MEET THE TEAM

MEET THE TEAM

 

Karrie Fitzmaurice

Who are you and what do you do for KIT? 

I’m Karrie. I’m the founder and CEO of KIT.

How would you describe the KIT Team?

Obsessed. I would describe the KIT team as my dream team. I feel so comfortable and so inspired around each and every one of them every day. I feel truly grateful that I can be myself. The KIT team is a place where I can grow.

What’s something that you do to help feel connected to yourself?

Meditation when I can. As of late, tarot cards which I do every night before bed. And breathing, I find that anytime I feel stressed I just sit with myself and regulate my breathing and my blood flow and just try to stay calm and feel safe in my own body.

Luna Chibwa

Who are you and what do you do for KIT? 

Luna Chibwa, KIT’s COMMUNITY MANAGER

How would you describe the KIT Team?

I would describe the KIT team as a powerhouse of amazing women collaborating and creating with passion, vision and purpose.

Being a part of the KIT team has helped me grow and gain a deeper understanding of myself and my vision as a place where I’m always learning, growing and being inspired.

What’s something that you do to help feel connected to yourself?

Crochet, it allows me to slow down, be present, meditate and connect with my inner thoughts and emotions as well as create.

Lulu Richards

Who are you and what do you do for KIT? 

Lulu Richards, SOCIAL MEDIA AND CONTENT CREATOR

How would you describe the KIT Team?

The kit team is a supportive, kind, fierce group of talent. 

What’s something that you do to help feel connected to yourself?

Running

Mariella Agapiou

Who are you and what do you do for KIT? 

Mariella Agapiou, CONTENT CREATOR, SOCIAL STRATEGIST

How would you describe the KIT Team?

Having been part of numerous teams over the years, Team KIT is my fave. Working alongside this group of talented women — not just creating content, but working towards cultivating positive change in the industry — is oh so invigorating. They continue to inform, intrigue and inspire me on the daily.

What’s something that you do to help feel connected to yourself?

When I need to feel present and connected, I tend to throw myself into some form of exercise, be it running or yoga — usually pushing it to the max. Ideally, I should just go for a walk and reconnect with nature. (Not the inside of a gym).

Sophia Collins

Who are you and what do you do for KIT? 

Sophia Collins, WRITER at KIT 

How would you describe the KIT Team?

I am so beyond grateful to be doing this with these incredible women. There’s so much magic, love and support in this team. When we meet there’s just an energy I haven’t experienced before and incredible thoughts/questions/answers. I fuuuuucking love it. 

What’s something that you do to help feel connected to yourself?

I walk & write to feel peaceful and more connected to my thoughts. Just to understand myself more, and grow.

Thats us!  The elite team.

If you think you would be a great addition to the team feel free to get into touch by clicking the email button on our Instagram.

We are always looking for new talent.

 

Team KIT xo


THE METAVERSE

THE METAVERSE

By Sophia Collins

 

Okay – everyone is talking about the Metaverse, everyone wants to UNDERSTAND IT. So at KIT we’ve done a little research to try and figure out the best way to explain it

Right now BASICALLY it isn’t anything – there is nothing launched. The Metaverse hasn’t been DEFINED yet. AR seems like it’s in the running to be the first step in the direction towards the Metaverse. SO let’s start there:

What is AR: AUGMENTED REALITY is technology that SUPERIMPOSES a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world.

What is VR: VIRTUAL REALITY is a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, making the user feel they are immersed in their surroundings. This environment is perceived through a device known as a Virtual Reality headset or helmet.

What is the Metaverse: BASICALLY: It is an environment where the physical and digital world can coexist.  A digital universe of limitless and virtual communities. The Metaverse is a mix of 3-dimensional worlds accessed through a browser, app, or a headset. It allows people to have interactions and experiences. The Metaverse is built with 3D video graphics, environments, and avatars. Your Metaverse experience is a virtual world that’s populated by other players like you in the same Metaverse – and usually interested in similar things as the community.

HOW DO I GET TO THE METAVERSE? You can use virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, apps, browsers! 

What can you DO there? SO MUCH.  You can socialise,  you can host exhibitions, go to parties, go to a virtual concert. YOU CAN SHOP. The Metaverse also has its own rules, physics and even its own currency. They’re called bits, coins, or tokens. 

