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Season 1 Episode 2

What Cosima Does - Black Hair for the Future

In this episode of What We Do, Lucie is joined by Cosima Richardson, founder of Kynd Hair. Cosima opens up about her personal life and experiences that have shaped her interests and passions, ultimately leading her to create sustainable, plant-based, biodegradable hair extensions tailored for the black community.

 

Cosima reflects on her unique upbringing, the feeling of being different, her entry to sustainability through her love for animals, and how these shaped her life and work.

 

Drawing on her professional background in branding and marketing, Cosima shares her exciting journey of turning a personal experience into a mission for a more sustainable and healthy world.

 

Links:

Kynd Hair's Instagram

Cosima's Linkedin

Founderland

Impact Factory (DE)

Transcript

Lucie [00:00:07]:

This is what we do. A show about how we, you and me, can have a positive impact on the world, live with integrity, and embrace the complex questions of our time without losing neither ourselves, our minds, nor our hope in the process. My name is Lucie Camara and I'm your host. Let's begin

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Cosima [00:00:43]:

My name is Cosima. I'm 30 years old and I am the founder of Kynd Hair. I founded Kynd Hair well, actually, I started two and a half years ago, but just founded my company this year. And what I'm doing is that I'm creating plant based biodegradable hair extensions specifically for the needs of the black community. I think maybe it's best for me to start with my interest in hair because that's a very significant part of this project. So my dad is black. He's from Nigeria and came to Berlin because he was a professional boxer, actually. And my mom is white, so she's from Germany, grew up in Germany, and I was born in 1992 in Cologne, and my parents got divorced when I was about five years old.

Cosima [00:01:54]:

And after that, my dad moved to a different city. And I grew up with my mom, which was amazing because I love my mom, she's the most amazing person, but she had no idea how to deal with my hair. So what ended up happening was that every once in a while she attempted to comb my hair, which for me was super painful. And what was good about it was that at least I got to watch TV during that time. But, yeah, I really hated those days when she had to comb through my hair. So my hair was always a very big issue for me, I would say. And then at one point, my parents took me to a braider for the first time, who braided synthetic hair onto my head.

Lucie [00:02:48]:

How old were you then?

Cosima [00:02:49]:

I was five. Do you remember pictures? I definitely remember, yeah. I think that honestly, that sounds cheesy, but I think it's one of my first memories, actually, from my childhood, because I so remember how much I loved having long hair for the very first time. And at that point, I always said to my mom or to my grandma that I wanted to have spaghetti hair like they did. And that was for the first time, me having spaghetti hair. Which is, of course, also problematic in some sense, that I was so content having these hair. But, yeah, that was my first encounter with synthetic hair.

Lucie [00:03:35]:

I just reacted to you using the word "problematic". When you talk about your feeling as a child, I think it's mostly understandable. Maybe the problematic part we could see as what the standards of beauty and all of that, but it's totally understandable. As a child, I remember I wanted to have a ponytail that looked like a real ponytail, and that could just move around when you run and when you jump and stuff. Yeah, it's very relatable, and I hope you don't beat yourself up for that feeling.

Cosima [00:04:14]:

Oh, no, I don't. I mean, you're totally right. I think I totally get it now. And I would say I'm not completely free of that. I mean, I grew up with that beauty ideal or white beauty standards, I would say, so that's none of us is free of that. Yeah, exactly. None of us is free of that. Anyway, so I had braids for the first time.

Cosima [00:04:40]:

I loved it. I very distinctly remember standing in my room in front of the mirror, dancing, swinging my hair. But then I never of course, I mean, I was five years old, so I would obviously never have questioned at this point what this hair is actually made of. And now, maybe to come back to the whole topic of sustainability, when did that start? So I would say that really started with my love for animals. So my entry into the whole topic of sustainability was veganism. And I remember, I think that was back in 2011, that my best friend told me she was going to eat vegan. And at this point, I had never heard of veganism. I was like, Why would you do that? And I thought she was crazy.

