Diversification:[dih-vur-suh-fi-key-shuhn]. noun- the act or practice of manufacturing a variety of products, investing in a variety of securities, selling a variety of merchandise, etc., so that a failure in or an economic slump affecting one of them will not be disastrous.

How many time have you walked past a black owned shop, to find that not only does it specialise in hair products, but it's also laden with mops and buckets, DIY tools, cleaning products, plantain crisps, bread, water and everything and anything else its savvy owner can think of? (Let's not forget the money transfer booth, and the calling cards on the side)

Don't get me wrong, I am not oblivious to one's need to branch out into other markets, especially in these times, but I cannot count the number of times I have walked past shops that seem to be nothing more than glorified junk sales, filled with a mish mash of different products. It's horrific to see the confusion going on in some shop windows. It just leaves me thinking, "mate, you're not being a smart business man, you just look confused!".

I took this photo of a shop on Plumstead High Street today. I remember the first time I passed it. I was gobsmacked! How are you going to name your shop "MONEY & CALL SHOP HAIR SALON MUSIC" and expect me to take you seriously? If you're going to branch out, at least invest some thought into it!

Earlier this year, I was walking down the same high street with Sankofa, when another one of those "anything will do " shops caught my eye.

You may not notice it at first glance, but there is actually a lot of activity going on in this shop. How many products and services can you see up for sale here? I'll start you off with the £5 hair cut being advertised in the window :)

Hair Happy

I am finally facing up to my 'real' natural hair...I've been natural for three years now, and the first year was mostly spent in braids or the small afro, the second year, I was mostly pregnant, and my hair was flowing, soft, curly and long! Then ... I gave birth and with the final push went all my beautiful hair, the front quite literally d
d out (and those telling me "it's because you had a boy" were of NO HELP WHATSOEVER!) it became 'unmanageable' and short, and I let myself be convinced into texturising it, wow was I enchanted by those loose curls and few extra inches, but like most things it had to come to an end, a stringy dead end HaHa. After this I decided, no more messing about! I cut off all the texturised bits and started again (again!) and now I have had short dyed gel twists, cornrows, full afro, weaves+braid combis and countless weaves. But I'm happy, my hair is really real again, if I wash it and (gasp) don't blow-dry it then I have an small, edgy afro which I can pull at to create some texture, but when I blow-dry it it is surprisingly long! I was getting a blow-dry up north in Liverpool, and there were white people getting weave tracks (trust me BIG BUSINESS UP THERE!) these women were amazed at the difference in length from when I first sat in the chair.

I just sat there demurely pretending I couldn't hear their gasps of astonishment... and when my Scouse cousin said, 'gosh girl, you've got a lot of hair!' I...JUST...SMILED ;-)

P.S I don't y'all seeing the real me haha x

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