There are a lot of people that think the Metaverse will take over a great deal of physical things.

Here are a few examples of what brands are doing right now:

Watch this space for more to come. We are only getting started!


WILL THE HAIR INDUSTRY EVER EARN THE TRUST OF THE BLACK CONSUMER?

WILL THE HAIR INDUSTRY EVER EARN THE TRUST OF BLACK CONSUMERS?

By Luna Chibwa

 

When I think of my relationship with my hair – and the hair industry in general – it’s one marked with highs and lows. Complicated, intriguing and overall, still a work of progress.

Trust, or the lack thereof, within the industry is something I myself feel, and many other Black women are still working on — from trusting hairdressers to learning how to trust mainstream hair care brands. When I talk about the lack of trust, I’m describing a myriad of mistrusts. This can range from that anxious feeling of not really knowing if you’re in capable hands with your hairdresser, to the gut-sinking feeling when things inevitably go wrong when you indeed find yourself in incapable hands. And of course, the abundance of articles on the lack of hair diversity and the continuous hair discrimination for your doom scrolling needs. 

I personally feel the reason that there is segregation within the industry is due to the lack of trust between Black consumers and the hair care execs at the top. The statistics speak for themselves: like a trauma response to the abuse of trust… 

 

  • 58% of Black hair care products contain at least one toxic ingredient 
  • 70% of Black women read labels on hair care products
  • 87% of Black women prioritise clean and safe products
  • 25% of Black women have difficulty finding products for their hair — more than 50% have been unable to find them

But just how toxic are these Black hair care products? In 2020, DevaCurl was under fire due to claims that their products cause hair loss, damage to the curl type/texture, scalp damage, and even a triggering of psoriasis. I believe this is the leading motivation behind why so much of natural hair care is focused on natural ingredients, ayurvedic remedies and DIY treatments.

There has been one hell of a silver lining: the boom in natural hair care brands, along with the consumer trend of supporting and shopping Black-owned labels through the innate understanding that the product can be trusted. (Simply put: Black-run brands are more trustworthy to a curly or textured haired person because they more than recognise the pain points by virtue).

As refreshing as it may feel —  seeing hair care brands diversifying their product offerings for “all hair types” and introducing curly-hair product lines — I do wonder if this will be the stepping stone towards a more integrated hair industry. Or, if it’ll take more trust-building through representation of POC hairstylists as brand ambassadors to really get Black consumers on board to fully trust mainstream brands. And be integrated into the ‘professional salon care’ sector and out of the niche. Cydia Harvey once summed up the Black hair care market to have “a lot of misinformation and not enough care, so people end up disappointed because they’re bouncing between trying different low-performance products and brands they can’t trust.” That is why she opted for a direct-to-consumer approach for T.H.O.M., her own brand, building direct trust and communication with the consumer.

As far as trust-building goes, I have a positive outlook that this gap and segregation within the industry is being repaired, as more brands realise that they cannot promote diversity without being truly inclusive in all facets.

By Luna Chibwa


BREAKTHROUGH IN ALOPECIA

HERE are the facts about ALOPECIA: 

Alopecia areata, commonly referred to as just alopecia, is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own hair follicles, causing hair to fall out, often in clumps. 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates that alopecia areata affects 15 in 10,000 people in the UK. The NICE calculation gives a figure around 100,000 people in the UK currently affected by alopecia. AND in the US approximately 6.8 million people.

Kendall Marcus, M.D., director of the Division of Dermatology and Dentistry in the FDA’s Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research STATES: ‘Access to safe and effective treatment options is crucial for the significant number of Americans affected by severe alopecia, today’s approval will help fulfil a significant unmet need for patients with severe alopecia areata.’

BEFORE THIS – there weren’t many options for people with the condition: They often relied on steroid injections or unproven creams in an attempt to reverse the condition. 

ADDITIONALLY – People in the US suffering with alopecia have often taken other drugs that may help, such as JAK inhibitors ruxolitinib or tofacitinib, but they are not approved by the FDA for alopecia. That means they can only be prescribed off-label, which insurers often don’t cover and can cost patients as much as $5,000 a month. WHAT. 

This is so good to hear that the FDA has approved such a GAME CHANGER. 

Join the conversation here.


