Kynk Naturals is known for their handcrafted personal care products that are all made from natural ingredients, as the Creator of the brand Esenje Bonja is passionate about only using ingredients that are safe to ingest. Discover more about her brand ethos and the reason why she started Kynk Naturals in the first place. 

How did your brand begin?

I am an African girl born in Canada and the harsh cold climate exacerbated my struggle with my thick, dense, weak, and extremely kynky hair. 

At age 25 a friend asked why would I rub something all over the largest and most porous and absorptive organ of my body - the skin & scalp - that I wasn’t prepared to eat? I gave up and shaved my head for 3 years.

When I was ready to live with hair again, I wanted to do so naturally. No more relaxers or other chemical products or processes. As my hair got longer and longer (or rather bigger and bigger), I found I needed help. I had always read food ingredient labels, so I wondered why I shouldn’t pay attention to personal care product ingredient labels. Tons of research and experimentation led me to the recipe that would become Hair Honey.

Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?

I wanted to create truly natural and inexpensive hair- and skin-care products. The only way this was affordable, was by sharing with the rest of the world. Our core philosophy is: if you can’t eat it we don't use it! We NEVER use petroleum, parabens, dyes, fragrance, sodium Laureth, sulfate, or anything like it. But we do use lots and lots of Love.

We want you to love your Kynks, improve your relationship with your hair, and revolutionize your relationship with your skin. Kynk is dedicated to promoting kinky, curly, nappy, frizzy, wiry hair. Whether you are African, Caribbean, Black Irish, Scottish, Canadian, or Martian, Kynk provides solutions to the frustrations of tangles, breakage, toxins, and tears. We know that no cream in the world can make you beautiful because you already ARE. We are in the business of helping people live naturally with their beauty!

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

I am always curious to know how people took care of themselves before the modern era. For example, boutonnières were standard as a means of concealing body odour - deodorant! And they still linger in the culture today. I especially like to look for these methods across cultures and regions.

How do you ensure your designs are ethical and sustainable?

I buy direct from a women's co-operative in Ghana to ensure they are given a price that provides a sustainable living wage.

How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?

I want to offer one less thing to worry about or one less thing to have to look into. I want people to feel good about one more healthy choice that they made. I want people to be part of the solution to globalization.

What music do you play in the studio whilst you’re working?

Every day changes with my mood and the season! Often it is Celtic folk, Renaissance Christmas music, to Tool or Townes Van Zandt. Most often though I am listening to Peter Rollins, Gabor Mate or Esther Perel.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

"Don't listen to anybody!" (Of course, ruminate and consider what might be wisdom....)

How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?

Quite naturally, because I am an Enneagram 9! I prefer to make sure I have a reasonable modicum of emotional health to model and pass on to my children. I do what I *can* and not what the finance market says I *must*.

What drew you to JewelStreet?

I love that I had a delightful conversation with a human being! I especially love that JewelStreet is dedicated to handcrafting, independent artisans.

If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?

I would swim back to the sinking ship for my beloved Hair Honey. My hair AND skin both love it!

What is your favourite quote?

"Faith is not a question of the existence or non-existence of God. It is believing that love without reward is valuable." -Emmanuel Levinas.

Thank you for talking with us Esenje!

Discover more natural body care prodcuts at Kynk Naturals on JewelStreet.