Joi “Unspeakable” Donaldson
Name and where you’re from?
I accidentally starting going natural in 2010, seeing how long I could go between relaxers to save funds. Then I began to research being natural, transitioning from processed to natural, finding my curl pattern, test-driving protective styles and products. In November 2012 I went completely natural, cutting out all the remaining relaxed strands. So I like to say I’ve been natural since Obama got back in the White House.
What are your favorite hair care products?
Because my hair can be a jerk sometimes, I’ve yet to find products that my hair doesn’t reject outside of water and coconut oil.
What is your go-to hairstyle?
Pineapple bun with curly bangs
What advice would you give to a woman that has a hard time embracing her natural hair?
Coming from someone who was wholly accepted as a naturalista for 3+ years and then entered a space where it was frowned upon, daring to wear your most authentic self is the loudest eff you to the status quo. It’s a journey. It’s annoying. It hurts your arms. But you make it beautiful because your validity is worth it.
Tell us about your business:
Right Side Reign is my hub of photography, writings and books, campaigns and partnerships.
Check out all my things here: joiunspeakable.com
What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?
Start. Everyone won’t get it. You will lose friends. Folk will tell you how much you’ve “changed.”
But this baby is yours. You deserve to see your name and life be lit. So start writing your plan and make things happen.
As women we wear many hats, how do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
Self care is vital for me. I purposely sit myself down to regroup, calm down, be angry, laugh with music, podcasts, riding out, yoga, etc. I’ve realized I deny myself time to feel what I need to feel so I can move forward. Doing that keeps me sane. I’m better to my daughter and those I love.
What were some of the obstacles you’ve faced as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
Being told all the nots:
not old enough, ladylike enough, brave enough.
I’ve dealt with sexism being one of few professional women photographers as well as in being my own boss, I’ve been told I’m intimidating. People will talk. It’s up to me whether I take it in and I choose not to. I’d rather show you my worth than talk you down from the hill of assumptions you created against me.
What does ‘Natural Power of HER’ mean to you?
That this life we live and exist in is naturally powered by us. We are magic, regardless of which spell you subscribe to.
How can we connect with you?
Facebook: Joi Donaldson (Unspeakable)