In 2007, entrepreneur Tanisha L. Blakemore decided that she no longer wanted to”lye” to herself, so she stopped using relaxers and began to embrace her natural hair. While on her natural hair journey she started to realize how her self-esteem began to skyrocket and she fell in love with her coils, texture and the healthiness of her chemical-free hair.
This new fondness for her natural hair lead Tanisha to search for casual apparel that she could relate to naturally, however she could find known. This void in the market lead to the creation of ‘Get Twizted Tees’ which consists of original artwork that allows wearers to express themselves with images depicting natural haired beauties and statements promoting kinky, curly, coily, self-love.
Get TWIZTED Tees is the foundation to Tanisha’s overall vision to establish awareness to better living. Her long-term vision for the future is to develop a company that offers organic apparel, chemical free hair and nail services, along with a juice bar, and holistic store.
Tanisha L. Blakemore is the CEO and Designer of Get TWIZTED Tees and the Savvy Sistah of the Week!
What inspired you to create inspirational t-shirts for Savvy Sistahs with natural hair?
During my journey I sought out casual apparel that I could relate to naturally, but none to be found. None that really made me feel good about being natural. I came across cookie-cutter designs that lacked originality and failed to convey my passion for being natural. So I thought about what would I like to wear, what would I want to see that would express my love for being natural, something that others could relate to as well!!
You started your own natural hair journey 5 years ago, what lead you to make the decision to go natural?
Well at one point I was in cosmetology school during this time we were studying chemical used in relaxers which was definitely an eye opener. I always wondered what my hair was like in its natural state, so I then decided to take that journey. After 2 attempts I finally decided to have someone cut majority of my hair. Unsure of what the result would be or how to get through this process, I was excited and ready for this journey, ready for the new ME.
What challenges have you faced since you decided to start your own business? How did you overcome them?
The greatest challenge that I think I have faced are the not knowing of what to do. How to run a business, what I needed to be successful, steps I needed to take. Well the Internet has a wealth of information. I did a lot of reading, working with a business advisor through my church, reached out to those that had done it and been successful. It all has been more than helpful. I’m still striving for stability in my business, a place to where I’m comfortable about how things are being ran. I continue to read things like Black Enterprise, INC.com and other periodicals that will give me more knowledge on how to maintain a successful business.
What are your top must-have items for a smooth transition from relaxed to natural hair?
I believe education is first and for most. Reading and learning about the growth of hair and how to keep it healthy, from the inside out. During my transition I wore braids, sew-ins and other extensions until I was comfortable with exposing my own hair. Must have items…Water, Shea butter, Aloe Vera and oils(coconut, jojoba, Castor oil, etc.)
What are your long term goals for the Twizted Tee brand?
I want to establish awareness to better living. My long-term vision for the future is to develop a company that offers organic apparel, chemical free hair and nail services, along with a juice bar, and holistic store. Going natural made me read more about how to take care of myself. The chemicals that are not only in hair products but in our medications and foods as well.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start their own t-shirt business?
My advice first would be make sure its something that you love to do. There is nothing more enjoyable than doing something that doesn’t feel like a chore, something you dread doing. I say read, read, read. Research what others have done, steps they took to become successful. Also do things that set yourself apart. Ideas that will make you stand out… That’s TWIZTED Tees motto: “Dare to Be Different
Why are you a Savvy Sistah?
What makes me a SAVVY SISTAH, hmmmm? Well wanting to be in the know of many things. I’m a very analytical and detailed oriented person, so I’m always seeking an understanding on what’s going on. My favorite question is WHY? Asking this leads into so much more. I LOVE learning new things. With all that I learn, my love is also sharing my knowledge with others.
Tanisha L. Blakemore is on a mission to create apparel with images depicting natural haired beauties and statements promoting kinky, curly, coily, self-love and that’s why she’s the Savvy Sistah of the Week!
“Dare to be different…Get TWIZTED”