Hair to Heritage


I wasn’t born there but without a doubt it runs in my blood. It is what connects me and distinguishes me. It is the reason for the texture of my hair, the complexion of my skin and why I sway my hips the way I do when I dance.

 
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Dominican Republic is the country where by heritage I am from and where the first ever Afrona was created back in 2017. It is also where the tubi, the hair wrap style used to preserve straightened hair and that is traditionally accompanied by a cap was widely popularized. I consider it divine coincidence that I announce my launch of Woven Royal and the Afrona on the same day Dominican Republic celebrates its independence and the people fill the streets for Carnaval reminding them of their heritage, culture, diversity and perseverance.

 
Me doing chores with a tubi

Me doing chores with a tubi

 

I want the Afrona to serve as a similar reminder to all women and men who wear it. Just like the tubi serves as a way to protect and preserve straightened hair, I want the Afrona to be the way people protect and preserve their natural curly and voluminous hair. And unlike the tubi which is widely frowned upon when worn in public. I want the people that wear the Afrona to feel dignified, worthy, beautiful and noticed when they walk out the house with it on. I want it to be the way that they protect who they are and honor where they come from. This way they can prosper and flourish being who they are.

 
 

Similar to the people who wear the Afrona, I want the people who make it to have a chance to prosper and flourish being themselves. Currently I hand make all of the Afronas at my home. As business grows with your support, my plan is to move production to where it all began for me, the Dominican Republic. I want to contract seamstresses currently living in poverty and protect their craft and support their work by paying them dignified wages and contracting them to make the Afronas so that they too have the chance to prosper and flourish.

 
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Charlene Pena