Tyrika Williams, the owner and founder of Mainelement: Love has found riches as the creative visionary behind her own company. This multi-facade mom keeps love first, giving her the balance of family and passion.If you love citrus, then you'll love the juicy kick this natural hair line provides your curly tresses. With products such as her homemade herbal hair teas and herbal shampoo bar, you're sure ti get the nutrients your hair needs and desires.
"Welcome to Mainelement: love, where our aim is simple-naturally beautiful, healthy hair that you love!"
Q: Where did your passion for natural hair and making your own products come from?
A: My passion for natural hair came from an instant love of my own hair after doing my big chop. It was a love at first sight situation, and we’ve been going strong ever since. Because I love it, I take care of it, so I’ve studied a lot. I began reading up on what it would take to care for my hair months before I finally took the big step. By sharing what I’ve learned, it allows me to help others love their hair as much as I love mine.I began making products immediately when I went natural because of my studying. I never intended to sell anything I made. My business was bath and body products. However, people would stop me on the street and ask what I was using. When I informed them I made it myself, they insisted they wanted to buy it. It became a main part of my business and I eventually decided to focus solely on natural hair products because that was where my heart and the demand were.
Q: How long have you been natural and what events in your life aided in that decision?
A: I’ve been natural for almost 5 years; I’ll celebrate my 5th nappiversary on Memorial Day. I decided to go natural after growing tired of fighting with my hair to keep it straight. It’s very difficult to wear a short haircut with relaxed hair in a very hot city when you have naturally curly hair. I found myself running to the hair salon every 3 weeks to get it relaxed. That grew tiring very quickly. I’d always loved curly hair, so after taking a few months to read up on what it would take to care for my hair in its natural state I decided to go natural. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Q: Did you ever have any doubts about starting your own company? What were some of the things that helped you get past it?
A: I never doubted starting mainelement: love, but there was a point about a year and a half ago when I wasn’t sure if the company would continue. Having gone through a series of life changing events, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to move forward with running a business. I was just about at the point where I’d decided to let the business go, when I received an email from a friend and customer, thanking me for her order she’d just received. She’d been without product a few months and was grateful because her hair responded best to my conditioner. She has no idea that that message saved mainelement: love, but it was the reminder I needed: that what I have to offer isn’t about me, but about the women I’m able to help because I provide a great, high quality product that is affordable.
Q: Is your family apart of your business as well? How have they influences some of the products in your line?
A: My husband is the mental motivator behind mainelement: love. He’s also a great salesman. He encourages me and supports what I do 100%, very often sharing my business with anyone he encounters with natural hair. My mother is also a great help behind the scenes, as she helps manage the shipping process, as well as being my second set of eyeballs for a lot of my written materials.
Q: How important is that your products remain unique in creation as well as natural?
A: I enjoy and take pride in putting my creativity into my products. I’m able to say that because I have studied aromatherapy, I’m able to craft blends of both oils and herbs that suit the needs of textured hair. The Citrus Fusion blend was designed when I became pregnant with my middle son because I couldn’t use the Vanilla Mint blend (peppermint essential oil is not recommended for pregnant women). The Herbal Hair Tea was created out of a need to help manage the excess breakage I was experiencing, and hearing other women complain about. I prefer to create products that are botanical based because I’ve seen and experienced the difference in hair that uses products with more synthetic ingredients versus products with more plant based ingredients. Because similar products are sometime a bit pricy, it’s been a goal to keep my prices in an affordable range. I simply do not believe that quality hair care has to be expensive.I love having a job that allows me put a part of myself into what I put out for others. I’m able to say I created this because there’s a need for it. Not just because it’s what’s the newest trend.
Q: What sets your line apart from other natural lines?
A: It’s easy to say that the time, love and care I put into my products sets me apart. But I believe that most of the smaller businesses do the same. What does set mainelement: love apart is the fact that it is formulated with plant based ingredients. These ingredients have cared for our bodies for ages; I believe they still work just as well today. What also sets it apart is that you get more than just a product, you get the knowledge and experience behind the product. When you receive an order from me, you get access to me for help with whatever challenges you are facing with your hair. I am very accessible, and I find joy in helping my customers develop a love affair with their hair.
Q: Can you give a few examples of some very special issues people have contacted you about and your advise to them?
A: Most naturalistasvhonestly have the same problems, they just don't realize how common their issue is.
Q: On average, is it very expensive to be natural?
A: It doesn’t have to be, but some women have found it to be due to lack of proper information. While finding the right products is a combination of educated trial and error, there are ways to cut costs. I always recommend buying samples of products before committing to full size products. Some companies give away samples, and some sell them. Either way, be sure to get a sample size that has an amount that will allow you to try it at least once, if not two or three times to get a good idea whether or not the product can do what you want or need it to. Also, jump on opportunities to attend product swaps, whether online or in person. This gives you a chance to swap out products you didn’t like for others you;ve been interesting in trying out.
Q: What are some tips on saving money but keeping your hair healthy along with purchasing good quality products?
A: Don’t underestimate the power of items in your kitchen to care for your hair. I’ve written a number of posts of kitchen spa ingredients and recipes that can be used to care for a nourish your hair to health.
Q: How did mainelement: love get its name?
A: Simply stated, I started making products because I love myself and I love my hair. I’ve always felt that the energy a person feels affects everything they interact with. I won’t make a batch of product if I am in a bad mood, because I don’t want that energy to go into what I put out. This is the reason I say the main element found in each and every product I make is love.
Q: What is the ultimate mission and intent for your company as related to the company's success and your clientele?
A: My ultimate mission is to educate women on how to love their hair. When it’s healthy, it’s much easier to work with and the common complaint about natural hair is how unmanageable it can be. Once you choose to learn your hair, you choose to love your hair. Creating products that help women do that is how I contribute to each customer’s love affair with their hair.