Cosima [00:05:35]:

But then I took an interest in it and I did some research, and it all seemed super logical to me, actually. So I started eating vegan. At that point, I was very strictly vegan. Now, I would say I eat maybe 95% of the time I eat vegan, so I eat vegan at home, but whenever I travel and there is no vegan food available, then I also eat different things. But yeah, so that was when I started to be interested in sustainability and started to inform myself more and more about livestock and the whole topic of emissions that come with that and everything. And I started to really become so passionate about it that I decided to make that my job. So when I wrote my master's thesis, I actually wrote about cultured meat, which you may have heard of. Cultured meat is basically you grow meat in a lab.

Cosima [00:06:43]:

So you take stem cells from a cow, for example, and you use that cell to grow meat out of it, which I think it's a great idea. It has its problems as well. And they're working on it to make it scalable in a way, because at this point, it's still very expensive. But, yeah, I started writing about that. And then after I finished my thesis, I started working at Wigans, which is a German vegan food brand. They're actually, I think, the largest not the largest food brand, but they have the most wide offer when it comes to vegan foods. And then afterwards, I ended up at Oatly, which is how we met. Worked at Oatly for two and a half years.

Cosima [00:07:42]:

And yeah, so food was my entry to sustainability. And I think at some point during my work for Oatly, or even earlier, I had that very strong urge to do a project of my own, to start my own business, to work more flexibly and really do something that remains in a way. And so that's how these two topics were combined. I would say my love and hate relationship, I have to say, with hair. But then also my very big passion for sustainability because I started questioning what those hair were actually made of. And I did some research and found out that it's made of plastic, which of course I had always known, but it's actually mostly made out of acrylic and also PVC, apparently also nylon polyester. I mean, there's a very wide variety of synthetic hair, so it's hard to say what each of those brands are actually made of. But acrylic, I think, is used the most often and acrylic is one of the most harmful polymers for our environment.

Cosima [00:09:12]:

Synthetic hair is very hard to recycle, which leads to millions of kilograms of plastic waste each year, which could be avoided. And then also those types of plastic contain toxic, sometimes even cancer causing ingredients. And that's what led me to start Kynd hair and yeah, wanting to come up with a new solution.

Lucie [00:09:51]:

I don't know much about hair extension other than, I mean, being black and being around the conversation, but it hasn't been a big part of my experience. But when I think about hair extension, I think about the plastic side, but also human hair as well. Do you have any experience with that knowledge of that and the intricacies of that side of the industry?

Cosima [00:10:22]:

Yeah, very good point. So human hair is also, of course, a gigantic market. There are so many women, not just black women, also lots of white women, that wear real human hair extensions. I did too at some point. I mean, I think I probably tried everything when it comes to extensions. And human mean is mostly donated. So a lot of women in India donate their hair as an act of religious belief and that hair is then sold. But there are also so many problematic things about this industry.

Cosima [00:11:06]:

I mean, I've read about women having their hair stolen when they sleep or when they go to the movies or just being basically forced to sell your hair because there is no other opportunity of income. So, yeah, human hair is also a huge market. The reason I started to focus on synthetic hair is just because it's so much easier to replace in the first step. So a lot of women that wear human hair wear them as wigs or any type where you wear your hair open, whereas synthetic hair is very often worn as braids, for example, which are braided. And that just makes it a lot easier to create the hair to match that quality that's needed for hair braiding.

Lucie [00:12:01]:

I wanted to ask you about the word sustainability and what it means to you and if it has evolved and your first encounter with the idea being Kynd of beyond preserving animals and protecting animals and if that has changed through the years and through your experiences.

Cosima [00:12:22]:

Yeah, very good question. My definition of sustainability, I think I really like that idea of behaving or acting in a way to leave this earth as a livable place for future generations. I think that's a great definition. And with that being said, I think that a lot of people, when they hear the word sustainability mostly think of our environment, I think, and mostly think of restricting yourself and not being able to do this or that, whereas I think it's so much wider. So one thing that I have been looking into a lot with Kynd hair is the whole topic of health which is also related to sustainability, of course. And what was super shocking actually to me is how toxic synthetic hair is, first of all. But then also I dug deeper into that whole topic and found out that cosmetics and beauty products that are targeted towards black women or women of color in general contain many more toxins or higher concentrations of toxins than beauty products that are made for the general market. So that was super shocking to me.