CREATIVE HEAD WINNERS

We know we’re a little late – but out of respect for the Queen and those struggling with the news we thought we would hold off…

It was all about CREATIVE HEAD on Monday, and we have to share with you the incredible WINNERS!  And a special shout out to KIT clients Danielle Garner for winning Entrepreneur + The One to Watch ! And Wildflower for winning Best Client Experience. And Grace Dalgleish for winning Colour Expert.

AWARD FOR INNOVATION: Peter Johnson for ITZI Turbans and Towels

BEST CLIENT EXPERIENCE: Wildflower, Dublin

BEST LOCAL SALON: BE Ironbridge, Telford

BEST NEW SALON: Nashwhite, Warwick 

BEST SALON TEAM: Billi Currie, London

BUSINESS THINKER: Mark Woolley, Electric

COLOUR EXPERT: Grace Dalgleish, London

CREATIVE TALENT: Marlon Hawkins, Brooks & Brooks, London

EDUCATION EXPERT:Lee Stafford Education Foundation, London

HAIR TREND: Rick Roberts, Rick Roberts, Beverley 

INDEPENDENT STYLIST: Anna Cofone, London

MEN’S HAIR SPECIALIST: Jody Taylor, Essex

SUSTAINABILITY HERO: Keith Mellen and Anne Veck, Anne Veck Oxford, Oxford.  

TEXTURE EXPERT: Lisa Farrall, WIG London, London

SESSION STYLIST: Bjorn Krischker 

HAIR ICON: Eugene Souleiman

IT LIST:

EDITORIAL STYLIST: Lauren Bell, London                                               

THE ENTREPRENEUR: Danielle Garner, Wildflower,  Dublin

THE RISING STAR: Georgia Freeman, Q Cut Hair & Beauty, Surrey

THE SALON STYLIST:  Ryan Steedman, Adam Reed London, London 

THE VISIONARY: Quentin Taillepied, Stag, Edinburgh  

THE ONE TO WATCH: Danielle Garner, Wildflower, Dublin           

At Kit we are already excited about the next awards season!


CREATIVE HEAD FINALISTS

Here are the FINALISTS Creative Head 2022! The one’s in bold are some of our special KIT clients *wink wink*

EDUCATION EXPERT

Allilon Education, London

Humankind Hair, London

Lee Stafford Education Foundation, London

Sophia Hilton and Not Another Academy, London

Westrow House Academy, Leeds

 

AWARD FOR INNOVATION

Maddi Cook for The Inner Circle

Errol Douglas MBE for Errol Douglas Club

Peter Johnson for ITZI Turbans and Towels

Danielle Kennedy for Collectively Accountable

Nashwhite for The Heist House  

 

