Kimberly Edwards-Daniel is undoubtedly one of Trinidad’s most talented hairstylists, specialising in extensions (weaves, lace frontal installs, wig installs, tape extensions, micro beaded extensions), relaxers, keratin, colours, advanced treatments, precision cuts, bridal up-dos and specialty styles—are you out of breath yet? This woman literally DOES IT ALL. Her passion was fueled by her parents: a hairstylist and a businessman. She grew up in the city but spent many years in the countryside with her grandparents. Kim is a fun-loving, bold, careless, passionate young lady. She is full of life, adventure and loves spending time with friends and family. She is a lover of beauty and she is most times attracted to “fixer upper projects” and transforming things from its raw state to something beautiful. Did you always have a love for hair styling?
We sat with her to find out more about her career as a hairstylist. This is what she had to say to the XX team.
KED: I have always had a love for hair. Growing up with a mother as a hairstylist allowed me to see my mom’s work on her clients. Actually, as a child I owned a stool that I would sit on while my mom styled her clients’ hair. After, I would spend time mimicking what I saw her doing on her clients on my very own dolls. Being my mother’s only daughter, she became my best friend and like any other girl who would look up to their mom, she was the first woman I saw for an extended time in my life, so I really wanted to be like her. I witnessed the love she had for hair and how easy the craft was for her. Eventually, I realized I had a natural knack for hairstyling and I became passionate about it, too. My passion came from my mother. It was always so intriguing to observe the process, and how well the styles came together. I really wanted to be able to do the same.
After my mom passed, my dad asked me what I wanted to focus on as a career. I responded, “I want to be an accountant.” At the time, I thought that response would satisfy him only to realize that my dad was fully aware of my love for doing hair in spite of the fact that I was pursuing business academically at the time. He knew that I often styled my friends hair at school because it came so natural for me. And, they even paid me too, because I was good at it. Thankfully, my dad knowing this was surprised by my response and said he would support me if I wanted to focus on hairstyling. That’s exactly what he did, which led me to pursuing my cosmetology diploma and the rest is history.
XX: How did you get into this field?
KED: After acquiring my diploma in cosmetology, I worked at two salons. At the last of the two, I was actually fired via text message but this led me to find out what direction I wanted to continue in. I had to ask myself whether or not I wanted to continue working at hair salons or if I wanted to open one of my own. Of course, I had many questions: Would I be successful? Can I actually do this? Would I get clients? Although I had a small clientele at my home whose hair I’d do in my room or in my porch, it wasn’t good enough to sustain what I really wanted. I went on to designate a small area at my father’s house, specifically for styling hair. Surprisingly, my clientele grew and this new work space was able to bloom into something so beautiful that I got clients from all parts of Trinidad. It’s funny actually since where I was located at the time was on a dead end street that was difficult to find. However, women loved the end results they saw and so, they recommended me to others who in turn would come, too. My clientele grew so much that in the third year of my small business operation, I was able to expand to a bigger salon, now located at 13 Navet Road San Fernando. In August of 2018, after four years of business, we expanded and now have a Port Of Spain branch at 57 Carlos Street.
XX: Have you only worked as a Hairstylist in Trinidad? Tell us about your experience in the field?
KED: I spent some time working in the US, although it was only for a couple weeks at Magic Finger Studios in New York, NY. The aim was to take the Kim Eds brand internationally and build a clientele abroad so that more people would know about us. I continue to partner with Magic Finger studios incrementally throughout the year.
XX: What’s the best part about being a hairstylist?
KED: The best part is definitely connecting with my clients. I enjoy seeing my clients relax and let their hair down. Everyone has their issues but I love to see them feeling very comfortable when they sit in the salon chair. I use that as a time to connect and help the clients that come to us. It’s not only about looking good but feeling good, too. We take that literally at the Kim Eds salon. We see this an an opportunity to beautify our clients’ hair but also to help them feel really beautiful about themselves and to add some value to their lives. By taking time to listen and giving advice where I am able to, I know that I can help make them feel better.
I love seeing women. We are strong yet fragile, although we don’t always embrace it. It’s great to remind them that they’re human and they are built to be soft and delicate even though the world calls on us to be strong often. Oftentimes, they do take our advice and I like seeing how things work out for them. Being able to witness how they feel when they look at themselves in the mirror — they’re looking amazing and feeling amazing on the inside — is something I really enjoy. Kim Eds is a place where women can come and be their true self. It’s a place that’s drama free, relaxing and a space where women can open up, as well. We know that every service is a personable one as we are dealing with different women with different personalities and different looks. We customize the look to each woman whilst staying true to our brand.
XX: When did you decide to create Kim Eds the salon?
KED: We rebranded in August of 2017. Before that, we were known as “Stunning Styles by Kim Eds” but chose to rebrand because of the hashtag I used: #kimedsonhair. Many of the clients latched on to the name “Kim Eds” and basically created that name for us. That’s what clients remembered us by, so we thought it would be best to rebrand it to just that. Also since they are always able to see me at the salon, it also allowed the clients to identify the salon with myself, which made it perfect for branding.
XX: How would you describe Kim Eds as a brand?
KED: Kim Eds, as a brand, is created with every woman in mind. The career woman, the naturalista, the stay-at-home mom. We pay attention to what women feel and what they are looking for. The client plays an integral part in their service, as it’s one that is created to enhance the woman’s natural beauty, make them feel good about themselves but also to educate them on how to up-keep what we do at the salon.
XX: Tell us about your personal style and hair routine?
KED: I switch up my personal style a lot. Because I’m a creative, I really dress and wear my hair according to how I feel. It can be long hair, medium hair, a short bob, bright colours — red, grey, blue. I actually love wearing my hair blue and I’ve worn that colour for years. My style is quite bold and unique. I wear a lot of wigs since my hair is natural. I also have my very own hair line called “Bella Tress Extensions” and we retail bundles, frontals, closures that I call crowns because I believe these are all like jewels for a woman’s head. As Maya Angelou said, a woman’s head is her crowning glory and I believe that.
XX: Tell us about your hair artistry workshops, why did you start this venture?
KED: I started this as a way to educate people that are interested in learning about hair. Hair styling is an art, and when you’re done styling, your finished product is a masterpiece. With education, you can better put together a style after understanding the theory. It empowers women to go out with the information they have learned to chase after their own career and goals.
XX: What’s one thing you would want to let women know when it comes to their hair?
KED: Our hair is our crown and our hair can help to position us. That’s why when your hair is messy, it can affect your mood. That’s also why getting your hair done as a woman can make you feel empowered. We are all queens and our hair can position us for the things we are about to do. Its gives us confidence and a boost, it causes our shoulders to rise after we see ourselves come alive. I want women to remember to take care of the thing that makes you come alive. Make room to consistently put yourself in that place every so often. Stay committed to your hair salon or at-home hair routines. Love your hair and watch your hair love you back. Your hair might just help start conversations with someone you wanted to meet and network with simply because it looks great.