BY: DELLIA RISMAY
The natural hair movement has been gaining some serious traction in recent years, and with that has come increased popularity in natural hairstyles. Instead of relaxers, more and more people are opting for styles like braids, afros, and dreadlocks. Due to the more permanent nature of locs, they must be cut off to be removed, many people think there is no easy way to customize them. But that simply isn’t true. Loc’d & Luscious Hair Jewelry and Accessories is here to add character and sparkle to your hair with custom-made pieces!
Loc’d and Luscious founder Sharean Fairman was born in Montreal, with Jamaican and Bajan roots. The eldest of five siblings, Sharean and her family moved to Toronto when she was around three years old. Today, she is a mother of four children: three girls, and one son.
Sharean began Loc’d and Luscious five years ago after a friend suggested she start creating hair jewelry. She began to do research on where she would be able to purchase the materials she would need before she dived into any sort of crafting. After realizing that the only place to purchase loc jewelry was online (and seeing that these pieces also had expensive shipping costs), Sharean decided that crafting her own would be a viable solution after all. “I got a few supplies, and I started to make a few. I made them and gave them to [my friend]—she was going away on a tour with a music group. I gave them to her as a gift, and she didn’t come back with it,” she says. The jewelry she was wearing in her hair got so much attention that she ended up giving them to some family members she visited during her trip. Even though Sharean was hesitant about diving into her business at first because she had so many other things going on in her life, the interest her jewelry was garnering was the push that she needed to begin taking her ideas to the next level.
Part of Sharean’s passion for creating jewelry, specifically loc jewelry, stems from her own loc journey. “It was based on the fact that I didn’t want to fit into the mold, I didn’t want to try to conform to what people say black hair should be like. But I didn’t want it to be wild like an afro […] for me, it was accepting myself in my natural state,” she says.
While continuing to work as a project coordinator and raising her children as a single parent, Sharean introduced Loc’d and Luscious to attendees of a Christmas-Kwanzaa festival, where she was a vendor. She brought along a few pieces, including ear jewelry and waist beads. “I sold so much that I was shocked!” she recalls with a laugh. “I thought, ‘oh, maybe I could do this.’” In 2015, Sharean began selling her products on Etsy, an online retailer known for connecting vendors and customers looking for one-of-a-kind items. She continued to showcase her products at community events, and the interest continued to grow.
As the demand for her unique pieces continued, Sharean began to see just how much of an investment being a small business owner was. “One of the things I learned as a business owner is if you’re doing it on the side, just as a part-time thing, it still takes a lot of time,” she says. The income she generates isn’t enough to sustain herself and her children, so she continues to work full-time. Though it is a challenge, Sharean truly enjoys what she does, and even finds the process of making jewelry therapeutic. “It’s like a passion. I tend to create a lot when I’m stressed, or I just have some downtime. That’s when I have time to create new pieces, or new designs and so forth,” she explains.
Though many beauty supply stores now carry jewelry that can be placed in locs, twists, braids, or other styles, Sharean says Loc’d and Luscious is still unique. “It’s still a new thing in the Toronto area, or in Canada, per se […] to have genuine pieces that has been created for them, one-of-a-kind pieces. That’s still a new concept here as opposed to the U.S.”
On top of making jewelry that stands out visually, Sharean customizes her pieces even further for her clients. “I sell a lot of jewelry that absorbs negativity, that blocks, that gives strength, that gives self-esteem and encourages them to be more open and more loving.” She says that when she explains the properties of her jewelry to people, she is sometimes met with questions. “A lot of people don’t understand how gemstones work and probably think it’s a cult-ish thing. But in my research, and through speaking to people who know more about the stones than I do, it’s so much a part of us, because they’re from the earth, and we’re from the earth, so it’s a great connection,” explains Sharean. It’s nice to know that it could be pretty, but it also has meaning. I say my jewelry is made with love, but it’s true. When I’m making a piece especially for someone, I’m putting so much thought into it and I’m making it so unique for them.”
To get your own custom-made jewelry, whether it be loc jewelry, earrings, bracelets, or more, contact Sharean on Instagram by searching for @locdnluscious, or at https://www.facebook.com/locdandluscious2016/ .