BEST CLIENT EXPERIENCE

Gatsby & Miller, Amersham

Matthew Curtis Hair, Stratford-upon-Avon

Radio London, London

Wildflower, Dublin

YOKE The Salon, Plymouth     

BEST LOCAL SALON

BE Ironbridge, Telford

Gatsby & Miller, Amersham

Nashwhite, Warwick

Wildflower, Dublin

YOKE The Salon, Plymouth  

BEST NEW SALON

Boone & Last, London

Koop Studio, London

Nashwhite, Warwick

SHAG!, London

The Rubicon London, London  

BEST SALON TEAM

Billi Currie, London

Goldsworthy’s, Swindon

TINT, Leeds

Wildflower, Dublin

YOKE The Salon, Plymouth   

BUSINESS THINKER

Katy Grimshaw, Spectrum One, Rossendale

Joe Hemmings, Bloggs Salons, Bristol

Colin McAndrew, Medusa, Edinburgh and Musselburgh

Nuala Morey, Nuala Morey, Bristol

Mark Woolley, Electric

COLOUR EXPERT

Jordanna Cobella, Cobella, London

Daniel Couch, Russell Eaton, Leeds

Grace Dalgleish, London

James Earnshaw, Manchester

Veronica Wysocka, Josh Wood, London 

CREATIVE TALENT

Grace Dalgleish, Billi Currie, London

Daniele De Angelis, TONI&GUY Shoreditch, London

Marlon Hawkins, Brooks & Brooks, London

Richard Phillipart, The Boutique Atelier, Ellesmere Port

Cos Sakkas, TONI&GUY, London   

HAIR TREND

James Earnshaw, Manchester

James Parr, Nashwhite, Warwick

Rick Roberts, Rick Roberts, Beverley

Caroline Sanderson, Ego Hair Design, Inverness

Tracey Devine-Smith, French & Ivi, Belper  

INDEPENDENT STYLIST

Luke Benson, Hertfordshire

Laura Chadwick, Cambridgeshire

Anna Cofone, London

Lisa Farrall, London

Chris Foster, Hertfordshire

MEN’S HAIR SPECIALIST

Pete Cranfield, Merseyside

Charlie Cullen, Kent

Chris Foster, Hertfordshire

George Smith, TONI&GUY, Salisbury

Jody Taylor, Essex

SUSTAINABILITY HERO

Lisa Phillips, Ora Hair, Banstead

Stephen Buller and Anita Rice, Buller And Rice, London

Anil Salhan, BLACC + BLOND, Birmingham

Kaye Sotomi, Chop Chop London, London

Anne Veck and Keith Mellen, Anne Veck Oxford, Oxford  

TEXTURE EXPERT

Anna Cofone, London

Errol Douglas MBE, Errol Douglas, London

Lisa Farrall, WIG London, London

Chris Foster, Hertfordshire

Tariq Howes, Avenue Male Grooming, Cardiff  

SESSION STYLIST

Cyndia Harvey

Luke Hersheson

Bjorn Krischker

Charlotte Mensah

Anthony Turner  

HAIR ICON

Sally Brooks

Errol Douglas MBE

Robert Eaton

Gary Gill

Sophia Hilton

Zoë Irwin

Guido Palau

Adam Reed

Angelo Seminara

Eugene Souleiman

SO EXCITED. Good luck everyone.


SOME SEPTEMBER READS

 

Here are some special September reads for you… all books have links for you to purchase.

 

Hair by Guido: 

Influential and inspirational to professional hairstylists and kids on the streets alike, this is Guido’s visionary view of hair in the new millennium.”

 

Rapunzel’s Daughters: What Women’s Hair Tells Us about Women’s Lives by Rose Weitz:

The first book to explore the role of hair in women’s lives and what it reveals about their identities, intimate relationships, and work livesHair is one of the first things other people notice about us–and is one of the primary ways we declare our identity to others”

 

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Lori Tharps and Ayana Byrd:

Hair Story is a historical and anecdotal exploration of Black Americans’ tangled hair roots. A chronological look at the culture and politics behind the ever-changing state of Black hair from fifteenth-century Africa to the present-day United States, it ties the personal to the political and the popular”

 

Permanent Waves by Julie Ann Willet:

Throughout the twentieth century, beauty shops have been places where women could enjoy the company of other women, exchange information, and share secrets. The female equivalent of barbershops, they have been institutions vital to community formation and social change.”

 

Doing Business With Beauty by Adia Harvey Wingfield:

Black women comprise one of the fastest-growing groups of business owners in the United States. In Doing Business with Beauty, sociologist Adia Harvey Wingfield examines this often-overlooked group and one of the most popular businesses run by these entrepreneurs: hair salons”

 

Styling Masculinity by Kristen Barber:

The twenty-first century has seen the emergence of a new style of man: the metrosexual.”

 

Fashion and Fantasy by Laurent Philippon:

“Throughout history, hairstyles have conferred status. Cleopatra wore elaborate braids; Marie-Antoinette’s contemporaries competed to pile their hair outrageously high; punk fashion made a fetish of spiked and dyed hair”

 

Hair by Sam Mcknight:

“A bounty of hairstyles, from nostalgic to androgynous, that have transformed women throughout the past forty years, from the legendary Sam McKnight, one of fashion’s leading hairstylists.”

 

It’s Not Really About the Hair: The Honest Truth About Life, Love, and the Business of Beauty by Tabatha Coffey

“Tabatha Coffey’s unflinching honesty and never-say-die attitude, some do not and have even taken to name-calling. Refusing to let others define her, she has reclaimed the word “bitch,” transforming it to fit the person she is: Brave, Intelligent, Tenacious, Creative, and Honest.”