Cosima [00:13:43]:

And then with that, black women also suffer a lot more from hormone related diseases. So, for example, uterine fibroids, I think black women suffer from that twice as often as white women, for example. But also cervical cancer, early onset of puberty, all these things. The stretch at first seems very far between beauty products and these diseases. But when you look at studies, there are lots of studies that show that black women also have higher concentrations of exactly those toxins that we find in cosmetics in their blood. So there is a study, for example, that compares, I think, black hairdressers with white hairdressers. And what they found was that those black women, probably mostly women, that they just had much higher concentrations of toxins in their blood. That is.

Cosima [00:14:45]:

I think also a very important point when it comes to sustainability is that to sustain yourself, to sustain future generations that all these types of environmental toxins are super dangerous and something we have to look into more closely. Because as of now, I think no one really knows what that means and how it affects us. And it's super hard to prove any type of causality between beauty products and black women suffering more from hormone related diseases. But yeah, that's something that I find super interesting and that I would love to look into more.

Lucie [00:15:25]:

Absolutely. And I mean, that's the core of intersectional sustainability, as you say, health and toxicity and what we put in our body and what we put because we are the environment. So what we put in our body comes back out. And what are the studies that are being funded and who is looking into what and through what angle, that has a massive impact. The studies you've found, can you talk a little bit about how you found them? And is it global? Is it in Germany? Is it us?

Cosima [00:15:58]:

Based? Yeah, I think the problem with research on these topics is that you have to have that sounds weird, but you have to have some Kynd of critical mass, I guess. And in Germany, we have 1 million people estimated. We are black, which is like one in 80 people, which is not a lot, unfortunately. So for Germany or for German universities or whatever to do research on that, I think that just happens way too little because it's just not enough people. So most studies that I found are from the US. Actually. Yeah, and I definitely grew up in a very white space. Yeah, in a very white area.

Cosima [00:16:51]:

I think in my primary school, I mean, there were a few black kids, maybe like four, I would say four or five. And then it was the same in my high school, so I didn't really have anyone. I mean, yeah, I had a few people to share that experience with, but to be honest, growing up, I didn't really how do I say this? I think growing up, I didn't think about being black as much as just being different in general. So looking back, I think that obviously was a very strong or probably maybe even the main point, but to me was just I mean, I very strongly had this feeling of being different, of not fitting in and just wanting to adapt as much as possible to everything, to everyone.

Lucie [00:17:51]:

Can you talk a little bit more about your experience of difference? Like, if it wasn't through a racial perspective, what was it? And did you ever find community?

Cosima [00:18:02]:

I think one big thing was that my mom was actually a Buddhist, so she used to be a Christian, but then she converted to Buddhism at some point. Then after divorcing my dad, she started living with a woman, which they're still together. And I'm so happy that they're still together because I love that woman that she's with, and they're even married now. But I think for me, that was two big things that made me feel very different in a way and that I wanted to hide in some way from others, which today, honestly, makes me super sad because I think it's so amazing that I grew up with Buddhism and that my mom was just in such an amazing, healthy, supportive relationship. But yeah, I think that's what my feelings of being different evolved around a lot when I was in school. Growing up in Berlin, I think I was super lucky because it's just different than growing up in a small town. Being black. Of course it was a topic for me, especially with my hair and never really feeling like I fit in and I wasn't, I don't know, beautiful enough or whatever.

Cosima [00:19:37]:

But I didn't think about that too consciously until, I would say, a few years ago was when I really started looking more into racism and understanding that whole topic more from a broader perspective and also reading books about it. And yeah.

