“I recognize the need for more awareness around how textured hair really does affect the lack of confidence for black and brown people,” Waller says. “My business is set out to reconstruct the idea of beauty by serving the need. Curls have given me the platform to give healthy, mind-changing thoughts on images around curls.”
Currently, Ayoki Styles Curl Academy offers scalp and curl detox, curl shaping, curl hydration, protective styles and hands-on classes for individuals.
Check out our full Q&A with Naomi below…
Tell us about your business and the role you play in it.
I am Naomi Waller the founder and owner of Ayoki Styles Curl Academy. I provide various in-house services for curls and digital courses that highlight the beauty of curls. Currently, I am offering scalp and curl detox, curl shaping, curl hydration, protective styles, hands-on classes for individuals who are interested in building healthy relationships with their curls. I also offer a 6-week in-house “Mountain Curls” class for schools and organizations.
What experience do you strive to create for your customers?
Experiences are memorable and I seek to give my best to every client I encounter. I have learned that it doesn’t take a lot of money or things to serve a big impact. Outside of business, I strive to build authentic and meaningful relationships with people. As a business owner, my approach is still the same, which has been the benefit of my current success. When I created the Mountain Curl Experience specifically for people with curly hair. I was determined to unify and bridge stories. The experience that I am striving to create is a pure connection through similarities while empowering each person to become more inspired to embrace what’s most natural.
What made you choose the Asheville area?
In December of 2017, I married the love of my life Bruce Waller Jr. who has been a big support to my goals and dreams. Bruce lived in Asheville before we got married and served as a community leader long before I was here. Moving to Asheville was exciting but of course,
I was nervous. I believe God had a beautiful plan for me and my family. I didn’t choose Asheville because I never heard of Asheville till I met my husband, Asheville chose me.
What has been your greatest challenge? Your greatest victory?
I’m an overthinker but I have great ideas. The challenge is these two things do not work together lol. I would come up with ideas, build them out on paper and have enough faith to have one conversation about it. This is progress, but one conversation is not enough to build the courage to keep going. I am aware that I have a lot to offer but it isn’t translated yet because I have not been determined enough to share in what I believe. My biggest victory this year is the awareness of self. I have not always been aware of what’s most important to me. I can see, sense, feel and hear what my soul needs. Victory has always lived in me but I can finally say, “I have control over my life”.
What does the word Community mean to you?
Community is a foundation that nurtures family and friends. Within the community, there are many diverse groups with a lot to offer. Disagreements may happen but we are still a family to the greater vision that celebrates Love and Unity.
What makes your business unique in its field?
My ideal of the beauty industry shifted when I began to Journey the possibilities of reinventing what beauty is. My business on the surface level may seem like just a salon or a class that teaches curls. I recognize the need for more awareness around how textured hair really does affect the lack of confidence for black and brown people. My business/ salon/academy is unique because it has a heart for healing. My business is set out to reconstruct the idea of beauty by serving the need. Curls have given me the platform to give healthy, mind-changing thoughts on images around curls.
What’s been your company’s most innovative idea?
The Mountain Curl Method has to be the most innovative idea that I have come up with because it is multi-functional. I can build on it in many ways to address people’s issues around curls. It can serve as an invitation to share with salons, schools, and organizations in any region to educate and teach others how to manipulate, care for and accept curls.
Which person or establishment inspires you the most?
My husband Bruce Waller Jr and my pastor J Hackett are two people I am extremely inspired by. They are the owners of Grind Avl and co-labor in The Black Wall Street Movement. They both represent a standard that I strive to obtain daily. I have watched these 2 men rise above all obstacles and support the community in a huge way. GrindAvl has invested in my Artwork and I have sold multiple paintings in GrindAvl. The black wall street cohort was where I found my niche and have successfully managed to get through 1 year of entrepreneurship and business. I celebrate these 2 men who stand in the heart of a crisis and still provide hope.