I’m Yolanda Renee and I am a woman with many gifts! I’ve always been a very creative individual that can pretty much use my creativity in everything I do.
My blog, www.etcblogmag.com is all about celebrity fashion, style, beauty, and natural hair. I recently added natural hair since I’ve gone natural. I treat my blog like my baby. I really love it and I think that is important to have a successful blog. I hope my readers realize how much work I put into it! I do everything myself from web design, graphic design, research on topics, writing, videos, editing, promoting, advertising, etc. The blog is very personal- I’m no writer! I write just like I talk and I hope that makes my readers feel like my “homegirls” just hanging out talking about celebrity drama and fashion. Oh and let’s not forget our natural hair. Lol.
I also do graphic design on the side and I have some major clients. I have Necole Bitchie of www.necolebitchie.com, Jenell Stewart of www.kinkycurlycoilyme.com, SunShine of www.sunshinesnaturalandlovingit.com, and I have another HUGE CLIENT that I cannot disclose right now. It’s in the works! I can’t wait to share. Fingers crossed! And when I have time I also help other clients out too, by request. So between the blog and my clients I stay really busy!
You’ve been featured on numerous blogs and facebook pages (including mine) as hair & Style inspiration…how do you feel about this?
OMG, yes…and thanks again for having me! I’ve gotten so much love from CurlBox, NaturalHairDaily, Kinky Curly Coily Me, Natural Society, SunShine’s Natural & Loving It, and more. And now this interview! I feel so honored! It really surprises me each time. I see my natural hair gurus and blogger idols doing their thing and I see why people are interested and inspired by them. And to see myself slowly getting there is so unbelievable. I mean, don’t get me wrong- I have a long way to go but that is my goal. My goal is to inspire women and show them their natural hair is beautiful, I want to make it easier for them to feel beautiful and stylish- because when you feel that way you have more confidence and that then carries over in everything you do! That is so important to me!
Have you always been natural? If not when did you ‘go natural’?
I wish! Trust me! I regret ever having a perm! Lol. But no, I started transitioning in November 2011. I kept my hair in a sew-in (weave) all the way up to May 2012…so what’s that- 6 months. And then I had enough. My hair was shedding and it was so annoying. I “big chopped” in May 2012 and had approximately 3 inches of hair! It was sooooooooo short but I immediately fell in love with it!
How did your family/friends react to your natural hair?
You know it’s so sad when you do not have any support when you go natural. My Mom looked so disappointed and some family members (females of course) had little comments here and there that were just so rude. This may be odd but I got the most support from my daughters (age 2 and 4) who have not been brainwashed to think “straight hair is only acceptable”, my boyfriend, Devon Beck who supports all that I do, co-workers who are not African American, and strangers! Isn’t that funny!?! But now that it has grown out and they see how I’ve taken control of it, they ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. It’s like no one wants to be there when you’re just starting out because it’s different. But they all fall in love with it once they understand. Lol.
So that is very important for anyone who plans to go natural- if you don’t have the support definitely reach out to natural hair gurus and communities. You need that support & inspiration. For real.
What would you say your go-to hairstyle is?
Say it with me…A BANTU KNOT OUT! LOL. That is my favorite style. If you go on my instagram (@etcblogmag) all you will see is my bantu knot out. I’ve had so much luck with it!
What does your hair regime consist of?
It’s very simple. I wash and deep condition my hair once a month. I co-wash once a week sometimes twice. I moisturise my hair daily by adding a small amount of water, cantu shea butter, and oil (as needed). I knot or twist my hair every night but I’m gradually lessening that to twice a week. My styles are starting to last longer. I’m not sure why but I love it!
Top three hair products?
Cantu Shea Butter, Eco Styler Gel, Shea Moisture EVERYTHING! LOL. But since I have one more choice I would have to say the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I think the Shea Moisture products are what’s making my styles last longer. That just occurred to me!
One piece of advice you would give someone thinking of going natural…
It is most definitely to build your confidence before going natural- being mentally ready for such a drastic change. Like I said in the beginning of this interview, a lot of people will doubt your decision so you have to have confidence to follow through.
If you aren’t mentally ready you will have a difficult time with this journey and will most likely reach for that perm (creamy crack)! Lol. So be mentally ready and reach out to the natural hair community which is everywhere- we are deep…on all social networks! I love it. Lol.
How would you describe your personal style?
All over the place. Lol. Not to be conceited, I do have style but I don’t have a set style. I like being edgy similar to Rihanna with Timberlands, skinny jeans, a bad ass t-shirt, and bamboo earrings! And my big fro! But I also like getting dolled up with a blazer, skinny jeans, pumps, and dope jewellery & accessories.
Most of my items are very classic pieces though…I’m not too trendy! I don’t do too much. It annoys me when people throw a bunch of “stuff” on and call it “style”…that’s so not me. I may have one item that’s in “yo face”…but that’s it. I do just enough, ya know!?!
Where do you draw style inspiration from?
Definitely from celebrities. I always say, celebs pay big money to have top stylists dress them so me looking to those celebrities makes me feel like I have an A-List Stylist of my very own. And that goes back to my blog- I study these celebrities and stylist to deliver the best style tips to my viewers!
Some celeb style crushes are Solange, Rihanna, Teyana Taylor, Kim Kardashian, and lately (sad but true), Beyonce. Her instagram outfits are very impressive. I’m proud of her or of her stylist! Lol.
Would you say your style has changed since you’ve been natural?
Absolutely! Since going natural I feel so different. I’m more daring now with my style…for example, I got my nose pierced, I’ve started rocking red lips which I would never do in the past, and I go for a more vintage look too- mixing prints, etc. Basically, going natural and seeing how Solange has been styled lately has changed my style tremendously!
And to close… what would you say your favourite purchased is?
Don’t laugh but I found this dope gold watch from GoodWill and I’m absolutely in love with it. I literally wear it EVERYDAY! LOL! It was only $2.50 but it looks like it cost $250! My best buy ever!
Check out more from Yolanda over on her site!