Lucie [00:20:05]:

You first of all, thank you for sharing and I hope your mom will hear this conversation because being different and having different upbringing than the majority around you, that's never easy. And the fact that you are talking about it today and that you're comfortable talking about it to me and on the podcast, I think that's very strong and brave and beautiful and the way you describe that relationship also, it's Kynd of like, yes, it's really great to hear and importance. I think you can be proud of yourself for that. I don't think I'm projecting there, but seeing your mother seeking a life that makes sense to her because she started as a Christian and heterosexual relationship and then moved on to spirituality that made more sense to her a relationship that made more sense to her. And you having this sense of individuality and maybe aloneness in some experience. Can you identify how that influences how you live your life today and the work you seek and what you do?

Cosima [00:21:21]:

That's a great question. Do you mean if my mom evolving into a life that she really wanted or as you said so beautifully, that really makes sense to her? Do you mean how that influenced my.

Lucie [00:21:37]:

Path, how you can trace that Kynd of individuality and this strength and power?

Cosima [00:21:45]:

Yeah, I definitely think that that's probably true for a lot of people, that you just want to adapt a lot when you're young and you feel like you want to fit in and you're super afraid of sticking out and doing your own thing. And I think that's still true to me. I mean, I find it very challenging to build this company all by myself and to just have the courage to not have a nine to five job and climb up the career ladder in a way, but to really step out and just dare to do something completely different, which I have no idea if it's going to work out at this point. At the very beginning. But yeah, as you said with my mom, this is definitely making sense of my life. So I've always had the desire to do my own thing, to build something of my own. And I think working in my previous jobs, I learned so much, but I never really had this feeling of this is my full potential. So it was always in a way, I felt always very limited with the tasks that I was given or with the freedom that I had, even though I was given a lot of freedom, especially at Oatly.

Cosima [00:23:23]:

And I loved that job also. That's not to mean I'm super grateful for having worked there, but still, I always felt like there has to be more. In the beginning, I actually wanted to do that with a friend of mine and we started working on it together. But then at some point he was like, I don't know if the market is ready and I don't know, maybe it's going to be too hard to figure out all the details and the materials. And so I think for like two weeks I stopped working on it and I was like, okay, he's probably right, it's too early, I'm not going to make it.

Lucie [00:24:07]:

What does too early mean? And the market not being ready.

Cosima [00:24:11]:

So he's also black. So what we did in the beginning is we did some interviews. I think we each interviewed like five people just to get a general feeling of does our target audience actually understand the value of this product or I mean, it wasn't a product at this point, but just the value of disrupting that industry in a way. And I think, as with any idea, he had some interviews where he felt like people would really only buy that if it's exactly the same as synthetic hair. I mean, like functionality wise and it can't be too expensive, people are not going to spend more on that than they would on regular synthetic hair. And he just felt like, yeah, in a way it was too early to start this because maybe the topic of sustainability hasn't progressed far enough for people to actually see that this is important.

Lucie [00:25:14]:

Even in Berlin?

Cosima [00:25:15]:

Even in Berlin. I know. So he was super unsure if we know, move forward. And then we said, OK, then let's just pause. And then after two weeks, I was like, okay, now I'm wondering if it's too early and if people are actually going to buy this, why don't I just do a survey and ask people? So I did a survey and I was super lucky that some people were very helpful and shared that survey in groups with black women or black people in general. And so I think I got about 220 responses, which, yeah, I mean, it's not representative, obviously, but it still gave me a very good idea of what people think about this idea. And what I found out was that actually 66% of the people I asked had never heard of the harmful toxins in plastic synthetic hair and had no idea that this is such a bad product. So that was super insightful.

Cosima [00:26:29]:

And then I asked people with that knowledge, would you be willing to buy a plant based alternative? And over 90% said yes. And that really took my fear of the market not being ready. So I definitely saw that, yes, people understand the need, they see the value in this. And so, yeah, I took a pause for two weeks, but then I never paused again. And so I think that was, as I said, two and a half years ago. And I've been working on this project pretty much every single day ever since. Yeah. Even though it's a big challenge and also very uncomfortable sometimes to not know what's going to happen tomorrow or in a month or in a year.

