Check out these local Black businesses run by students at the University of Alabama!
Hair by Zari
Who: Tazari Woodmore, a senior from Southern California majoring in Spanish with a student-designed minor in Health Care Management and a cultural background focus
What: “Hair by Zari provides natural hair care services for women of color. We focus on college students and young women in efforts to enlighten them of the beauty and potential of their natural hair. We only provide natural services to ensure that everyone is getting undivided attention to progress to optimally healthy hair. A few of those services include silk press, protective styles such as two-strand twists, and braid-outs. Clients can request a deep scalp massage after coming down from a wig or braids to replenish moisture. One of our most requested services is Vitamin Treatment. The Vitamin Treatment is a hand-made, intensive hair repair treatment mixed with essential oils and hair cuticle fortifiers to stop breakage and seal those brittle ends”
When: “I started to realize that all of these Black girls at UA have a TON of hair, they just don’t know what to do with it. I decided to provide consistent services to help put my client in the right mindset to learn about and maintain their locks.”
Why: “Most of us grew up getting consistent perms and braids and presses as we were always taught to tame it, put it up, or “make it look decent”. I wore weaves from the time I was about 10 years old until my sophomore year at UA before I knew that my hair could actually curl. And don’t get me wrong, I love my wigs and weaves. But the way you feel when you’re comfortable in your own crown is a different type of confidence that a lot of Black women are simply missing out on. So when I experienced this new/ OG version of myself, I felt obligated to bring anyone I can up to this elevated level of self-confidence. I wanted to start this business to show my sisters that the very hair that comes out of their heads is beautiful and can be maintained and grown with patience, love, and faith. God blessed my hands to make people feel good. So as he gave to me, I will give unto others.”
Social Media: Instagram: @Hairby_zari – Instagram
Facebook: Hair by Zari
K.T.D.A | Keep The Dream Alive
Who: Cameron Urquhart, a graduate with a degree in General Studies from Detroit, Michigan.
What: “KTDA is a brand for everyone. We all have dream[s] and goals that we wish to achieve, some big, some small. However, our apparel reflects the concept of perspective- it doesn’t matter what that dream or goal is, it’s yours; more importantly, it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks or sees -reason for [the logo] being upside down. So our brand is focused solely on the development of the dreamer and bringing that dream to reality via providing goal setting tips, online mentoring, and much more.”
When: “Never decided that I wanted to start this honestly. It honestly just happened and I’m blessed to be that inspiration to people that have purchased any of our clothing.”
Why: “I’ve been saying KTDA since 2016. I’m introverted deep down and, for those that knew me throughout school, I was known for my Snapchat posts. I’d constantly post these “Nature” posts or KTDA in the early mornings before a workout. In 2013, during high school, I was diagnosed with a heart condition that prevented me from ever playing sports again. If you’re an athlete reading this or know of any, just imagine being told you can’t play anymore during junior/senior year of your sport. The pain was indescribable. All I could do was cry, at the time, but I soon realized that life moves on. I was prescribed two pills to take once a day and limited to only a brisk walk for physical activity which killed me inside. Even though the doctor didn’t approve, I’d still find myself lifting light weights with my grandpa, throwing, running, etc. because I knew/felt fine- this condition was a major during the time of athletes losing consciousness and dying practices. Nonetheless, there was something in me to keep going. The following year I went for my checkup and the doctor had me repeat the same tests over and over again as if something was wrong. He said, I literally could count on one hand how many people I’ve let continue to play sports after first being diagnosed with the condition- he let me back into sports. So if you’re ever wondering why KTDA is what it is today, it’s because of that reason. I never gave up, I never laid down, I never stopped believing I could come back from this. So I stress to everyone that no matter what you’re going through, that storm will eventually pass but it’s up to [you] [to] keep that dream alive, whatever it may be. You owe it to yourself.“
Social Media: Instagram: @thektdaway
Who: Amber Evans, graduate with a BSW in Social Work from West Point, Georgia who currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
What: “Each shirt has a daily reminder of who the Great I AM. is and what He can do. I design socks, shirts, and bags. You choose your favorite colors and styles to purchase.”
When: “I was in a city year meeting with my other corp members listening to them share their stories. One person shared how they started to dream bigger despite their circumstance and I knew then I needed to do the same. So I started searching for ways to put my dreams into action.”
Why: I started my personal relationship with God about a year ago during a really tough time in my life. I was really sad and I felt alone despite being surrounded by people, smiling on the outside but crying and stressed on the inside. Church changed that for me and I feel whole now. After graduating I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma as a part of City Year attempts to provide services for public schools. I wanted students to keep pushing for their goals. I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough in life so I started to put every idea I’ve ever had to motion starting with the I AM. brand because God is the one who has turned my life around and I just want to share it with everyone who may be where I was once before. Young lives ending and or being taken right near me and seeing it affect my friends and community. I have to live for the ones who couldn’t fulfill their dreams. I don’t want there to be one dream that I didn’t at least try to achieve.”
Social Media: Instagram: @CrazyFaith_IAM
Who: Leah McGruder, a senior majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Spanish from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
What: “I am a braider and looking to get my cosmetology license one day. I sell clothes and accessories while learning about trading. My brand is about growth and having multiple streams of income. I want to break the cycle of feeling as if active income is the only income we need.”
When: “I have always wanted to start a business since I got into the 9 to 5 world. The experience helped me grow but I realized it was not for me mentally, emotionally, and physically. After my untimely departure from my last job in January 2020, I took a leap of faith and decided to start building my business! “
Why: “My why is that I want to make a difference for my new little family. I’m bringing my son into this world soon and I want him to be well taken care of. I push because I don’t want to go back to the life that didn’t care for me as much as I cared for it. It takes time and it is molding me into a better person personally and business-wise.”
Social Media: Instagram: @lishunte