Tamara Hunter weaves lessons and like into each individual braid she results in.
“When gals occur below, they know that they are receiving their hair done or mastering to do hair in a spot in which they are loved, they are listened to and they are understood,” states Hunter, who results in braids and teaches young women of all ages to braid at her firms in Anderson and Spartanburg.
By centuries and across cultures, braiding approaches have commonly been shared just one-on-a person, from 1 technology to the next. Hunter is no exception. She was 8 a long time old when she begged an aunt to educate her.
“My aunt said, ‘Go get your baby doll.’ I did, and she confirmed me initially how to box plait, which is the person plait. She explained to me to exercise above and more than and above, each and every working day.” Hunter would complete and run back again to her aunt. Eventually, she acquired the response she craved. “She said, ‘You received it, little one. You maintain braiding.’”
Hunter did. She also went to college and examined to be a nurse.
“Then I understood that I was acquiring via university by executing hair,” she claims.
Hunter states her enthusiasm for braiding encouraged her brand name, Eye Am Rather.
“God gave it to me. I couldn’t assume of that my brain doesn’t do the job like that,” she suggests.
She shared the principle when an aunt urged her to talk at a fashion exhibit.
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“I obtained on stage, and I informed the persons, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ I explained to them to glance at each individual other. I asked, ‘What do you see?’ Everybody was just looking at me, not knowledge. And I reported, ‘Behold, you are wonderful.’
“That was the accurate commencing of Eye Am Quite.”
And in 2006, her uncle — Roy Hunter, who owns Cuttin Up Barbershop in Anderson — drove her to Columbia to just take the hair-braiding class and a examination administered by the South Carolina Board of Barber Examiners. She handed, paid out the $25 fee, and received her license in the mail.
“As braiders, we function in barbershops. We won’t be able to work in salons,” Hunter explains.
Alternatively of attending cosmetology college, Hunter started off braiding hair within a place she leased from her mentor, Reggie Rice, who owns Reggie Unique Cuts in Spartanburg.
She opened her individual shop in Anderson very last month but continue to operates in both equally stores and is learning the barber trade below Rice’s mentorship. “While I am there performing Eye Am Quite, braiding hair, training braiding classes, I am also obtaining my barber’s license.”
Hunter states she respects that braiding has its roots in barbershops.
“As a braider, I specialize in caring for your organic hair — no dyes, no perms, no chemicals at all,” she says. “In salons, they have substances. Barbers don’t function with chemical substances. And you never have the braider performing as a cosmetologist or accomplishing cosmetology perform.”
In her outlets, Hunter employs only normal goods to wash hair and affliction the scalp.
Hunter’s personal hair is styled in long braids that are a blend of light and dark shades that dance in front of the bright yellow walls at her braiding small business and university in Anderson.
Braiders can attach extensions to organic hair so that the braids can be longer. The extensions can also be dyed.
“I see a large amount of variety in the barbershops, and even in braids outlets now. I value it due to the fact you discover so significantly from other cultures and other individuals. That is why I like it,” she states.
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Hunter doesn’t system to include “salon” or “braid shop” or “barbershop” to her Eye Am Really brand. Her goal is far too formidable for labels.
“My goal is to have Eye Am Quite in all 50 states, and then I would like to go worldwide,” she states.
Her program also has a much more private and crucial aspect.
“My vision, with Eye Am Rather, is to stop and avert teenage pregnancy, teenage suicide and teenage incarceration.”
That’s why Hunter commenced offering braiding courses for ladies and youthful ladies.
“I want to give a harmless haven, a position of peace for young children who feel that lack of really like, absence of assistance, lack of God, lack of advice,” she suggests.
“I under no circumstances had my father. I felt a lot of pain, thinking why he chose not to be all over. That is what pushed me to generate this eyesight. That’s what pushed me to open my shop.”
The mother of a few boys — ages 4, 15 and 18 — strives to assistance her learners come across tranquility by way of the rhythm and repetition of braiding.
“Braiding is my position of peace. In crafting and generating, you come across interior peace. I preferred to give that back. When you are crafting, you’re innovating, you’re viewing everyday living elevate to one more stage. It pulls you to your greater self. It pulls me to my bigger self,” she states.
“A great deal of folks assume that lifestyle is about enjoy. But to me, it is really about peace. No issue what is likely on, if I pick to preserve peace, then which is what I give. And that is what I get.”
Hunter fees $350 for her braiding system she’s running a $250 special in honor of the new shop. In addition, she presents a voucher plan for girls who are going through bullying at college or whose family members can’t manage to pay out for the courses.
“I would love to give again to as many little ones — people — as I can,” she states. “When I teach that little one, they will go residence and share it with their loved ones. The talent, the craft, is even now staying unfold – even if it truly is to a person individual.”
Sharing a optimistic sense of self, wellness and very good mental health and fitness are Hunter’s ultimate goals. She even has a take note on her desk inquiring girls and women to phone her if they have self-destructive thoughts.
“Just reach out to someone. You are not by itself,” Hunter says. “If we continuously perform on ourselves, then we’re creating this earth a better spot.”