Cosima [00:27:25]:

It's really this stepping into the unknown. But that just feels so much truer to who I am and what I really want to be, even though I'm scared of it sometimes. I mean, I am alone working on this specific project, but I'm obviously not alone. And this is also something that I've learned over the past weeks and months, is that it's so incredibly important to have a community and to just have a network of people who are going through the same thing and who can relate and who have the same challenges. And so yeah, I'm a part of FounderLand, which is an amazing community for women of color founders. They are, I think, the fastest growing women of color founder community in the world. At least that's what they say.

Lucie [00:28:21]:

Where are they based?

Cosima [00:28:22]:

They're based in Berlin.

Lucie [00:28:23]:

All right.

Cosima [00:28:24]:

Yeah. Cool. And I took part in their investor readiness program, which was amazing. And then I'm also part of Impact Factory, which is based in Deusburg here in Germany. They're focused on impact startups. So basically any startup that contributes to the 17 UN development goals. Yeah, and that is really so important to have that exchange with people.

Lucie [00:28:59]:

That'S amazing. That is so inspiring. And I'm going to put the links in the show notes as well, because these are so cool.

Cosima [00:29:20]:

Having the privilege of growing up in Germany or I mean, anywhere, I guess in Western Europe, it's never really that big of a risk that you take because you get support from the government. I know that if this fails, I'm going to get another job, even though it's scary. At the same time, I know that I'm not really taking that big of a risk.

Lucie [00:29:47]:

Is there already plant based biodegradable hair extension, maybe not targeted to black women, but is it already something that's on the market?

Cosima [00:29:58]:

Yes. So actually there are two brands that there are. So the biggest brand that offers this is Rebundle. They're located in the US and they're offering hair extensions made from banana stem fibers. And then there's Ruka Hair in the UK, which they offer plastic free hair, but they're unfortunately not plant based. So they're made from collagen, which is derived from cows. So it's mostly like slaughterhouse waste that's used to produce collagen.

Lucie [00:30:40]:

And are these two targeting the black community as well?

Cosima [00:30:44]:

Yes, they're both targeting the black community. Yeah.

Lucie [00:30:46]:

Cool.

Cosima [00:30:47]:

Yes.

Lucie [00:30:48]:

Have you tried the other brands and what is your experience of plant based extensions?

Cosima [00:30:54]:

I haven't actually braided the other brands onto my head, but I have the hair, of course, and both of those brands, what they're doing is amazing. And to be very honest, I think if it wasn't for a rebundle, I don't know if I would be where I am today just because I don't know if I would have had the in that in that sense, I think for me, it was better to be a second mover, because I saw that what sierra May is her name. What she's doing is working and it's taking off. That being said, I am working with a completely different material than those other brands are with a completely different technology, because banana fiber is I experimented with plant fibers as well, with banana, with pineapple, with everything there is. And the problem is that it's mostly handmade. So you really have to comb the hair by hand to make sure it gets that texture that's comparable to synthetic hair. And that, to me, was not scalable in a sense. So I started looking for different alternatives.

Cosima [00:32:30]:

And I can't say what I'm using because we're in the middle of getting it patented, but what I can say is that it's cellulose. And yeah, we're actually the first ones in the world to work with this specific technology and material to make haircut. Yay. Yeah, I'm super excited about it, but, yeah, we do have a prototype, but we also still have a lot to do for me to be comfortable with launching this product in the market. I mean, whenever I show it around to people, they're like, oh, my God, that looks amazing. And it already looks great. It does look like hair, but it also has to have the same functionality as synthetic hair or human hair for that matter. So it has to be or I want it to be I want it to be combable.

Cosima [00:33:26]:

Then, of course, it has to be washable dyable. You have to be able to heat style it, to straighten it and all that. So there's still a way to go, which I don't know how much longer it's going to take. My plan was actually to launch at the end of this. Yeah, I mean, it's very hard to say with these types of developments because I'm actually working with a research institute that's also based in Germany. And it could be that in two weeks we have a breakthrough and we finally solve the problem or the puzzle. But it could also be that it's going to take another six months.