 

Beauty Shop Politics by Tiffany M Gill:

Looking through the lens of black business history, Beauty Shop Politics shows how black beauticians in the Jim Crow era parlayed their economic independence and access to a public community space into platforms for activism”

Freelancer by April C:

Freelancer will take you through everything you need to know, all the ins and outs of freelancing, told from first-hand experience.

Happy reading… 


DYSLEXIA

It is estimated that dyslexia affects as many as 1 in 10 of the population to some degree. One in 25 is severely dyslexic. 

Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills and reading. Many of those who suffer with dyslexia experience difficulties with other language skills such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words. The disorder affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. At KIT we just want to understand more — the word itself  is thrown around too often, and there is no true understanding of the cause. AND there isn’t enough discussion on how those with dyslexia have SERIOUSLY AMAZING TALENTS that are OVERLOOKED. 

“People with dyslexia think and learn differently from others. They sometimes feel as if their mind is ‘differently wired’”

One of the more advantageous qualities in many dyslexic people, is their ability to think outside of the box: UNORTHODOX IDEAS that can pave the way for great business strategies. Another trait that many dyslexics possess, is their ability to use logical reasoning and critical thinking. GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), has said, the result of a drive to recruit those whose brains process information differently. One in particular, says those with dyslexia have valuable skills spotting patterns that others miss. 

It is also fundamental to the growth of businesses to cater for those who struggle with dyslexia so they CAN reach their full potential. These are a few ways to navigate support:

  • Make sure employees are not restricted in being able to adjust text and background to a style or format that best suits them

  • Use text-to-speech software to have chunks of text read aloud

  • Explore Digital Tools – a digital recording device.

  • Ensure important documents for meetings are distributed in advance and not just handed out in the meeting.

  • FONTS. Choose clear fonts. Some fonts are easier to read than others and, for employees with dyslexia, a poorly chosen font could add unnecessary difficulty to their work. SIDE NOTE: Ariel is statistically the favourite.

  • Demonstrate a SUPPORTIVE CULTURE.


Getting WIGGY with it

According to Vogue Business, the demand for wigs and hair extensions is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. And there’s one brand on the market that’s garnering a following and making headlines…  

Parfait is the new American brand calling on tech expertise, to offer a highly personal approach to wigs and hair extensions. Launched by a FABULOUS QUARTET OF FOUNDERS — CEO Isoken Igbinedion, CMO Simone Kendle, CTO Ifueko Igbinedion and COO Marlyse Reeves — the DTC brand’s winning formula allows consumers to visit its website and find multiple options for textures, colours, length and style — plus AI-driven skin tone matching and virtual consultations. AMAZING, no? 

The use of AI takes the accuracy of fit to a new level — a potentially game-changing facility because it removes the need for multiple bands and glues to attach wigs to the head. “We’re trying to bring wigs into the 21st century,” states Isoken Igbinedion. “We are a technology company first that just so happens to sell wigs and extensions.”

The worldwide market value of wigs and extensions is expected to reach $7.62 billion this year and is projected to almost double to $13.28 billion by 2026, according to Research and Markets, a global research firm. 

For decades, distribution has been highly fragmented, with extensions and wigs sold in salons, local beauty stores and online direct-to-consumer. Numerous celebrities, athletes and influencers have launched lines, but nothing has got us as excited as Parfait.

We can’t wait to see them go global. 

myparfait.com


A CHECK IN...

Millions of adults may suffer from SAD. SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER.

Although many may not know they have the condition. SAD occurs much more often in women than in men, and it is more common in those living farther north, where there are shorter daylight hours in the winter.  Seasonal affective disorder can induce feelings of sadness, fatigue and lack of motivation. Trouble concentrating. Loss of interest in activities you usually  enjoy. Difficulty with sleep (either sleeping too much or too little). Feeling hopeless and worthless most of the time. Feeling irritable or cranky. Withdrawing from friends and family.  Suicidal ideations. Loss of appetite or overeating. BASICALLY, you feel utterly depressed, and can’t usually work out why… 

 Support for seasonal depression 

  • FOCUS on one small thing but significantly change your nutrition each day.

  •  A high quality multivitamin

  • Acupuncture treatments

  •  Ensure you are getting adequate levels of vitamin D.

  •  Get fresh air, bright light therapy, or sit in the sunlight near a window.

  •  Full suite of B vitamins in bioavailable ideal forms

  • You’re not alone.