was going.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE?
I see so many people who have been affected in such a negative way by this industry, as a result of multi-billion dollar marketing. I felt it was my duty to create a new definition of affordable, natural, healthy beauty. The fa├žade in which the industry provides, has jaded our communities and allowed our women to expose themselves to an overload of toxic chemicals, fake hair, and deceitful advertisement, that allows them to feel inadequate to achieve the images they desire on their own. My goal is to redefine beauty.

HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO MAKE A LIVING BEING YOUR AUTHENTIC, CREATIVE SELF?
Absolutely, and a lucrative one as well. Now that I am creating products, financing is always challenging, but we make it work.

WHAT NEW PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON?
I am currently relocating the salon and also expanding our line - Attempting to make it available for retail by 2011.

HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND & SUPPORT YOUR WORK?
They check out our website at www.althaircare.com and can email me at althaircareinfo@aol.com for more information. They can also learn more about ALTERNATIVE™ on Youtube & Facebook. Customers interested in ALTERNATIVE™ can make purchases via PayPal, or over the phone by calling the salon at 215-843-0116.

ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING CREATIVES?
Never stop. One set back is an opportunity for something better to come your way. You only fail when you do not try.








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