Lucie [00:34:08]:

The world will be waiting. So exciting. What would you say have been your biggest obstacles so far?

Cosima [00:34:29]:

My biggest obstacles? I mean, for me, it was very challenging to do this on the side because it's only been like, five weeks that I'm not with Oatly anymore. So I've been doing this on the side for two and a half years. That was tough. I mean, it was great. I loved it. But obviously, you don't progress as I would have wanted to, because you just don't have the time.

Lucie [00:35:06]:

And then how did you stay motivated?

Cosima [00:35:13]:

That's a good question. I think ever since that little break of two weeks, my motivation never went away. Ever since then, it was so clear to me that I have to do this. And I haven't doubted this for a second. I mean, obviously there are days when, yeah, I'm down and I feel low and I feel exhausted, but I've never doubted that this is what I want to do and what I have to do for some reason. Also, how did I stay motivated? Also, I think through all those little successes and all the people who helped me along the way. My background is in marketing and branding, so I just don't have the knowledge when it comes to you know there was this amazing professor at one university here in Berlin that I contacted and he was super into the project and he was like, this is amazing. Yeah, come by.

Cosima [00:36:24]:

We're going to have spent two days in the lab just experimenting with fibers and I think it was those little things that happened along the way that just kept me going. And especially also you already mentioned that, getting several grants, so I got a very big grant, actually, a few months ago, which was amazing. Congratulations. Yeah. And that really also gave me the courage to quit my job at Oatly and start this project full. It's I made it sound like magic, like, I don't know, I just stay motivated. But that's not actually true. So it's all the people that help me.

Cosima [00:37:07]:

It's also definitely my husband, who is incredible. So I would not be able to do this without him, even though he's not practically involved, like, he's not part of the company in that sense, but he's actually my co founder, I would say, in terms of mental support. Yeah, I would not be able to do this if it weren't for him.

Lucie [00:37:37]:

A support system is always the unsung hero of any success.

Cosima [00:37:46]:

I guess you everything you do, you do it for the first time and then also, obviously you have limited financial resources. So I'm trying to do pretty much everything myself. I'm working on the website myself, I'm going to do social media myself. I have to raise money to be able to fund the research. So yeah, little obstacles, definitely every day. But then I think the biggest obstacle is developing the product, to be honest, because as I said, what we're doing hasn't been done before. So developing this fiber is just very challenging, especially because I don't have that background in chemistry and I have to rely on the research institute and I try to interview as many experts as possible who can give more input. But it's very challenging for me because I just so want to start, I so want to launch.

Cosima [00:39:09]:

And not having any control over that process and not knowing when the product is ready, that's very hard at the moment, especially I'm at the very beginning, but I definitely. Think my main job right now is to get people excited about it, to build a community around it, to make sure more and more people actually know about the problems with conventional synthetic hair. So I read this really great book which is called Traction, and they're saying that most founders just develop the product and are so nitty gritty on the product and want to get it perfect. That while they're doing that, they're forgetting about the whole getting people involved part. And they're saying that you should actually split your time 50 50. So 50% should be the product, but then also 50% should be spent on building a community. And I think that is so true. I think it's actually amazing that I have so much time left until I launch the product so I can get people excited about it now and also get feedback and be able to iterate and optimize the product.

Cosima [00:40:31]:

So as soon as it's where people can try it, I'm definitely going to have testers. I've already have so many people who approached me and were like, oh my God, I really want to test it, please let me know when it's ready. So that's amazing to get that feedback.

Lucie [00:40:50]:

It almost makes me feel like growing my hair again so I can try it.

