Laughter is the key to life. Along with great hair, a sense of style, delicious eats, full edges & your God given eyebrows – Nikki
A few months ago, Row A Seat 1 was introduced to their movement so, an interview with Nikki (one-fifth of B&B), the natural hair beauty behind No Artifical Flavor, was scheduled and served us brunch with no chaser.
Check out the full interview below…
Row A Seat 1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Nikki of Besties and Brunch: That is a hard question to answer. I would say, I started to become more aware of what I wore in college. I went to Catholic school from Kindergarten through high school, so I didn’t have to think about what I wore 95-percent of the time. That changed in college. My college friends were stylish so I had to step my game up lol. I fell in love with the thought of clothing being expressive shortly after starting college.
Row A Seat 1: Define what style means to you.
Nikki of Besties and Brunch: For me, style is an extension of your personality. It is literally you in the form of clothing. You can create whatever personality you want through the way you dress. That is the beauty of clothes!
Row A Seat 1: Who is Nikki aka ‘No Artificial Flavor?’
Nikki of Besties and Brunch: Nikki aka No Artificial Flavor is that bestie that loves to laugh and make others laugh. I’m pretty straightforward but not in a malicious way. I’m from the hood but kinda bougie (still trying to figure out how that happened), I can find the humor in just about anything, I love my family and friends, I like the eyebrows I was born with, I want to empower women to feel happy, and I love a good game of spades. YOU.WILL.NOT.WIN.
All of that comes through in the way I dress. I am a pretty simple person and I enjoy amplifying simple clothes. My hair is my secret weapon. The way your hair is styled can set your look off! Women should know that style is head to toe. You do not have to look like ANYONE else to be stylish! You can define what ‘stylish’ means for you.
Row A Seat 1: What sparked the story behind the brand Besties and Brunch?
Nikki of Besties and Brunch: Eboni came to us with the idea. She was like “Yo, we should totally start blogging with a focus on our friendship and the things each of us love.” At first, I was hesitant. I liked the idea, don’t get me wrong, but I had been encouraged before to start blogging and I never did. I look back on it and I was scared; scared to put myself out there for criticism. I grew up being bullied so I preferred to stay in my safe place. As we continued to talk about it, I was sold.
Everyone has something to give to the world and I believed being me could help someone – even if it was one person. One of our main goals with Besties and Brunch is to tell our stories with the hopes of helping women just like us. We want the women that read our blog and follow us on social media to feel like they can find a friend in each of us. I couldn’t say no to that. Taking this journey with my real friends, some that I have known since Kindergarten has been the best thing for me personally and for our friendship. I love them so much more because this is not about us. It is about being a force in Chicago that can help others.
Row A Seat 1: I am in love with your ‘Wash & Go’ regimen. Tell us some of your holy grail products for moisture and, to slick those edges down. Lol.
Nikki of Besties and Brunch: Chile, these edges are definitely disrespectful at times! I tame them with Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel and a handy dandy toothbrush. Since I aim for simplicity in most areas of my life, I DO NOT want to go through 91 steps to achieve a Wash & Go. I don’t. I just won’t. So I played around and developed my Wash & Go routine is only 10 steps. All the steps are on the blog but the most important products in this process are the Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel, Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil, and my hydrating aloe vera juice mixture.
Outside of these products I absolutely LOVE this homemade leave-in conditioner that I found on YouTube – Take notes for the ingredients:
– 1 tablespoon of Kinky Curly Knot Today conditioner
– 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera juice
– 1 teaspoon of Oil Olive
– 1 teaspoon of Castor Oil
– Mix all products together
BRUH… My hair be so godly and moisturized after adding this to my hair! This leave-in is different from the aloe vera juice mixture used for my Wash & Go. For the W&G I didn’t want to disrupt my curl pattern so opted to spray in the aloe vera juice (AV juice helps to retain moisture).
Helpful Tip: With this recipe, it is creamier so it requires it to be massaged into the hair.
Row A Seat 1: Your wordplay in your posts are so ‘down to Earth’ and funny. Pre-blogging, what puts you in the mood to write a dope piece?
Nikki of Besties and Brunch: Before writing, I always think about the goal of the blog post, how would I have this conversation with my girls, and remind myself to be me. I am sure that my kids and husband are either asleep or not around because… Yea. They do want me to be great.
I want people that personally know me to read my blog post and hear it with my voice, my mannerism, my intonations and feel like they actually just talked to me. That is always my goal. If I don’t do anything else for you while you are reading my post, I hope that readers leave feeling like they just talked to one of their besties. With my very first blog post about my experience with drinking apple cider vinegar, I didn’t know if my humor would come through in my writing.
I’m not a writer, but when I received the awesome feedback I knew I had to stick with that approach. I try to bring a little humor to every post. I want to write about the things that many women experience but not many people are writing about from their perspective. I think it’s important for us to have a variety of conversations with a multitude of perspectives. That is how we grow.