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BEST OF ATLANTA: Kiyomi Rollins of The Good Hair Shop

Kiyomi Rollins’s preferred status is one of constant reinvention. Already a successful business owner of The Good Hair Shop since its humble beginnings at a mall kiosk back in 2008, to a thriving brick and mortar location currently, Rollins spent all of 2016 in business classes trying to be proactive versus reactive as the hammer of gentrification threatened to devour small businesses in the West End – now Westview. As a result of the classes, Rollins was able to successfully close on a small business loan through Invest Atlanta. The funding went towards yet another transformation of The Good Hair Shop which included a complete remodel and rebranding to include skin and hair product demos; and a brand new bar-style concept for its natural hair and skin product line – growing exponentially while still keeping its heart.

Its operating ethos: Natural hair – every kink, coil, loc, teeny-weeny afro or bald head is to be celebrated and loved upon; because there, “everybody has good hair.”

“Our shop is a safe place, a sacred space and a judgment free zone — your time is yours alone. The Afrocentric artwork on the walls, the music playing in the background and the images we play on the screen all work in sync to help you feel as cared for as your curls will.”

She’s been at this awhile. In fact, in the community where she grew up, folks affectionately referred to Rollins as, “the neighborhood girl who did hair.” She recognized how important hair was to the black community — for both women and men, and paired it with an entrepreneurial drive that finally lured her away from the corporate realm to create a missioned-principled company that believes in educating and empowering customers about exceptional haircare that is also environmentally sustainable and a linchpin of self-care.

“Hair defines us. We make important decisions based on hair. For us it’s about more than whether or not we’ll attend that social event. Our hair determines whether or not we’ll go for a swim or a workout, which means it even affects our health.”

The shop’s namesake makes it plain.

“I call my business The Good Hair Shop because, in our culture there have always been very strong and negative connotations about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ hair. Society romanticizes certain hair textures over others and, unfortunately, we internalize that from a very young age. I want my clients to understand that good hair is whatever the Creator blessed them with. In other words, it’s all good.”

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