Cosima [00:40:56]:

I love that. If you do, I'm going to send you loads. No. So I think right now my job is to really focus on getting people excited, getting people involved, and then also building this together with the community. And not just building this in my head, but actually having people try it, tell me what they think, and not just my friends and family and whatever, but also hairstylists is super important for me to get their feedback and find out can they braid with it? Is it really functional that way that it's easy on your hands? And so all these things, the reactions have been nothing but overwhelmingly positive, which really helped me stay motivated and keep going. And I think what was really beautiful for me to see is that the reactions of my target group have been very positive. But also people who have never heard of synthetic hair know that grant that I got that was actually in, which is very far east in Germany, and I was pitching, I mean, of course, mostly to white men who have, I don't know, probably never even knew that black women wear synthetic hair. And still the reactions were so positive and lots of people wanted to support me.

Cosima [00:42:43]:

And yeah, that's really great to see. That when you tackle a mean, even though this is probably a niche product, at least looking at the market size in Europe, that when you tackle a problem that is bigger in that sense, so that it contributes to a more sustainable world, a more healthy world, sustainable consumption, et cetera, that a lot of people want to get on board.

Lucie [00:43:18]:

That's actually quite interesting to think of sustainability as a dei tool.

Cosima [00:43:23]:

Almost true.

Lucie [00:43:24]:

That bridges, like, white men in Turing, and they see the point because of the sustainability aspect, and also educate them on the needs of the black community, which is Kynd of cool.

Cosima [00:43:37]:

True. Yeah.

Lucie [00:43:40]:

Amazing. And what are your ambitions for the brand, but also in general, do you have any dreams or vision of how things could be?

Cosima [00:43:52]:

So my broader vision for the brand or for the market in general is that I think there should not be any toxic products. There shouldn't be any products that are not recyclable, that are not circular. And my vision is to really make plant based sustainable products the norm. I don't think I can do that all by myself. So I'm happy that there are already women founders in that space that are bringing innovation to it. And I think in a broader perspective, I went to this conference this year, OMR. I don't know if you heard about it, it's a very big marketing conference, but OMR, it's online marketing rock stars.

Lucie [00:44:43]:

Of course it is.

Cosima [00:44:46]:

Yeah. So I went to this conference and there was Louisa Neubauer, which she's an amazing activist, very involved with Fridays for Future, and she said that we're talking so much about your footprint, your environmental footprint, but she thinks it makes so much more sense to talk about your handprint. So what do you actually do with your life? Not about avoiding emissions or avoiding this and that, but what can you actually actively contribute to make the world a little bit better? What is my wish? I think it's that that more and more people, the people who have the opportunities, actually come up with their own projects and proactively and actively do something that contributes to this very big challenge of climate change and a more sustainable world.

Lucie [00:45:54]:

Preach, sister. And I think my last question, which maybe I should have asked at the beginning, but can you talk to me a little bit about the name Kynd Hair?

Cosima [00:46:08]:

Yeah, I love that you asked that. I thought about the hair for the name. I thought about the name for so long, and I had different ideas, but I wanted it to be short and understandable and memorable. And in the end, I ended up choosing Kynd because it's just so yeah, I think kindness is universally relevant in the sense that being kind to yourself, caring for yourself. The hair is kind to your scalp, it's kind to your skin. But then it's also kind to our planet and our environment. And I wish I had a better story to tell about the why is it a Y and not an I. But the reason I chose the Y is actually that the lawyer that I did the trademark with told me that it's probably going to be a lot easier to have this trademark with a Y instead of an I.

Cosima [00:47:13]:

And then I really liked the Y, so I just stuck with it.

Lucie [00:47:18]:

I think it's a perfect name for a perfect product.

Cosima [00:47:21]:

Amazing. Thank you. So, if anyone hears this, who would like to follow us on Instagram? I very highly appreciate it. It's Kynd hair with a Y, so Kynd and then hair. Or also on LinkedIn. I'm always super interested to get in touch with anyone who is in the same space, be it like hair extensions or even beauty geared towards black women. Or of course, if anyone's interested in supporting me, I'm not actively hiring, but I still think it's super important just to get to know people. If anyone's interested in supporting or wants to know more, they can definitely contact me through my LinkedIn.

Cosima [00:48:15]:

It's actually the best way to contact me.

 

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