Kimone Matherson-Foster, who recently launched her own line of haircare products (H3S Healthy Hair Healthy Scalp), is happy to be living her childhood dream.
“Going through Charlemont High School, I was always doing hair even in the bathrooms. It was a passion from childhood,” she said.
Foster, who grew up with a single parent – Emily Willis, recalled using funds she earned as a child hairstylist to help cover high school expenses for herself and her younger brother.
After leaving high school, she worked at Jericho Primary School in Linstead for a year as an assistant teacher through the government’s HEART\NSTA Trust programme.
In 2004, Foster left Jamaica for the United States to attend the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
“That was like an open gate for me to step out and spread my wings,” she said. “The transition was rough because it was a culture shock for me. Things are done differently here in America [compared to Jamaica].”
After completing studies at the Art Institute where she attained a diploma in culinary arts, Foster found employment at Golden Crust Bakery.
She also worked at various salons in Florida doing braids.
Foster was determined to improve her credentials in the field she cherished the most, and so she enrolled at Sheridan Technical College, where she pursued studies in cosmetology. She became a licensed cosmetologist in 2010.
While attending Sheridan, Foster, in 2010, also became pregnant with her first child – Jalani. Her second child, J’vaughn, was born two years later.
She joined the US army in 2015 partly in pursuit of a stable life for herself and her sons.
Foster noted that, even while serving in the military, she found it hard to relinquish her love for cosmetology.
“While I was there [in the military], I still used the dorms as a little salon on weekends,” she said. “That’s how I would get extra money to put aside because I knew this (cosmetology) is what I really wanted to do.”
Foster left the military in 2018.
But she remained a hairstylist.
She also got married to her Jamaican high school sweetheart, Romane.
In April 2020, during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Foster opted to diversify her home-based business with the launch of her line of haircare products – H3S Healthy Hair Healthy Scalp.
The products include Jamaican black castor oil, hair moisturizer, hair and body butter, shampoos, conditioners, hair treatments, and hair growth oil. There is also beard oil and other such products for men’s grooming.
Explaining the inspiration behind the birthing of her line of products, Foster revealed: “I was tired of buying haircare products not knowing what kind of chemicals are in them, or my hair was not taking them properly, or they weren’t made by African-Americans for African-Americans, and so I decided to go ahead and do something for myself. That’s when I started testing and trying out products. That is also how I ended up starting in the business.”
Most of Foster’s current clients are people with natural hair, including males with beard.
“I don’t just cater to people with natural hair,” she commented. “Though it is a natural haircare product line, we also cater to people with processed hair because they also have breakage, damaged hair and stuff like that.”
To order any of the haircare products, click HERE.
Foster’s relatives are among persons highly supportive of her business venture, she said. Her sons, at times, even offer to assist with packaging.
Emphasizing that God is always at the centre of her commercial undertakings, the entrepreneur said she intends to grow her business while sensitizing more people about what cosmetologists do.
“It is all about beautification from head to toe. Yes, I can do nails. Yes, I can do manicures. Yes, I can do pedicures, but that’s not my focus. My focus right now is on haircare,” Foster noted.
Happy to be living her childhood dream, she urged other young people to never give up on theirs.
“Know your worth and do not settle for less,” she advised.
“A ‘no’ for me was the push that I needed to show people that I can achieve even when they said I can’t. Show them with a smile on your face that you can, and let their ‘no’ be your motivation.”
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